• LGBTQI+ person
  • Young person
  • NSW

What is this resource?

This resource is for trans and gender diverse young people and their families in New South Wales.

This fact sheet answers some common questions trans and gender diverse young people, and their families, have about changing their name.

It includes:

  • changing your name on your birth certificate
  • changing your name on federal documents, like passports, or Centrelink and Medicare records

  Not in New South Wales?

This resource is also available for:

VIC | QLD | SA | ACT | NT | TAS | WA

Can you legally change your name?

Yes, but there are requirements you need to meet.

By reading this resource we hope you will get a better understanding of what’s involved with legally changing your name in New South Wales (NSW).

What steps are involved with making a change?

The steps for applying to change your name on formal documents offers depending on whether the document you would like to change is issued by:

1. a state or territory government organisation


2. a federal government organisation

See how you can change key documents below.

How to change the name on your birth certificate

Birth certificates are issued and regulated at a state and territory level. This means that the approach to changing the recorded name on your birth certificate will depend on the process used by that state or territory’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (which is the government agency responsible for issuing and regulating birth certificates).  

In NSW, this is the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages. 

Please note that you my only change your name once in a 12-month period and 3 times in your lifetime. There are exceptions but they are subject to the Registrar’s personal approval.

Does age matter?


Young people over the age of 18 can make an application directly whereas if you are under 18 years of age, your parents or guardians will need to make the application on your behalf.

If you are under 18, you will need to ask your parents to make the application

As a young person under 18 years old, you can change your name on your birth certificate through an application made by your parents or guardians (it’s not possible for you to make an application to change your name by yourself until you are over 18 years old). 

The application must be submitted in the state/territory that you were born in, or the one where you have lived for the most part immediately before your application 

If your parents are separated, one parent cannot change a child’s name unless they have:

  • received consent from the other parent


  • obtained a relevant court order approving the name change


  • been granted sole parental responsibility by a court order

  Most trans and gender diverse young people will not have to go to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia to apply for access to Stage 2 (hormone) or Stage 3 (surgical) treatment, where their parents and doctors agree the treatment is appropriate.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to go to court to apply for access to Stage 2 or Stage 3 treatment, then it is possible to change your name on these applications and seek an order at the same time requiring the Registrar from the NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages to give effect to the name change.


To be eligible to change your name in NSW:

  • You need to have been born in NSW


  • If born overseas, you need to have lived in NSW for at least three years in a row before making the application


  • If your birth is not registered in NSW but a protection order has been made to protect you and/or family members from domestic violence, you may be eligible

How can you, or your parent or guardian, apply?

You can apply by filling out the change of name application form, attaching the necessary supporting documents (e.g. proof of identity) and paying the required fee. You may be able to apply to have the fee waived or reduced.  

For a link to the form and details of costs, see Where to Get Help and Information’.

If you are under 18, both parents must fill out the form unless:

  • There is only one parent named on your birth certificate
  • The other parent has passed away, or
  • The Federal Circuit and Family Court, or another Australian court or tribunal, has made an order approving the proposed name change on application by one parent.

If you have a guardian who has parental responsibility, they will need to fill out the application form. 

How to change your name on federal government documents, such as your passport, and on records with Services Australia, such as Centrelink and Medicare

You will need to provide an updated birth certificate that has your new name, or change-of-name certificate or citizenship certificate, to the agency that looks after the relevant document or record that you want to change.  

This means you will need to have first successfully applied to the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (or a legalised foreign equivalent) to change your name. 


If you have a simple legal question that’s not urgent, you can ask a lawyer using our tool Justice Connect Answers.

Please note that Justice Connect Answers can only help with quick legal questions, and does not qualify as an application for comprehensive legal help. If you need ongoing legal help with your problem, the best thing to do is submit an online application.

Ask a lawyer a quick question

Where to get help and more information

  • Parents of Gender Diverse Children provides peer support nationally to parents and those parenting trans and gender diverse children. To access their resources or make an enquiry, visit their website at https://www.pgdc.org.au.   

  • The Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) Trans and Gender Diverse Legal Service provides legal information, advice and assistance with documentation around changing names. To make an appointment, call (02) 9332 1966 or visit https://www.iclc.org.au/our-services/ for more information. 

  • The Gender Centre offers a wide range of services to people with gender issues, their partners, family members and friends in New South Wales. To find out more, visit https://gendercentre.org.au 

  • Twenty10 provides a range of support services and social spaces for people of diverse genders and sexualities aged under 26 in NSW and some parts of the ACT: https://www.twenty10.org.au/. 

  This resource was last updated on 30 August 2023. This is legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer for advice specific to your situation. Please view our disclaimer for more information.