• LGBTQI+ person
  • Young person
  • SA

What is this resource?

This is a resource for trans and gender diverse young people and their families in South Australia.

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 South Australia?

This resource is also available for:


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 South Australia.

What steps are involved with making a change?

The steps for applying to change your name on formal documents differs 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 issuing and regulating birth certificates).

In South Australia, Births, Deaths & Marriages are registered with Consumer and Business Services. 

Please note that you may only change your name once in a 12-month period and 3 times in your lifetime. There are exceptions but they are subject to Consumer and Business Services’ 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 or guardians 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 Court 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 the 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 South Australia’s Consumer and Business Services to give effect to the name change.


To be eligible to change your name in South Australia, you need to:

  • Have been born in South Australia


  • If born overseas, have lived in the state for at least 12 months prior to the application

If you were born in Australia but not in SA then you must apply to the Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory where you born to change your name. 

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 might 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 application form unless:

  • There is only a sole parent named on your birth certificate
  • The other parent has passed away; or
  • The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, 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.

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

You will need to provide an updated birth certificate that has your new name, 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 Births, Deaths and Marriages within SA’s Consumer and Business Services (or a legalised foreign equivalent) to change your name. 

Where to get help and more information


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  This resource was last updated on 29 April 2024. 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.