How to legally change your name

5 February 2021

A resource for trans and gender diverse young people and their families in Tasmania

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 Tasmania?

This resource is also available for:

VIC | NSW | QLD | SA | ACT | NT | TAS | WA

Can you change your gender status on formal documents?

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 Tasmania.

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

OR

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 issues and regulates birth certificates).

In Tasmania, that is the Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages.

Does age matter?

Yes.

Young people over the age of 16 can make an application directly whereas if you are under 16 years of age, your parents or guardians will need to make the application on your behalf. If you are over 12 years of age and your parents or guardians are applying to change your name on your behalf then they will need your consent to do so.

If you are under 16, you will need to ask your parents or guardians to make the application

As stated above, 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 to make an application to change your name by yourself until you are over 16 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 the application is made.

In general, if you are under 16 years of age then both parents named on your birth certificate must apply to change your name. There are some situations where one parent can apply to change your name.  For example, this can be done where they have received consent from the other parent, obtained a relevant court order approving the name change, or sole parental responsibility has been granted to that parent by a court or by any other law.

Most trans and gender diverse young people will not have to go to the Family Court 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 Tasmanian Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages to give effect to that name change order.

 

To be eligible in Tasmania, you need to:

  • Have been born in the Tasmania

OR

  • Have been a permanent resident of Tasmania (whether born interstate or overseas) for at least 12 months prior to the application

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.

To find the form, see ‘Where to Get Help and Information’.

If you are between 12-16 years old, then your parents or guardians are required to provide a signed consent form from you demonstrating that you consent to the application they are making to change your name (part 6 of the above mentioned form)

If you are under 16, both parents must fill out the form unless:

  • There is only a sole parent named on your birth certificate
  • The other parent has passed away
  • The 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.

There are fees associated with applying to change your name. The price as of December 2020 is $201.42 including issuing a change of name certificate.

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

You will need to provide an updated birth certificate that has your new name, citizenship certificate, or change-of-name 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 Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (or a legalised foreign equivalent) to change your name.

Where to get help and more information

  • Download and fill out the Change of Name Application form for children under 16 and adults 16 years or over on the Tasmanian Government website 
  • 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.
  • Working it Out is a Tasmania-based gender and sexuality support and education service. It provides direct support, including free and confidential counselling, support groups, education programs and workplace training. To access their services visit their website.

This resource was published 04/02/2021. This is legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer for advice specific to your situation.

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