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Who can change their name?

An adult 18 years or older can choose to change their name.

Restrictions may apply if the registrar believes that the name is obscene or offensive or if the reason for wanting to change a name is for improper purpose or fraud.

A child’s name can only be changed if both parents agree or if there are court orders. If the child is over 12 years, they must also consent to the name change.

Registering name changes

A person can change their name by registering a new name with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.

See Adult name change.

Parents of a child under 18 years may jointly apply to register change of child's name. If there is only one parent registered on child's birth certificate, or if there is only one surviving parent, an application may be made by that parent.

See Child name change.

Unregistered name changes

Anyone may unofficially use whatever name they wish, but they cannot use the new unregistered name for official documents, such as passports, bank accounts, licences or other documents where proof of identity is required.

Name changes do not have to be registered if the person is:

A person who has not been living in Victoria for more than 12 months is not able to register their name change in Victoria.

More information

Legislation

Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (Vic)

  • s. 24—change of name by registration
  • s. 25—application to register change of adult's name
  • s. 30—change of name may still be established by repute or usage

See Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated