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Change your child's name

You can apply to change your child's name if they are under 18 years of age and are Victorian born, or overseas born and have been residing in Victoria for at least 12 months before your application..

If your child was born interstate, you must apply to the Registry in the State or Territory of your child's birth.

How to apply

To change your child's name, download a Child change of name application form.

Who can apply to change a child's name

In most cases, both parents of a child must complete the application to register the child's change of name.

Child born in Victoria

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM) confirms the parental status of applicants by cross-referencing their names against the birth registration record we hold for the child.

Child born in Australia but outside Victoria

If your child was born interstate, you must apply to the Registry in the State or Territory of your child's birth.

Child born outside Australia

You must provide evidence of your parental relationship to the child.

Preferred evidence

Our preferred evidence is:

  • the child’s birth certificate (accompanied by official translation if the original is not in English)
  • any relevant adoption papers, which include the names of the child and the child’s legal parents.
Alternative evidence

If a birth certificate is not available, we require the following evidence of parentage. In total, both applicants need at least two documents that state their names as parent of the child.

  1. A Statutory Declaration of parentage of the child from both applicants AND
  2. One item from List A or two for each applicant from List B

List A

List B

  • A full Australian birth certificate of a younger sibling of the child
  • Overseas birth certificate of a younger sibling of the child

The birth certificate must name the applicants as parents and the child as ‘previous issue’

These documents must be provided in the original and must name the applicant/s as the parent/s of the child:

  • Medicare card or Centrelink card or a travel document issued by Department of Immigration and Border Protection (e.g. Visa, or Document For Travel To Australia (DFTTA). (Note: Only one of these items – Medicare, Centrelink or Department of Immigration and Border Protection travel document – may be used in support of each applicant. The second source of evidence must come from the other items in this list)
  • Parent’s citizenship certificate
  • Parent’s passport
  • Child’s passport
  • Baptismal or other religious certificates
  • Official hospital record (accompanied by official translation, if original not in English)
  • A letter from the child’s school, the child’s doctor, a maternal and child health nurse clinic or a religious leader stating that the applicants have functioned as parents of the child during the six months immediately before the application
  • Registration or identity document issued by a recognised provider of international refugee protection such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) or International Organisation of Migration (IOM)
  • A written statement on official letterhead from a settlement or case worker in Australia who is employed by a Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) provider, Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) provider, Settlement Services Program (SSP), or from a case manager from a Complex Case Support Program (CCS) confirming that the applicants have functioned as parents of the child during the six months immediately before the application.
Re-use of documents by both parents

If a document names:

  • both applicants as parents of the child, it can be used by both applicants - for example, a baptismal certificate naming both applicants as parents of the child.
  • only one parent, it can be used only by that parent as evidence of their parental relationship - for example, a Medicare card that lists only one parent with the name of the child. The other parent will need alternate evidence from list 2b above (for example, their citizenship certificate, if it lists the child by name).
Surrogacy

If the child was born in a surrogate arrangement, BDM will require relevant court orders.

Applications from one parent

We can only accept an application from one parent if:

  • only one parent is named on the child's birth certificate
  • the other parent named on the child's birth certificate is deceased (provide a certified copy of the death certificate as proof).
  • the County Court of Victoria, Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court issues an order stating that your child's current name is to be changed to the new name. Once you have the court order, complete the Child change of name application form and include a certified copy of the court order with your completed application. Information on how to certify your documents is included in the application form.
Applications from a legal guardian

If you are the child's legal guardian, and not the child's birth parent, you can apply to register the child's change of name if you provide proof that you are the child's legally appointed guardian. You must also provide either:

  • proof that the parents cannot be located
  • proof that the parents are deceased, or
  • a court order instructing us to change the child's name without the parents' consent.

You may have to provide additional documents. Contact us for more advice.

If you have already changed your child's name, your child is still under 18 and you want a replacement certificate, you can simply apply online for a birth certificate (if your child was born in Victoria) or a replacement change of name certificate (if your child was born overseas).

You can also apply by mail, or in person at our Melbourne Customer Service Centre (CSC) or at selected Victorian Justice Service Centres (JSCs). To apply by mail or in person, you will need to download and complete a birth certificate application form.

We recommend you keep all Registry-issued documents safe and secure.

Application checklist

Unless you meet the criteria for a sole parent or guardian application, both parents must:

  • Fill out the whole application form
  • Sign the application in front of a qualified witness, who must also sign your application
  • Submit all required proof of identity documents (see the application form or proof of identity page for more details).
    • By mail: Submit certified photocopies of each document. See the proof of identity page for advice on how to get your photocopies certified.
    • In person: If you are attending the Registry's Customer Service Centre,  or submitting your application at a Justice Service Centre, bring both the original documents and photocopies of the original documents so that they can be certified. 
  • Pay the application fee. You can pay by:
    • By mail: Visa, MasterCard, money order, personal cheque or bank cheque (no international bank cheques).
    • In person: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, money order, personal cheque or bank cheque (no international bank cheques). Cash is not accepted.
    • Make personal cheques, bank cheques and money orders payable to "Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages".

If your child is 12 years old or over, they must give their consent for their name to be changed and sign the form in front of a witness.

Successful applications

The success of your application will require you to:

  • return all original birth certificates or change of name certificates previously issued to your child by the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
  • respond to all questions honestly and accurately on this application form
  • provide a clear reason for your child’s chosen name
  • choose a name that is not considered to be obscene or offensive, too long, includes numbers or symbols without phonetic significance, makes a statement or phrase, resembles an official title or rank recognised in Australia, or is considered to be against public interest
  • disclose all previous change of names and previous names used in the community for your child
  • prove the identity of each parent and your child through the provision of certified proof of identity documents
  • respond to the Registrar's request for further information.

What type of certificate will your child receive?

If the change of name application is successful, we will issue either a new birth certificate (if your child was born in Victoria) or a change of name certificate (if your child was born overseas).

After changing your child's name

Use the certificate to update all of your child's identity documents and records to show their new name. This includes your child's passport, bank account and school enrolment.

 

If you have already changed your child's name, your child is still under 18 and you want a replacement certificate, you can simply apply online for a birth certificate (external link) (if your child was born in Victoria) or a replacement change of name certificate (external link) (if your child was born overseas).

You can also apply by mail, or in person at our Melbourne Customer Service Centre (CSC) or at selected Victorian Justice Service Centres (JSCs). To apply by mail or in person, you will need to download and complete a birth certificate application form.

We recommend you keep all Registry-issued documents safe and secure.