This page explains how to change your child's name if they are:

  • Under 18 years old
  • Born overseas and:
    • Living in Victoria for at least the last 12 months
    • Have the legal right to live in Australia.

Not sure if you're in the right place?

Pages about change of name: adult or child, born in Victoria or elsewhere
Person whose name is being changed Born in Victoria Born overseas Born interstate
Adult Adult born in Victoria Adult born overseas Apply to the Registry in that state or territory (External link)
Child Child born in Victoria Tick markRead this page Apply to the Registry in that state or territory (External link)

 

What we need from you

In most cases, both parents on the birth certificate need to complete the application. When you apply:

If you can’t apply online, contact BDM and request a paper change of name form.

We'll ask you for the following:

1. About you and your child

At minimum, we'll ask you for:

  • Your child's name, date of birth and place of birth
  • Your name and address
  • Name and address of the second parent (if applicable)
  • A clear reason for the change of name
  • Any previous names your child has been known by.

2. Child’s chosen name

  • Chosen family name
  • Chosen given name
  • Chosen other given name(s).

Generally, we accept most names that parents choose for their child. However, both parents need to agree on the name and there are some names that aren't allowed. See Naming your child.

3. Any original certificates

If your child has changed their name before in Victoria, we ask you to return any previous change of name certificates for your child before we can issue a new one.

If you don't have the original, you need to provide a statutory declaration (External link) explaining why. Learn more about how to digitise and upload documents.

4. Proof of your identity

Acceptable documents

Each parent must provide:

  1. One identity document showing photograph and signature
  2. Two documents showing that your identity is known in the community.

For example:

Driver licence plus Medicare card and credit/ATM card 

Example driver licenceExample Medicare cardExample bank card

or

Passport (Australian or overseas) plus Medicare card and credit/ATM card

Example Medicare cardExample bank card

a. Identity document showing photograph and signature

Each parent must provide one of the following:

  • Australian passport
  • Overseas passport
  • Australian driver licence (or learner permit)
  • Travel document issued by the Department of Home Affairs: 
    • Immicard
    • Document for Travel to Australia

There are other ways to prove your identity.

Documents must be current (not expired). If you cannot provide current photo identification, please contact us.

Any documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Learn more about the requirements for translated documents.

b. Identity known in the community

Each parent must provide two of the following:

  • Medicare card
  • Credit card or ATM card
  • Marriage certificate issued in Australia
  • Change of name certificate issued in Australia
  • Divorce certificate issued in Australia
  • Student or tertiary identity card
  • Australian security guard or crowd controller licence
  • Working with Children Check card

5. Proof of your child’s identity

Your child’s overseas birth certificate (with certified translation if it isn't in English) is all you need.

You need to send us the original, not a copy.

If you can’t provide this, please contact us.

6. Proof of parentage

One of the easiest ways to do this is with your child’s overseas birth certificate. For other options, refer to Proof of parentage tab.

7. Proof of residence

You'll need to prove that your child:

a.    Has the right to live in Australia 
b.    Has been living in Victoria for at least the last 12 months

You must provide one document from each list below. At least one of the documents must state your child’s place of birth.

a. The child’s right to live in Australia

A document issued by the Department of Home Affairs, for example:

•    Australian Citizenship Certificate
•    Australian visa (with overseas passport)
•    ImmiCard
•    Document for Travel to Australia

b. Living in Victoria for at least the last 12 months

Documents in this list must cover at least the last 12 months:

  • Confirmation of school attendance (letter on school letterhead or academic results)
  • Bank statements (showing Victorian transactions)

If your child is not of school age, each parent must prove that they live in Victoria. Joint (shared) material is acceptable. Examples include:

  • Utility accounts (for example, electricity, gas, water)
  • Lease or tenancy agreement
  • Confirmation of enrolment in a Victorian tertiary institution 

Proof of parentage

Preferred evidence of parentage

To prove you are the parent of the child, provide:

  • Your child’s birth certificate, or
  • Adoption papers that name the child, and show your name(s) as the child’s legal parents.

If you don’t have these documents, refer to alternative evidence of parentage.

Any documents that aren’t in English must have a certified translation.

Applications from one parent

We can accept applications from one parent in the following circumstances only:

 

Documents to provide if only one parent is applying
Circumstance What you need to provide
The child's birth certificate names only one parent Your child’s original birth certificate
The other parent named on the child's birth certificate has died A certified copy of the death certificate

A court order, stating that your child's current name is to be changed to the new name, has been issued by:

  • The County Court of Victoria
  • The Family Court of Australia
  • The Federal Circuit Court

A certified copy of the court order.

The court must list the child's old and new names.

The new names that you apply for must exactly match the new name(s) on the court order.

Learn more about uploading hard copy documents online.

A sole parentage order alone does not give you the right to change your child's name. Both parents still need to complete the application.

Applications from a legal guardian

If you're not the child's birth parent, you need to provide proof that you’re the child's legal guardian.

You must also provide one of the following:

  • Proof that the parents can't be found
  • Proof that the parents have died
  • 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.

Applications from a permanent carer

If you're not the child's birth parent, you must provide: 

  • Proof that you’re the child’s permanent carer
  • A certified copy of the permanent care order.

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

Get a certificate

Get a certificate when you change your child’s name

When you change your child’s name, you get a change of name certificate. It shows your child’s:

  • New name 
  • Former name. 

The back of the certificate shows a history of the changes.

The certificate is valid for all legal and official purposes. You will need this certificate to update your child’s identity documents such as their passport.

Get a certificate later

You can order another certificate later – for example if you lost it and need a replacement.

Get a change of name certificate (External link)

Timeframes and delivery

How long will it take?

 

Estimated time from when we receive a complete application with proof of identity:
Delivery Method Standard service
Click and collect
595 Collins St, Melbourne
20 days
Australia Post
Registered post
26 days

Track the progress of your certificate (External link)

Delivery of multiple copies

If you order more than one copy of a certificate, how we package them depends on the postage method:

  • Standard post – for security, we post each certificate separately
  • Registered or Express Post – we post them together.

We'll post them all on the same day, but Australia Post may deliver them on different days.

Fees and payment

Change of name and certificate fees

Standard
20 days*
$107.90*

Includes

  • Change of name
  • Certificate
  • No extra processing fees

* Allow extra time if you choose to receive your certificate by post.

* Additional postage costs apply (see below).

The fees are non-refundable except as set out in our Refunds page.

Postage

Postage fees cannot be refunded if you decide to collect your certificate(s) in person.

Postage fees within Australia
Australia Price
Click and collect
595 Collins St Melbourne
FREE
Registered post (recommended)
Online tracking and compensation for loss or damage up to $100
$7.40
Express post
Faster delivery
$7.80
Standard post $1.00
International  
Airmail  $3.70
Express Courier International $52.80

See Australia Post for more postage details (External link).

 

Payment methods

Check the Payment methods we accept

After the change

Update your child’s documents

Once your child's name has been changed, you must update all your child's identity documents and records with their new name. These may include:

  • Passport
  • Bank account
  • School enrolment 
  • Visa travel documents.