While you can't register an overseas marriage in Australia, in most cases, the marriage will be legally recognised in Australia if it's legally recognised in the country you married in
Before you marry overseas
If you plan to marry overseas, contact the country's embassy, consulate or local representative in Australia about that country's legal requirements.
To find foreign embassies, consulates and local representatives, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website (External link)
Documents you may need
To marry overseas, you may need to provide proof that you're free to marry (i.e. not currently married), such as:
- A single status certificate issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (BDM)
- A Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (External link) issued by DFAT
- Your divorce certificate or your spouse's death certificate, if you've been previously married.
Recognition of overseas marriages
While a marriage that takes place overseas can't be registered in Australia, it will generally be recognised if:
- It's recognised under the law of the country where the marriage took place
- Both parties are at least 18 years of age
- Neither party is married to another person at the time of marriage.
- Recognised marriages include overseas same-sex marriages that occurred prior to December 2017.
If you married overseas, you need to:
- Make sure your marriage is registered in that country
- Have evidence of the marriage, including official, commemorative or keepsake documents you got at the time of the ceremony.
Changing your family name
If you were born or married overseas, you can't take your spouse's family name automatically. You need to apply to change your name.