Name Change Abroad


Deed Poll arrangements in one form or another exist worldwide. In the USA, for example, forty six states allow name change by usage alone, although name changes must be registered with state departments and may also require a court order. Applicants may also need to give a reason for the name change, and also need to prove it is not for fraudulent purposes.


Changing a name by Deed Poll is no longer applicable in Australia. There the process requires an application to be lodged with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. A Name Change Certificate is issued and this or an amended birth certificate will be needed for you to notify all the organisations where you have an account or membership.

In Australia, two options are available:

  • Name change by association where family, friends and colleagues are informed of a new name. The person concerned can start using it immediately. The new name will be deemed to have taken effect by reputation in the community and can be used without taking any formal steps. However, this does come with the drawback that some organisations will not issue official documentation under the new name (such as the passport office and banks), with the result that a person will have their old name on legal documentation but have a new name in the community.
  • Undertake a legal name change via the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM). This process is best if an individual wants to have their identity documents, such as a passport and driving licence, changed into a new name.

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