Changing your name

For free and confidential legal advice about this topic, please contact us here. 

Changing your name is a big decision. You can change your name informally by asking people around to call you what you like at any time. You can also change your name formally, although in some cases this can be a bit more difficult while you are under 16 if your parents don’t agree. 

Navigate this page

Which laws apply to changing your name?

You can formally change your name in Tasmania if:  

  • You were born in Tasmania; or 
  • You were born interstate and have lived in Tasmania for more than 12 months; 
  • You were born outside of Australia but are an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you have lived in Tasmania for more than 12 months.

If you weren’t born in Tasmania and you haven’t lived there for 12 months, then you need to apply to change your name in the state or territory you were born in or have lived in for a certain amount of time. You can click the icon on the top right-hand side of the screen to show laws from other states and territories. 

When can you change your name yourself?

In Tasmania, you can apply to change your name yourself as soon as you turn 16 or once you have been married. You don’t need your parents’ permission to do this. 

Changing your name when you are under 16

If you are under 16, here are your options for changing your name. 

1. Changing your name with both parents’ permission 

If you are under 16 and you want to change your name formally, you will generally need the permission of both of your parents or guardians.3 Your parents or guardians will have to apply to the Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  

Your parents or guardians will need evidence to prove that they are your parents or guardians. They will also need to show some documents that prove who you are. The application form has a checklist of documents that you will need to include to complete this application. 

2. Changing your name with one parent’s permission 

You can change your name with the signature of only one parent if: 

  • only one parent is named on your birth certificate; or 
  • one of your parents has died; or 
  • one of your parents applies to a magistrate and the magistrate makes an order to change your name because they think this is in your best interests (or there is another order that says your name should be changed)

3. Changing your name without your parents’ permission

There might be situations where you want to change your name, but you don’t feel safe to ask your parents, or your parents don’t agree.  

In these situations, there might be other options for you to change your name that involve you going to court. If going to court is something that you would like advice about, you can contact us here. 

Changing your name when you are 16 or over

If you are over 16, then you can apply to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, to change your name by yourself. You don’t need your parents’ permission to do this. 

When you apply to change your name, you will have to prove your identity. The application form provides a checklist of documents that you will need to include. 

Informally changing your name

If you want to use a different name, you can change your name informally by asking people like family, friends and your school to call you a different name. Changing your name informally is a free and easy way to change your name, and it gives you time to decide if you want to stay with your new name or change it back.

But if you change your name informally like this, this change won’t appear on your legal documents such as your driver’s licence, a passport, a Medicare card or Centrelink because there’s no official record to show that you’ve changed your name. 

Can my parents change my name if I don’t want to change it?

We sometimes get asked by young people if their parents can change their name without their permission, for example if one parent wants you to use their name after a family divorce.  

The law says that if you are over 12 years old and you’re able to understand the consequences of changing your name, your parents can’t change your name without your permission (unless there’s a court order).

Need more advice?

For free and confidential legal advice about this topic, please contact us here. 

Got a question you can't get answered?

If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.

Get help now

Select Your State or Territory

The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.

// Zoho Script