Legal change of name

Legal name change for child over 12 months

Parents need to apply on behalf of children who are over 12 months old and under 18 years old.

This does not need to be advertised in a newspaper.

Who can apply 

You can apply to change the name of a child over 12 months old if you are their parents or guardians.

Both parents

If both parents are named on the birth certificate, both parents must apply.

One parent

One parent can change a child’s name if any of the following apply: 

  • only one parent is named on the child’s birth certificate
  • the other parent of the child is deceased and no other person has legal responsibility for the child
  • a court order is issued allowing only one parent to change the child’s name.

Guardians 

Guardians can change a child's name if one or both parents are deceased, cannot be found or cannot exercise their parental responsibility.

If you're applying as a guardian, you must supply either a court order or proof of guardianship.

How to apply: both parents 

To apply as both parents or as guardians, follow these steps.

Step 1

If your child was born in the NT complete the change of name application below: 

If your child was born interstate or overseas complete the application below:

Step 2

Both parents or guardians must sign the application form.

Any other person with an interest in the name change must also sign the application form and provide identity documents.

If the child is over the age of 14, they must also sign the application form. 

The form should also be signed in front of a witness over 18 years old.  

Step 3

Submit your documents in person or by mail to a Births, Deaths and Marriages office.

You need to submit all of the following:

  • the completed application form
  • proof of identity documents for both parents or guardians and any other person with an interest, and evidence of any previous name changes for the child.
  • a detailed reason for changing your child’s name  - statements like ‘we want to’ and ‘personal’ are not acceptable
  • payment for the change of name fee - check the fee.

If you want the child's birth certificate to show their new name refer to the information below about changing the name on the birth certificate.

Not born in the NT: extra documents you need to submit 

If your child was not born in the NT, you will also need to submit:

  • proof of residency of the parents or guardians in the NT for 12 consecutive months - you can use: 
    • bank statements showing transactions within the NT, as well as the names of the parents or guardians and a current address
    • Power and Water bills or rates notices showing the names of the parents or guardians, their current address and proof of payment
    • a formal rental agreement showing the names of the parents or guardians, their current address and contact details for a landlord or real estate agent.
    • payslips from an NT employer showing the names of the parents or guardians and the employer's name or ABN Number.
  • the child's full birth certificate issued by their state or country of birth. If the overseas birth certificate is in a language other than English, you must include an original translation of the certificate by a certified translating agency.
  • either proof of citizenship or permanent residency status in Australia for the parents or guardians.

How to apply: one parent 

One parent can change a child’s name if any of the following apply:

  • only one parent is named on the child's birth certificate
  • the other parent of the child is deceased and no other person has legal responsibility for the child
  • a court order is issued allowing only one parent to change the child's name.

A guardian can change a child's name if:

  • both parents are deceased, cannot be found or cannot exercise their parental responsibility
  • they can provide either a court order or proof of guardianship.

To apply as one parent or guardian follow these steps.

Step 1

If your child was born in the NT complete the change of name application below: 

If your child was born interstate or overseas complete the application below:

Step 2

The parent or guardian must sign the form.

Any other person with an interest in the name change must also sign the application form and provide identity documents.

The child must also sign if they are over 14 years old.

The form should also be signed in front of a witness over 18 years old.

Step 3

Submit your documents to a Births, Deaths and Marriages office in person or by mail.

You need to submit all of the following:

  • the completed application form
  • proof of identity documents for the parent or guardian and any other person with an interest, and evidence of any previous name changes for the child if applicable.
  • a court order, death certificate or proof of guardianship where applicable authorising the change of name by one parent or guardian.
  • a detailed reason for changing the child’s name  - statements like ‘I want to’ and ‘personal’ are not acceptable
  • payment for the change of name fee - check the fee.
Not born in the NT: extra documents you will need to submit 

If your child was not born in the NT, you will need to submit:

  • proof of residency of the parent or guardian in the NT for 12 consecutive months - you can use: 
    • bank statements showing transactions within the NT, as well as the names of the parent or guardian and a current address
    • Power and Water bills or rates notices showing the name of the parent or guardian, their current address and proof of payment
    • a formal rental agreement showing the name of the parent or guardian, their current address and contact details for a landlord or real estate agent.
    • payslips from an NT employer showing the name of the parent or guardian and the employer's name or ABN Number.
  • the child's full birth certificate issued by their state or country of birth. If the overseas birth certificate is in a language other than English, you must include an original translation of the certificate by a certified translating agency.
  • either proof of citizenship or permanent residency status in Australia for the parent or guardian.

Change your child’s birth certificate to their new name

If your child was born in the NT, you can change their birth certificate to show their new name by ticking the relevant box on the application form.

You will also need to return the previously issued birth certificate.

Not born in the NT

If your child was not born in the NT, you can ask the Births, Deaths and Marriages office to tell the child's home state or territory about the change of name

You will need to contact the home state or territory’s Births, Deaths and Marriages office to arrange payment for this.

Lost or misplaced change of name certificate

If you have previously registered a change of name for your child in the NT and need another change of name certificate, you should do the following:

Step 1. Fill in the application for certified copy of name change (50.3 kb).

Step 2. Provide identity documents. 

Step 3. Pay the fee.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017