Legal change of name

Legal name change for child over 12 months

You can apply to change the name of a child over 12 months old, if:

  • you’re their parents or guardians
  • they were born in the Northern Territory (NT) or overseas.

If the child was born interstate, you must apply in that state or territory.

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

One parent can apply if:

  • only one parent is named on the child’s birth certificate
  • the other parent 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
  • can’t be found
  • can’t exercise their parental responsibility.

If the child was not born in the NT, you must provide the following with your application:

  • proof of residency in the NT for 12 consecutive months, such as:
    • bank statements showing transactions in the NT, the names of the parents or guardians and a current address
    • Power and Water bills showing the names of the parents or guardians, their current address and proof of payment
    • payslips from an NT employer showing the names of the parents or guardians and the employer's name or ABN number
  • their birth certificate issued by their country of birth - if it’s not in English, you must include a translation of the certificate by a certified translating agency
  • proof of citizenship or permanent residency status in Australia for the parents or guardians.

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

Step 1. Fill in the application

If your child was born:

Step 2. Choose to change birth certificate to new name

If the child was born in the NT, you can change their birth certificate to their new name.

To do this, you must:

  • give consent on on your application
  • return the previously issued birth certificate.

If you can't provide their previous birth certificate, fill in and attach the statutory declaration.

Statutory declaration PDF (84.2 KB)
Statutory declaration DOCX (15.5 KB)

If your child was not born in the NT, contact the Births, Deaths and Marriages office where the child was born.

Step 3. Sign the application in front of a witness

The application must be signed by:

  • both parents or guardians
  • any other person with an interest in the name change
  • the child if they’re over 14 years old.

All signatures should be signed in front of a witness over 18 years old.

Step 4. Submit your application and supporting documents

You must submit your application with the following, by mail or in person to a Births, Deaths and Marriages office:

  • proof of identity documents for both parents or guardians and any other person with an interest
  • a court order or proof of guardianship authorising the change of name by guardians (if applicable)
  • evidence of any previous name changes for the child (if applicable)
  • a detailed reason for changing the child’s name  - statements like ‘we want to’ and ‘personal’ are not acceptable
  • statutory declaration (if applicable)
  • payment for the change of name fee - check the fee
  • supporting documents if the child is born overseas.

To apply as one parent or guardian, follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the application

If your child was born:

Step 2. Choose to change birth certificate to new name

If the child was born in the NT, you can change their birth certificate to their new name.

To do this, you must:

  • give consent on on your application
  • return the previously issued birth certificate.

If you can't provide their previous birth certificate, fill in and attach the statutory declaration.

Statutory declaration PDF (84.2 KB)
Statutory declaration DOCX (15.5 KB)

If your child was not born in the NT, contact the Births, Deaths and Marriages office where the child was born.

Step 3. Sign the application in front of a witness

All signatures must be signed in front of a witness over 18 years old and must be done by:

  • one parent or guardian
  • any other person with an interest in the name change
  • the child if they’re over 14 years old.

Step 4. Submit your application and supporting documents

You must submit your application with all of the following, in person or by mail to a Births, Deaths and Marriages office:

  • proof of identity documents for the parent or guardian and any other person with an interest
  • evidence of any previous name changes for the child (if applicable)
  • a court order, death certificate or proof of guardianship authorising the change of name by one parent or guardian (if applicable)
  • a detailed reason for changing the child’s name - statements like ‘I want to’ and ‘personal’ are not acceptable
  • statutory declaration (if applicable)
  • payment for the change of name fee - check the fee
  • supporting documents if the child is born overseas.

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Last updated: 31 August 2022

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