What is the process?
Since 1 July 2014, a new system called LifeLink, introduced by the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages in NSW, allows celebrants the option of lodging online the official paperwork for each marriage they have conducted in NSW so they can be officially registered. As per the Marriage Act 1961, this must occur within two weeks of the marriage. The paperwork includes a scanned copy of the Notice of Intended Marriage, the Declaration of No Impediment to Marriage and the official Certificate of Marriage after the marriage has occurred plus any other necessary documents such as Statutory Declarations, Certificate of Faithful Performance By Interpreter, Shortening of Time Approval and Court Orders or Consents. Authorised Celebrants in NSW are also required to keep an online copy of their notification and a hard copy of the original documents for a period of seven years after the marriage has occurred or mail the original documents to Births Deaths & Marriages in NSW.
A Celebrant living in NSW but conducting ceremonies in other states of Australia would mail the original documents to Births Deaths & Marriages in the relevant state within two weeks of the marriage occurring so they can be officially registered.
Do we need an official Certificate of Marriage?
If a couple choose to purchase an official Certificate of Marriage, this new system also allows celebrants to order this, for a fee, at the same time they lodge the paperwork online. As well as being official proof that the marriage occurred, if the bride chooses to change her name after her marriage, an official Certificate of Marriage will be required should she wish to order a passport or should she choose to change her name on her driver’s licence after her marriage has occurred or, indeed, when her driver’s licence comes up for renewal. Your bank and Medicare will also need to sight your official marriage certificate in order to change your name on their records.
Many other organisations will accept a couple’s Certificate of Marriage (the decorative one which your celebrant will provide on your wedding day) as proof that a marriage occurred but some may also state that they will need to sight your official Certificate of Marriage or a copy that has been certified by a Justice of the Peace before a change of name can occur in their records.
While not all celebrants will choose to use the new online system, I have made the choice to lodge all official paperwork in this way for each couple I marry in NSW as it speeds up the registration process. As such, I am also able to order online an official Certificate of Marriage plus the option of a commemorative Certificate of Marriage for each couple, if they require one, for the same fee that they would pay if they were to do it themselves at a later date.
If you would like me to do this on your behalf, I can arrange for a standard Certificate of Marriage (with the security features built in) to be sent direct to you. BDM will charge $56 including postage for this. If you’d prefer to purchase a standard Certificate of Marriage, plus your choice of one of 15 styles of commemorative certificates, I can order both to be sent direct to you. BDM will charge an additional $25 for the commemorative certificate, making a total of $81 for both certificates. Payment can be made to me via cash, cheque or EFT and I will then order your certificate/s online using my credit card details.
The standard certificate will arrive by registered mail, usually within 2-6 working days of the order being placed. The commemorative certificate will arrive separately via normal mail. Standard certificates are A4 or 210mm x 297mm in size. Commemorative certificates come in a framing size of 279mm x 355mm and are wrapped in tissue paper and packed in a protective cylinder.
Should couples marrying in NSW choose to order for themselves, at a later date, an official Certificate of Marriage with the option of a commemorative Certificate of Marriage, they will need to complete the form provided in the first link below and supply at least three forms of identification from the list of categories provided when they lodge their application. This can be done in person at various locations noted in the second link below entitled “Forms Fees & Turnaround” or by mail or online.
Further information on the 15 styles of commemorative certificates available in NSW as well as the application form required to order standard and commemorative Certificates of Marriage can be found at http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/Documents/apply-for-marriage-certificate.pdf
If you are married in Qld, as long as either the bride or groom apply for their certificate, sign the application form and supply copies of three forms of the specified ID, I am able to include the application form for an official Certificate of Marriage with your other paperwork and send it to Births Deaths & Marriages in Qld on your behalf.
Further information on the fees, the four styles of commemorative certificates available in Qld as well as the application form required to order standard and commemorative Certificates of Marriage can be found at https://www.qld.gov.au/law/births-deaths-marriages-and-divorces/birth-death-and-marriage-certificates/marriage-certificates/applying-for-a-marriage-certificate/
If you are married in another state of Australia (not NSW or Qld) and would like to purchase an official Certificate of Marriage, you should contact the relevant registering authority for your marriage. I will discuss this with you when we meet.
What do we need to do if we’re honeymooning overseas straight after our wedding?
It is important to remember that if you are planning an overseas honeymoon straight after your wedding, the bride should book her tickets in her maiden name so that they’re consistent with the name in her passport as there won’t have been time for you to receive your official Certificate of Marriage from Births Deaths & Marriages prior to departure. It’s also a good idea to take your couple’s Certificate of Marriage with you on your honeymoon as you may be offered upgrades or extras if you show it to the hotels you’re staying at etc.
008 – 28/08/2014