All Australian citizens or permanent residents are legally entitled by common law to commence using a ‘preferred’ name at any time without formal process. That means that if your name is Joshua Withers then you could just decide to call yourself Thor McThorcyFace today and you don’t need to fill out any forms or pay any money.

But there are some elements of life that require proof of identity, your name being part of that identity, and before you’re married you probably have a name given to you by your parents and that’s recorded on your birth certificate, and that name then makes its way to your drivers license and passport, and because it’s on those documents, you can have bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, and Video Ezy memberships.

So then if one day you, either of you, and regardless of gender, or bride-ness, get married, you have the choice to keep your name as it stands – because you couldn’t be bothered telling the Video Ezy staff to send your overdue fees to a different email address – or you can unify under the one umbrella last name.

The drivers license people, passport office, and then the bank, medicare, and Video Ezy staff will want to see proof of that change of name, and when you get married in Australia, that’s your Official Certificate of Marriage. If you look at the certificate us celebrants give you you’ll notice it’s missing the word Official at the start.

Where do you get an official certificate from? The Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the Australian state you were married in. Not the state you live in, but the one you were married in.

Take the certificate to the passport and drivers license people and they’ll change it for you, then the Video Ezy staff should be ok with sighting the new license.

Also, you’ve got two options, you can drop your last name and take the other person’s, or you can get out a hyphen and bang the two names together.

If you want to do anything fancier you’ll have to ask the BDM people for the forms and fees.