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The legalities of Marrying in Australia How to Apply for a Notice of Intended Marriage NOIM

The legalities of Marrying in Australia: How to Apply for a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

It’s all very exciting planning your wedding, but without following the legalities of marrying in Australia, you’ll end up with a brilliant party but no spouse! Australia’s legal marriage requirements are fairly simple, there is no requirement to obtain a marriage licence to get married. Instead, couples must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with a registered celebrant at least one month before the wedding.

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The Legalities of Marrying in Australia (Including Elopements)

In summary, to legally marry in Australia, you must meet certain requirements regarding age, relationship, notice of intended marriage, identification, marriage celebrant, witnesses, and ceremony. Same-sex is also legal in Australia and our vendors, venues and celebrants welcome gay couples to marry here.

Australia, marriage is governed by the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) and the Marriage Regulations 2017 (Cth). The legal requirements for marrying in Australia are as follows:

  1. Age: Both parties must be at least 18 years old. If one party is 16 or 17 years old, you may be able to marry with the consent of a parent or guardian, but you must apply to the Magistrate’s Court for permission.
  2. Consent: Both parties must freely and willingly consent to the marriage.
  3. Relationship: You cannot marry a close family member, such as a parent, grandparent, child, or sibling. You also must not be in a legal civil union or other marriage, including overseas marriages (talk to a family lawyer if you are unsure)
  4. Notice of Intended Marriage: You must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with a registered celebrant at least one month before the wedding. The NOIM is valid for up to 18 months.
  5. Identification: You must provide proof of your identity, such as a passport or birth certificate.
  6. Divorce: If you have been previously married, you must provide evidence of the dissolution of that marriage, such as a divorce certificate.
  7. Ceremony: The marriage must be performed by a registered celebrant and in the presence of two witnesses who are over 18 years old.

Once these legal requirements are met, the celebrant will provide a Marriage Certificate which is a legal record of the marriage. It is important to note that same-sex marriage is legal in Australia and the requirements are the same for all couples.

Same Sex Marriage Legalised in Australia

Same-sex marriage was legalized in Australia on December 9, 2017, when the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 was passed by the Australian Parliament. The Act amended the Marriage Act 1961 to redefine marriage as “the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.

This change allowed same-sex couples to marry and enjoy the same legal recognition and protections as opposite-sex couples in Australia. The legislation came into effect on December 9, 2017, and since then, thousands of same-sex couples have been able to marry in Australia, with exactly the same legalities.

How to Apply for a Notice of Intended Marriage in Australia

It is extremely important that you apply for your NOIM with plenty of time. Unless special permission is given by a prescribed authority, a marriage may not be solemnised within one calendar month after the date of lodgement of the Notice. 

To apply for a NOIM, you will need to:

  1. Book a registered celebrant: You can find a celebrant on the Australian Government’s Marriage Celebrants website or by contacting your state or territory’s registry of births, deaths, and marriages.
  2. Gather your documents: You will need to provide proof of your identity, such as a passport or birth certificate, and evidence of the dissolution of any previous marriages, such as a divorce certificate.
  3. Complete the NOIM: The NOIM is a form that includes personal details about both parties, such as full name, date of birth, and occupation.
  4. Lodge the NOIM: The NOIM must be lodged with the celebrant at least one month before the wedding. If you are unable to lodge the NOIM in person, you can post it to the celebrant, but you must provide certified copies of your identity documents.
  5. Wait for confirmation: Once the NOIM has been lodged, the celebrant will confirm the details and provide a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. This declaration confirms that both parties are free to marry and is usually provided one week before the wedding.

It’s important to note that the NOIM is valid for up to 18 months, so it’s possible to lodge the form well in advance of the wedding. However, the wedding must take place within this 18-month period, otherwise, a new NOIM will need to be lodged.

The NOIM does not vary State to State and can be found here, or at the Australian High Commission, the Australian Consulate-General, their Australian marriage celebrant, or the Australian Births, Deaths and Marriages office in the State or Territory where they intend to get married. 

For New Zealanders wishing to marry in Australia, the Notice of Intended Marriage should be completed and witnessed by any New Zealand notary public (listed in the New Zealand Yellow Pages), or an Australian Diplomatic or Consular Officer at the Australian High Commission in Wellington or the Australian Consulate-General in Auckland. Both parties to the intended marriage must be present at the appointment and the Notice cannot be witnessed by mail. View the current fee

Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage

Once the NOIM has been lodged, the celebrant will confirm the details and provide a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. This declaration confirms that both parties are free to marry and is usually provided one week before the wedding. There is no “Marriage Licence” in Australia.

How to legally Register your Marriage in Australia

In Australia, registering a marriage is the responsibility of the celebrant who officiated the wedding. The celebrant must submit the necessary paperwork to the relevant state or territory’s registry of births, deaths, and marriages within 14 days of the wedding.

Once the celebrant has registered the marriage, the newly married couple can obtain a marriage certificate. To do this, you will need to contact the relevant state or territory’s registry of births, deaths, and marriages and provide them with the following information:

  1. Full names of both parties at the time of the wedding
  2. Date and place of the wedding
  3. The celebrant’s name and registration number

Depending on the state or territory, you may be able to obtain a standard marriage certificate or a commemorative certificate. Standard certificates are legal documents that are accepted by government agencies and banks, while commemorative certificates are often used as keepsakes or to commemorate special occasions.

It’s important to note that the timeframe for receiving a marriage certificate can vary depending on the state or territory, but it usually takes a few weeks to process.

Civil Union in Australia

In Australia, civil unions are not recognized as a legal relationship. Instead, couples can enter into a domestic partnership or register their relationship, depending on the state or territory in which they reside.

The process for entering into a domestic partnership or registering a relationship varies depending on the state or territory, but generally involves the following steps:

  1. Check eligibility: Eligibility requirements vary by state or territory but may include age, not being married or in another registered relationship, and not being closely related.
  2. Complete the application: You will need to complete an application form and provide proof of identity, such as a passport or driver’s license.
  3. Submit the application: You will need to submit the application form and pay any applicable fees to the relevant state or territory authority. Some states or territories may require you to provide additional documentation, such as evidence of your relationship.
  4. Wait for processing: Once your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the relevant authority. Processing times can vary, but it typically takes several weeks to several months.
  5. Receive confirmation: If your application is approved, you will receive confirmation of your domestic partnership or registered relationship. You may be issued with a certificate or registration card, depending on the state or territory.

It’s important to note that the legal recognition and rights afforded to domestic partnerships or registered relationships vary by state or territory. It’s recommended that you consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and obligations in your specific circumstances.

Changing your name after your wedding in Australia

In Australia, changing your name after your wedding is a personal choice, and not a legal requirement. If you choose to change your name, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Obtain a copy of your marriage certificate: You can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate from the relevant state or territory’s registry of births, deaths, and marriages.
  2. Update your identification documents: Once you have your marriage certificate, you can update your identification documents, such as your driver’s license, passport, and bank accounts, to reflect your new name.
  3. Update your official records: You may need to update your official records, such as your tax file number, Medicare, and electoral enrolment, to reflect your new name.
  4. Notify others of your name change: You will need to notify others, such as your employer, school, and insurance company, of your name change.

It’s important to note that there may be fees associated with updating some identification documents, and the process for updating your official records may vary depending on the organization. It’s recommended that you check with each organization to understand their specific requirements for changing your name.

Be careful when booking your honeymoon and any future international travel, because though your legal name will be both your maiden, and married name, you can only travel on the name recorded in your passport.

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