Marriage Certificates in Australia
Most people think of their official Marriage Certificate as the one they receive on their wedding day. Actually, the number of Marriage Certificates signed at a wedding varies depending on who officiates at the wedding ceremony. For example, there are only two Marriage Certificates at State Registry Office Wedding.
There are three Marriage Certificates at a civil or religious weddings. A Commonwealth-registered Marriage Celebrant (CMC), or a designated person of a religious organisation approved by the Australian government officiates at these wedding ceremonies.
- The first Marriage Certificate is in the Marriage Register book which I keep securely as the authorised Celebrant. This certificate contains all the personal identity details of the Bride and Groom, including their birth dates.
- The second Marriage Certificate is the Presentation or Ceremonial Marriage Certificate and this is the certificate that I present to the Bride and Groom at the end of the ceremony.
This certificate is a legal document, however it does not prove identity as it does not show the birth dates. This certificate does ‘prove that the persons named were married at a given place on a given date.’
- The third Marriage Certificate is the Official Marriage Certificate. This certificate contains all the personal identity details of the Bride and Groom, including their birth dates.
The Commonwealth-registered Marriage Celebrant (CMC), or a designated person of an Australian government approved religious organisation, submits this third certificate to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State/Territory where you marry. I send this certificate as soon as possible after the wedding ceremony.
Legal Document of Identity
The legal document that not only establishes your identity but also shows the details of your marriage, is the copy of the Official Marriage Certificate certified by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry of the States/Territory where you marry. There is a charge for this certificate and prices do vary across State Registries. This Registry Certified Copy of Marriage Certificate is the legal document that establishes your identity and shows the details of your marriage.
Finally, State Registries offer a decorative, Commemorative Certificate for a fee. This certificate is for display purposes only and is neither a legal document nor a proof of identity document.
How many Marriage Certificates do you need or want?
So, how many certificates do you need or want? That is up to you! If you want a certificate that you can use to change your name, then you need the copy of Official Marriage Certificate certified by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry of the States/Territory where you marry.