Applying  for  Standard  Marriage  Certificate

From the website of the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages: “You can use a standard marriage certificate as proof of your wedding for official purposes, such as changing your name on a passport or driver licence. [...] On your wedding day you are given a certificate known as a “party certificate”. Most of the time, you cannot use this certificate for official purposes. Instead, you need to apply for a Registry-issued standard marriage certificate.”

This must be certified by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The standard certificate is a marriage certificate containing the Registration Number of the marriage, stamped by the Registry and certified by the Registrar. Australian citizens/residents will use this standard certificate as proof of their marriage for legal and ID purposes; they do not need to have the certificate apostilled or authenticated.

Non-resident couples (visitors to Australia, students on an Australian Visa, etc.) married in Australia will need the standard certified marriage certificate that has – in addition – been legalised (Apostille or Authentication) to ensure the certificate is recognised as an official document by foreign governemnts. This is in order for their marriage to be recognised in their country.

  • The certified standard marriage certificate is issued (upon application) from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Fee as of 27ᵗʰ July 2018 is AUD AUD $33.00. You should apply for this standard certificate yourself; if you are unable to do so, you may ask your celebrant to organise this for you. (Please note: charges may apply.) The timeframe for processing applications for marriage certificates as of is 27ᵗʰ July 2018 is 10 business days (20 business days if processing time for new marriage is required by the BDM) from the date that BDM receives all paperwork from the marriage celebrant. This turnaround time does not include mail delivery time. Remember to add postage time from the BDM (up to 6 days via Australia post within Australia; 1-2 business days for Express Courier International; 2-4 business days for Express Post International; 10+ business days for Standard International). Pickup from the Registry (see address below) is also available once the marriage has been registered.
  • For couples who need to obtain their standard marriage certificate more quickly, the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages offers a priority service for marriage registrations. Fee as of 27ᵗʰ July 2018 is AUD AUD $120.00. Timeframe to assess marriage documents submitted by a marriage celebrant to register the marriage as from 27ᵗʰ July 2018 is 5 business days from the date that BDM receives all paperwork from the marriage celebrant. The certificate will be issued immediately upon completion of the marriage registration (where a certificate has been ordered and payment made). The certificate can be picked up from the Registry (see address below) by the bride or groom, or if postage is requested it will be delivered by standard mail unless otherwise requested. (The service commitment does not include mail delivery time.)
Postage cost for Standard Certificate of Marriage
Postal charges - Australia
Standard Post$1.00
Registered Mail (Standard)$7.40
Express Post$7.80
Postal charges - Outside Australia
Airmail$3.70
Express courier international$52.80
Prices are subject to change. Current fees may be confirmed at bdm.vic.gov.au/fees

How to obtain the marriage certificate

  • ONLINE: You can order the certificate 💻 online. You will need to either MAIL your certified copies of PROOF OF IDENTITY to the Registry, OR go IN PERSON with your original copies of PROOF OF IDENTITY to the Registry. Mailing address is:
    ✉ Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
    GPO Box 4332
    Melbourne, Victoria, 3001
    Australia.

    Your application will begin to be processed once all required information and the required payment have been received by the Registry. The certificate will be mailed to you according to the postage method you select in the application, or can be collected after registration is complete.
  • IN PERSON: You can go in person to the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to lodge your application. The address is:
    🚶 Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
    Ground Floor
    595 Collins Street
    Melbourne.

    Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. You will need PROOF OF IDENTITY with you.
    When applying in person at the Registry, you should bring the original documents, not photocopies. (You can complete the application as a downloadable pdf and bring it with you, or fill out an application at the Registry.) The certificate will be mailed to you according to the postage method you select in the application.
  • IN PERSON at a JUSTICE SERVICE CENTRE: You can lodge your application in person to a Justice Service Centre (🚶 full list of Justice Service Centres in Victoria). Opening hours vary. You will need PROOF OF IDENTITY with you.
    When applying in person at a JSO (Justice Service Centre), bring both the original documents and photocopies of the original documents so that they can be certified. (You can complete the application as a downloadable pdf and bring it with you, or fill out an application at the JSO.) The certificate will be mailed to you according to the postage method you select in the application.
  • BY MAIL: You can fill out the APPLICATION FOR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE (downloadable pdf from the Victorian Government’s Justice website) and send it, together with CERTIFIED COPIES of the required Proof of Identity, to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The postal address is
    ✉ Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
    GPO Box 4332
    Melbourne, Victoria, 3001
    Australia.

    The certificate will be mailed to you according to the postage method you select in the application.
  • BY ASKING YOUR CELEBRANT TO OBTAIN THIS ON YOUR BEHALF: Your celebrant can on your behalf fill out an APPLICATION FOR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE from the Victorian Government's Justice website), but will need your consent to do so. You can authorise your celebrant to make the application for you by giving written consent or authority (including your name, address, daytime phone number and signature) to obtain this certificate. Your celebrant will also need to obtain from you CERTIFIED COPIES of the required Proof of Identity, and to provide Proof of Identity of himself/herself. The certificate will be mailed either to you or to the celebrant according to the postage address and method selected in the application.

Having the marriage certificate legalised

If you need to present this certificate to a foreign government (as proof of your marriage), you must have the certified standard marriage certificate legalised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) so that it can be accepted as a genuine public document. Legalisation of public documents is specifically performed in Australia by the Australian Passport Office in your capital city. Additionally, since 1ˢᵗ July 2015, most Australian missions overseas have been permitted to issue Australian apostilles on original public documents. (This does not apply to Consulates headed by an Honorary Consul; if you’re not sure if this applies, check here: Australian embassies and consulates overseas: Posts headed by an Honorary Consul.)

The document (standard marriage certificate) will be legalised by having either an Apostille or an Authentication certificate stamped onto it, if the certificate is being used as proof of your marriage in another country. You can find out which by checking with your government or with the embassy and/or consulate of that country in Australia. If your country is included in this list of countries who signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, your marriage certificate must be apostilled.

Apostille prices (shown below) are current as of 27ᵗʰ July 2018.

  • AUD $81.00 – single page document
  • AUD $81.00 – multiple page document requiring binding

For other countries (including Vietnam, most of the Middle East (incl UAE and Iraq), and China – except for Hong Kong and Macau), your marriage certificate must be authenticated. Authentication prices below are current as of 27ᵗʰ July 2018.

  • AUD $81.00 – single page document
  • AUD $81.00 – multiple page document requiring binding

You will need both sides of the marriage certificate to be legalised, but DFAT has confirmed to me that the fee for this is as per a single document – that is, AUD $81.00 (apostilled) or AUD $81.00 (authenticated). Apostille and Authentication certificates are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – you can go in person to the Melbourne Passport Office or send your document by mail. Details are shown here. Download the Document Service Request Form from the Smart Traveller website.

  • IN PERSON: You can go in person to have your certificate apostilled or authenticated. The address is
    ✉ Melbourne Passport Office,
    Level 2, Collins Square,
    747 Collins Street,
    Docklands.

    (It’s about 7 minutes’s walk from Southern Cross train station.)
  • BY MAIL: You can send the certificate together with a cheque, money order or credit card details (Visa or MasterCard). You must also include a contact telephone number. The postal address is
    ✉ Australian Passport Office Authentications Section
    GPO Box 2239
    MELBOURNE VIC 3001
    AUSTRALIA

    You should also be aware that additional charges will be incurred if you are overseas and choose to receive the document by Express International Delivery.
    Postage cost for Apostilled/Authenticated documents
    I, or my representative, will collect the documentsNo charge
    I have provided a stamped, self-address envelopeNo charge
    Post my document my regular mail (domestic) or regular Air Mail (international)No charge
    Express International Delivery – prepaid envelopes*** Service available only for requests submitted by mail. See AusPost website for full zone listing.
    Zone 1: $40.70Zone 2: $41.75Zone 3: $43.10Zone 4: $46.25
    Zone 5: $44.65Zone 6: $51.40Zone 7: $53.70Zone 8: $56.55
    DFAT accepts no responsibility for documents lost in transit when using regular mail (domestic or international).
    ☎ Call 1300 935 260 (within Australia only) or 📧 email authentications@dfat.gov.au to be informed of current charges.
  • BY ASKING YOUR CELEBRANT TO DO THIS ON YOUR BEHALF: You can arrange for your celebrant to organise having your standard marriage certificate apostilled or authenticated. You are responsible for the charges involved; your celebrant will add these charges to your invoice.
  • BY BRINGING YOUR CERTIFICATE TO AN AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY/CONSULATE IN YOUR COUNTRY: Overseas, most Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates are authorised to provide legalisation of signatures and/or seals on Australian public documents (apostilles and authentications). Check with the Australian diplomatic or consular mission in your region to see if an appointment is necessary or to ask about opening hours.

How long does it take to have an apostille or authentication certified issued for the marriage certificate?

Where possible, documents will be processed on the same business day and either made available for collection at the time of lodgement, or shortly thereafter. Where this is not possible, DFAT will notify you and either keep the document for collection the next business day, or offer to post it to your nominated address.

PROOF OF IDENTITY (required by Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages)

If you live in Australia and have a current Medicare card and a current driver licence (if your residential address is shown on your driver licence), that will be sufficient to prove your identity for the purpose of obtaining your standard marriage certificate.

Alternatively, you will need three (3) documents, one of each of the three lists below. All documents must be current.

  • You will need ONE of the following (showing both your photo and your signature):
    • Australian driver licence (or learner permit)
    • Australian passport
    • Australian firearm licence
    • Overseas passport
  • You will ALSO need ONE of the following (showing evidence that you live in the community):
    • Medicare card
    • Credit card or ATM card
    • Australian security guard or crowd controller licence
    • Marriage Certificate issued by the Victorian Registry
    • Student or tertiary identity card
    • Australian Citizenship Certificate
    • Standard Birth Certificate issued in Australia
    • Department of Veterans’ Affairs card
    • Working with Children Check card
  • THIRDLY, you will also need ONE of the following (showing evidence of your current residential address):
    • Australian driver licence (or learner permit)
    • Utility account (including gas, water, electricity, mobile or home phone)
    • Rates notice.
    • Centrelink concession card (Pension Concession Card, Health Care Card or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card)
    • Bank statement (including passbook, credit, savings or cheque accounts)
    • Current lease or tenancy agreement
    • Superannuation fund statement
    Printed versions of online statements need to have an official company letterhead or be stamped and approved by that company.

Applying from outside Australia?

If you live outside Australia, you can provide overseas equivalents to Australian identity documents, such as a foreign driver licence. That is, you must provide a document showing both your photo and signature, a document showing evidence that you live in the community, and a document showing evidence of your current residential address.

You may have photocopies of your identity documents certified by an Australian consulate or embassy official, a Notary Public or a local member of police.

If any identity documents are not written in English, you must also provide a certified translation. The Registry will only accept translations by National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

¹ All proof of identity documents, except foreign passports, must be current.
² Bank statements, utility accounts, rates notices or superannuation fund statements must have been issued within the last 12 months. Printed versions of online statements need to have an official company letterhead or be stamped and approved by that company.
³ ALL photocopied documents sent by mail with your application MUST be certified by either a sworn member of the police or a Justice of the Peace located in a police station.

 

 

 

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