Legal Requirements for Marriage in Australia

Marriageable Age in Australia

The marriageable age in Australia is 18 years for both men and women. Marriage of somebody who is 16 years but less then 18 years is possible only if the person they are marrying is 18 years or older.

In this situation, parental consent and a judge or magistrate's order are required for the minor.

Two people under 18 years of age cannot marry each other.

Notice of intended marriage form (NOIM) (form 13)

I have copies of the NOIM, or it can be downloaded from: ag.gov.au/celebrants.

The NOIM Form needs to be in my hands as your Celebrant, no later than one month and one day before the date of your marriage, but sooner is better. Please note this Form is only valid for 18 months and I must witness your signatures. The NOIM cannot ever be backdated.

The NOIM has to be signed by both parties intending to marry, and – it you cannot get to me - be witnessed by either-

  • an Authorised Celebrant
  • a Commissioner for Declarations
  • an Australian Consular Officer
  • an Australian Diplomatic Officer
  • an Australian Justice of the Peace
  • Referral to relationship education.
  • an Australian Barrister or Solicitor
  • an Australian legally qualified Medical Practitioner
  • a member of the Australian Federal Police
  • a member of a Police Force of a State or Territory of Australia
  • a Notary Public

Documents to bring with you – If born in Australia

Original birth certificates

These are to be viewed by the Marriage Celebrant, reference numbers recorded and not kept.

Divorce

If you have been married before, proof of divorce needs to be shown. Note : From February 2010 the current Certificate of Divorce will be replaced by a Divorce Order which records all the matters considered by the judicial officer in pronouncing the order. Again the original needs to be sighted by the Celebrant.

Death certificate

If widowed, the original death certificate needs to be sighted by the Celebrant.

Change of name certificate

Legal proof of any name change to be obtained from Births, Deaths & Marriages. Original documents must be produced.

Documents to bring with you – If born Overseas

If you are a visitor to Australia and not an Australian citizen you can be married by submitting a NOIM to me one month and one day before the wedding.

You can complete the NOIM and have your signature witnessed in the presence of:

  • an Australian Embassy Official
  • an Australian Consular Officer
  • a Notary Public

The Official must stamp the document and date it, then you can forward to me with photocopies of all relevant documents to get to me at least one month and a day before the ceremony. Bring the originals with you before the ceremony.

Original birth certificates

You will both need to provide your Birth Certificate/Extract from your country of origin. If unable to do so, you will need to lodge a Statutory Declaration and provide a secondary form of identification, such as your passport.

If born overseas, a resident of Australia and unable to produce a Birth Certificate the Celebrant has to sight a Passport (an out of date one is acceptable),and have the client sign a Statutory Declaration in the Celebrants presence as to the reason for not being able to produce the documents.

Divorce

Proof of divorce needs to be shown. Again the original needs to be sighted by me. Absolute date is required.

Death certificate

If widowed, the original death certificate needs to be shown to me.

Change of name certificate

Legal proof of any name change required. Original must be produced.

Official consent if under age of 18

If one of the couple is not 18 years of age, official consent if required.

Translation Services

Note: If any documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a Certified Translated Copy.

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters can be contacted in Western Australia at:
NAATI (naati.com.au)
Suite 5/72 Canning Highway, Victoria Park WA 6100
Ph: +61 8 9472 3588
Fax: +61 8 9472 5433
Office Hours: 8:30am to 12:30pm Monday to Thursday

Immigration and Citizenship

Contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for any further advice on long term stay in Australia at immi.gov.au/contacts.

If Marrying Overseas

If you are planning to marry overseas you will need to supply a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. This is available from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at dfat.gov.au.

Shortening of Time from Lodgement

It is possible to shorten the minimum notice time required for a marriage to less than a month only in special circumstances. Contact the office of Birth, Deaths and Marriage at bdm.dotag.wa.gov.au for information. Criteria includes employment and/or health issues, however shortening of time is not automatic.

Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages

Hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm
Level 10 / 141 St Georges Terrace, PERTH WA 6000
Telephone: 1300 305 021 Facsimile: (08) 9264 1599

Legal requirements On the Day

There are mandatory elements in a wedding ceremony

  • Inclusion of the full names of the couple being wed
  • Monitum from the marriage act to be read by the Celebrant
  • The signing of all certificates on the day
  • Statement of Intent by both the couple

By law, two witnesses who are over the age of 18 are required to witness your wedding ceremony and then sign the Marriage Certificate on the day.

There are three documents for the Bride, Groom, two witnesses and the Celebrant to sign:

  • Certificate of Marriage with the declaration on the reverse.
  • Another Certificate of Marriage—kept as the Register.
  • The signing of all certificates on the day
  • Marriage Certificate—for the couple to keep