When my husband swears in Afrikaans it’s usually because of a bad decision in rugby or cricket. Or something else that has annoyed him.
He looked at my new passport photos recently, taken so I could have my surname changed over on my existing passport, and started swearing in Afrikaans.
‘No, you will need to get new ones,’ he said. The photos were that bad.
When I told him my application had gone in already, with those photos, more swearing followed. Then we both burst out laughing. It had been violently windy the day I had the photos taken and I look like the wreck of the Hesperus with my hair wild and windblown. Literally. However, I can tell you that the windswept look does not translate well to passport photos.
My reason for relating this story is the issue of gaining a new passport after a change of name when you marry. The Australian Government allows you to change your name on your existing passport for free, did you know?
It used to be for a set period of time and I'm not sure if that has changed. I applied to change my name on my passport just days before my first wedding anniversary and it was still free then.
To change your name on your passport you need to have a registered marriage certificate that forms the paper trail between the identity you were when you married and the identity you have now if you've changed surnames. Registered certificates are obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages after the marriage has been registered.
When you have all the necessary documents, go the passport renewal page, which is found at:
Once all the information is entered you will be able to print out a page and it will tell you to take it and the nominated documents to a post office to complete the process. It's best to make an appointment to do this at the post office as it's a complicated process and most post offices prefer to know in advance that you're coming to do a passport process.
As part of this you will need new passport photos for the new passport. Don't make the mistake I did of wearing my hair down on a windy day! I can't decide if my new photos look like a mugshot or something from Halloween! As one of my Facebook friends commented: "There's always the chance they will reject them if not exactly to their specs." Here's hoping, hey? Ha ha!
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