Guide To Pre-Marriage Paperwork In Australia

Apart from being married in the best country in the world (call me biased), all Australian wedding ceremonies have one thing in common; legal paperwork!  Whether you choose to enjoy a religious or civil ceremony, an intimate elopement or short & sweet legals only ceremony, the same legal paperwork is required for all.

first things first

To be legally married in Australia, you must
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Not be married to someone else
  • Understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
  • Not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • Use specific words during the ceremony
  • Provide your registered marriage celebrant with written notice of your intention to marry (NOIM) within the required time frame
  • Have witnesses over the age of 18 present at your ceremony

The documents you need & where to find them

Identity Documents

You will need to provide me with evidence of your date and place of birth, identity and the end of any previous marriages for each party. I may also ask you to complete a statutory declaration to support your evidence.



  • Australian passorts can be obtained for a fee through the Australian Passport Office. You should allow approximately three weeks to receive your new passport once your application is successfully lodged.  If you’re in a hurry to leave the country for a fancy elopement or honeymoon overseas, you can take advantage of the priority processing service offered for an additional fee.


If either of you were married previously, you will both need to provide me with proof of divorce in the form of a Divorce Certificate or a Decree Absolute or a death certificate.


  • You can only obtain proof of divorce if your divorce has been granted and finalised. A divorce is finalised one month and one day after it is granted unless there are special circumstances and a court order is made to bring the finalisation date forward. Once your divorce is finalised you can print a digital divorce order from the Commonwealth Courts Portal on the next working day. Divorce orders from 13/2/2010 are digital orders with an electronic seal and signature.
  • To find out whether your divorce has been finalised. You will need to provide your full name, date of birth and the full name of the other party so we can verify your identity. You should also provide your file number if you know it.
  • The process of requesting proof of divorce records is different depending on where and when your divorce was granted. You can find out more on the Federal Circuit Court Of Australia website.


  • Similarly to birth certificates, death certificates can be obtained though an online application, in person or by post.  To find out more, go to the RBDM website.  Funeral directors will register the death and apply for a standard death certificate on your behalf when you organise the funeral.


You will need to complete a statutory declaration. As a qualified Justice of the Peace, I can assist you with your stat dec.


  • It’s essential that a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form is completed and lodged a least one month and no more than eighteen months before your wedding date.  I can provide this for you or you can obtain a NOIM from the Attorney-General’s Department.
  • What is a NOIM? In short, it’s a super important legal document the government requires and without it, you can not legally marry.
    The long answer – Section 42 of the Marriage Act 1961 (the Act) requires that a marriage shall not be solemnised unless a notice in writing of the intended marriage, in the prescribed form, is given to the authorised celebrant solemnising the marriage. This Notice is the prescribed form for this purpose.

Important to remember

  • Under Australian law, we are entitled to marriage equality in Australia
  • I must receive your completed Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) at least one month, and no more than 18 months before your chosen wedding date
  • Civil and religious marriage celebrants must be Commonwealth-registered to solemnise marriages in Australia
  • If you or your partner are not 18 years old, a court must approve a marriage where one party is aged between 16 and 18 years old
  • If there is less than one month before your wedding, a prescribed authority may approve a shorter notice time in some limited circumstances. Let me know if this applies to you and I will provide you with detailed information to get the ball rolling