Thursday, April 2, 2015

Latest News for Marriage Celebrants

Provided by AssentTECS

Advice on the use of your marriage forms:
We’ve had lots of celebrants wondering about what to do with their current stock of forms….

NOIMs received from couples prior to 31 December 2014 are okay and will be accepted by BDMs from 1 January 2015, BUT any couple who lodge a NOIM with a celebrant from 1 January 2015 must be on the new NOIM. These are easy to download from the AGD’s website.

Form 15 certificate of marriage given to couples immediately after the ceremony – has not been changed.

ALL OTHER MARRIAGE FORMS AND CERTIFICATES were superseded from 1 January 2015. The old forms are to be discarded and new forms used.

The ONE exception is the celebrant’s red Marriage Register containing the duplicate Official Certificate of Marriage (previously called Form 16). Because of the cost of the Marriage Registers, celebrants can continue to use their existing Marriage Register until all certificates have been used, then you are to purchase a new Marriage Register (which will contain the new type certificates). However, the Official Certificate of Marriage which is sent to BDM to register the marriage (loose form, on reverse side of the Declarations of no legal impediment (formerly called Form 14 Declarations) is to be the revised certificate.

Stronger Relationships trial ended 9/2/15
Sadly, the government retired this trial that offered subsidies for relationship education on 9 February 2015 although it was meant to continue to 30 June 2015. The government has agreed to honour the $200 subsidy until this time for couples who registered prior to 9th February 2015 and said "...only around 10,000 couples had registered...and only one third of these had gone on to attend a relationship education or counselling service....". They have decided to reinvest the $17 million in savings into essential frontline services under the DSS grants scheme, according to Minister Scott Morrison. AssentTECS Autumn newsletter April 2015

Queensland BDM has a new web address:

From Karen McLeod Queensland BDM:
I would advise, with regard to the usage of surname post marriage ceremony, if the bride wishes to assume another surname other than her husband’s surname, e.g. she chooses to assume a combination of her husband’s surname and her registered birth surname, then she would need to adhere to the requirements of the agency that she is dealing with to change her identity documents.

It is my current understanding that those agencies who issue photo ID, such as the Australian Passport Office and the Department of Transport, require to sight the official Certificate of Marriage issued by a Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) Office as proof that the bride has changed her surname. If she has assumed her husband’s surname, then the official Certificate of Marriage is sufficient.

However, if she assumes a combination surname, then those agencies will require her to take an additional step, by presenting to them a BDM issued document that states the surname she has assumed, that is, either a Birth Certificate showing a change of surname notation, or a Change of Name Certificate.

To achieve this, the bride would need to make application to the appropriate BDM Office in the State/Territory where she is born in Australia.

If the bride is born outside of Australia, then she would need to consult with the BDM Office in the State/Territory where she is resident to make enquiries if she is eligible to make application to change her name. A list of BDM Offices and contact details can be found in the Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961 for Marriage Celebrants on pages 122 to 125, which includes our website addresses.

I would also advise that Celebrants be aware of the following list of most common errors made on the Official Certificate of Marriage submitted to BDM Brisbane:

*Witnesses names are illegible – need to be preferably typed, or if handwritten, then printed neatly and clearly showing both witnesses names in full i.e their first name, middle name(if applicable),and their surname

*Place of marriage is incomplete – need to state place of event in full, not just the suburb, or town/city

*Place of birth of Groom and Bride is incomplete – need to state in full as per sighted on the birth certificate or passport i.e. town/city, state/province (if applicable), and country {N.B. United Kingdom (UK) is NOT a country so should be entered as either England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland}

*Celebrants name is incomplete – need to be preferably typed, or handwritten, in full i.e. first name, middle name (if applicable), and surname AssentTECS Autumn newsletter April 2015

I would also remind Celebrants to lodge your marriage registration paperwork with this Office (if conducted in Qld) within 14 days after the ceremony, that is, both the Notice of Intent to Marry (NOIM) + Official Certificate of Marriage (COM). If Celebrants would like this Office to acknowledge receipt of their paperwork, they can also include a self-addressed stamped envelope, referencing the names of the groom and bride, so that we can date stamp and return to them. This Office will not acknowledge via email due to limited resources.

If Celebrants conduct a marriage interstate, I would also remind them to forward the NOIM + COM to the BDM Office in the State/Territory where the event occurred.

The current processing times for BDM Brisbane is approx. 10- 20 working days, however if a request for urgent processing is made, provided the NOIM + COM and the completed Marriage Certificate Application form + proof of urgency is lodged together, then this Office will endeavour to finalise the marriage registration within 3- 5 working days. Please be aware that the Marriage Certificate Application form should be completed and signed by either the bride or groom (not the Celebrant).

It would be appreciated if the above instruction/information could be included in your next Newsletter, and I would be agreeable, on behalf of this Office, for you to acknowledge the source.


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