Getting Married in Australia
You will find information about getting married in Australia on the Australian Attorney-General's Department's Marriage Celebrants Program website.
You will need to file a completed Notice of Intended Marriage form to an authorized marriage celebrant within six months of your proposed marriage and no later than one month and one day prior.
You can download the form from the website above.
All marriage celebrants should have all the necessary paper work to perform your marriage. When meeting with your celebrant, ensure that you have all your required documentation with you; for example, birth certificates (original) and evidence that any prior marriage has been dissolved. Prescribed authorities (usually magistrates or registry officials) can shorten the required period of notice if they are satisfied that the circumstances justify so doing.
The date of receipt of the Notice of Intended Marriage cannot be backdated. Solemnising a marriage without giving proper prior notice is an offence that attracts a penalty of a fine or 6 months' imprisonment (Section 104). Any celebrant who signs a document knowing that it contains false information will be asked to show cause why he or she should not be revoked.
A Notice of Intended Marriage form can be lodged from overseas as long as it has been signed in the presence of:
- an Australian Diplomatic Officer,
- an Australian Consular Officer,
- an employee of the Commonwealth authorized under paragraph 3 (c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955,
- an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorized under paragraph 3 (d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or
- a notary public.
When the signature of one party to an intended marriage cannot conveniently be obtained, one party may sign and lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form, but the other party must also sign the form in the presence of an authorized celebrant before the marriage takes place.
To have it signed in the presence of an Australian consular or diplomatic officer, please call to make an appointment at the mission most convenient for you. It does not have to be the mission with consular jurisdiction over your State.
As at 1 September 2012, the prescribed fee is USD21 for each signature witnessed.
If you cannot readily visit the Embassy of Australia or a consulate-general, a Notary Public under United States law may witness your signature. Australian Honorary Consuls are not authorized for this purpose.