Applying  for  Standard  Marriage  Certificate

From the website of the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages:

“During the wedding ceremony, you and your witnesses signed a Commonwealth marriage certificate. This is also known as the ‘party certificate’. [...] This certificate is a memento. It is not the registered marriage certificate. Most organisations won’t accept it as official proof of marriage.
The certificate used for legal purposes is known as the ‘legal’ (or registered) marriage certificate. It is not available on your wedding day. Your celebrant registers your marriage with us after your ceremony.
You can use the [standard/legal] certificate as proof of your wedding for official purposes.”

This Standard Certificate (also known as the legal marriage certificate) must be certified by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The standard certificate is a marriage certificate containing the Registration Number of the marriage, stamped by the Registry and certified by the Registrar. Australian citizens/residents will use this standard certificate as proof of their marriage for legal and ID purposes; they do not need to have the certificate apostilled or authenticated.

Non-resident couples (visitors to Australia, students on an Australian Visa, etc.) married in Australia will need the standard certified marriage certificate that has – in addition – been legalised (Apostille or Authentication) to ensure the certificate is recognised as an official document by foreign governemnts. This is in order for their marriage to be recognised in their country.

  • The certified standard marriage certificate is issued (upon application) from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The easiest way to obtain it is by requesting that I as your marriage celebrant order this on your behalf at the time of registration. This option is only available up to the time of submitting the completed marriage details.
  • Fee as of 23ʳᵈ August 2023 is AUD $54.40. (This does not include the postage fee.) Charges for the Standard Certificate are set by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Please note that the Standard Certificate / legal certificate fee was increased from $34.30 to $51.40 as of 1 March 2022, and then subsequently to AUD $54.40.
  • You can also apply for this standard certificate yourself; however, it is more cumbersome to do so.
  • The timeframe for processing applications for a legal marriage certificate as of 23ʳᵈ August 2023 is normally 35 days (5 weeks) from the date that BDM receives all paperwork from the marriage celebrant.

    This turnaround time does not include mail delivery time. Note that domestic express postage and Express Postage International may be longer than usual, due to ongoing COVID-19 delays.
  • For couples who currently have a critical need (that is, both urgent and important) for their Standard Marriage Certificate/legal certificate, please contact the BDM at this email address to explain your situation, including evidence to support your request.
Postage cost for Standard Certificate of Marriage
Postal charges - Australia
Click and collect *
595 Collins St, Melbourne
Express Post$10.00
Postal charges - Outside Australia
International Express$54.10
* Not available until further notice during coronavirus (COVD-19) State of Emergency in Victoria
Prices are subject to change. Current fees may be confirmed at

How to obtain the marriage certificate

  • THROUGH YOUR MARRIAGE CELEBRANT DIRECTLY AFTER THE MARRIAGE: You can ask your marriage celebrant to order the legal marriage certificate for you at the time of submitting all of the documentation and details of the marriage. This cannot be done after the celebrant has begun the registration process, so you must organise this no later than the day of the marriage. You will not have to provide proof of ID by ordering the certificate in this way, as the marriage celebrant will already have satisfied him/herself of your identity for the purpose of marriage. This is the fastest and easiest method.
  • ONLINE: You yourself can order the certificate 💻 online. You will need to PROVE YOUR IDENTITY ONLINE, or UPLOAD or MAIL your certified copies of PROOF OF IDENTITY to the Registry.
    Mailing address is:
    ✉ Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
    GPO Box 4332
    Melbourne, Victoria, 3001

    Your application will begin to be processed once all required information and the required payment have been received by the Registry. The certificate will be mailed to you by domestic express post (for customers within Australia) or by Express Postage International (for customers located overseas at the time of ordering).
  • IN PERSON: NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE until further notice.

    You can go in person to the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to lodge your application. The address is:
    🚶 Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
    Ground Floor
    595 Collins Street

    Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. You will need PROOF OF IDENTITY with you.
    When applying in person at the Registry, you should bring the original documents, not photocopies. (You can complete the application as a downloadable pdf and bring it with you, or fill out an application at the Registry.) The certificate will be mailed to you according to the postage method you select in the application.
    You can lodge your application in person to a Justice Service Centre (🚶 full list of Justice Service Centres in Victoria). Opening hours vary. You will need PROOF OF IDENTITY with you.
    When applying in person at a JSO (Justice Service Centre), bring both the original documents and photocopies of the original documents so that they can be certified. (You can complete the application as a downloadable pdf and bring it with you, or fill out an application at the JSO.) The certificate will be mailed to you according to the postage method you select in the application. You CANNOT COLLECT the Marriage Certificate in person from a JSO.

Having the marriage certificate legalised

If you need to present this certificate to a foreign government (as proof of your marriage), you must have the certified standard marriage certificate legalised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) so that it can be accepted as a genuine public document. Legalisation of public documents is specifically performed in Australia by the Australian Passport Office in your capital city. Additionally, since 1ˢᵗ July 2015, most Australian missions overseas have been permitted to issue Australian apostilles on original public documents. (This does not apply to Consulates headed by an Honorary Consul; if you’re not sure if this applies, check here: Australian embassies and consulates overseas: Posts headed by an Honorary Consul.)

The document (standard marriage certificate) will be legalised by having either an Apostille or an Authentication certificate stamped onto it, if the certificate is being used as proof of your marriage in another country. You can find out which by checking with your government or with the embassy and/or consulate of that country in Australia. If your country is included in this list of countries who signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, your marriage certificate must be apostilled.

Apostille prices (shown below) are current as of 23ʳᵈ August 2023.

  • AUD $92.00 – single page document
  • AUD $92.00 – multiple page document requiring binding
Payment in Australia is by EFTPOS or credit card (Visa or MasterCard) only. Cash is not accepted in Australian passport offices.

For other countries (including Vietnam, most of the Middle East (incl UAE and Iraq), and China – except for Hong Kong and Macau), your marriage certificate must be authenticated. Authentication prices below are current as of 23ʳᵈ August 2023.

  • AUD $92.00 – single page document
  • AUD $92.00 – multiple page document requiring binding

You will need both sides of the marriage certificate to be legalised, but DFAT has confirmed to me that the fee for this is as per a single document – that is, AUD $92.00 (apostilled) or AUD $92.00 (authenticated). Apostille and Authentication certificates are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – usually you can go in person to the Melbourne Passport Office, but at present there is unprecedented demand for notarial services, and it is requested that where possible, people submit their documents by mail. Details are shown here. Download the latest Document Service Request Form from the Smart Traveller website.

  • IN PERSON by appointment ONLY: If you are given an appointment, you can go in person to have your certificate apostilled or authenticated. The address is
    ✉ Melbourne Passport Office,
    Level 2, Collins Square,
    747 Collins Street,

    (It’s about 7 minutes’s walk from Southern Cross train station.)
  • BY MAIL: You can send the original certificate together with a completed Document Legalisation Request Form which includes credit card authorisation (Visa or MasterCard). You must also include a contact telephone number. The postal address is
    ✉ Australian Passport Office Authentications Section
    GPO Box 2239

    You should also be aware that additional charges will be incurred if you are overseas and choose to receive the document by Express International Delivery.
    Postage cost for Apostilled/Authenticated documents
    I, or my representative, will collect the documentsNo charge
    I have provided a stamped, self-address envelopeNo charge
    Post my document my regular mail (domestic) or regular Air Mail (international)No charge
    Express International Delivery – prepaid envelopes*** Service available only for requests submitted by mail. See AusPost website for full zone listing.
    Zone 1: $29.80Zone 2: $33.00Zone 3: $34.95
    Zone 4: $39.75Zone 5: $44.50  
    DFAT accepts no responsibility for documents lost in transit when using regular mail (domestic or international).
    ☎ Call 1300 935 260 (within Australia only) or 📧 email to be informed of current charges.
  • BY ASKING YOUR CELEBRANT TO DO THIS ON YOUR BEHALF: You can arrange for your celebrant to organise having your standard marriage certificate apostilled or authenticated. You are responsible for the charges involved; your celebrant will add these charges to your invoice.
  • BY BRINGING YOUR CERTIFICATE TO AN AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY/CONSULATE IN YOUR COUNTRY: Overseas, most Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates are authorised to provide legalisation of signatures and/or seals on Australian public documents (apostilles and authentications). Check with the Australian diplomatic or consular mission in your region to see if an appointment is necessary or to ask about opening hours.

How long does it take to have an apostille or authentication certified issued for the marriage certificate?

Where possible, documents will be processed on the same business day and either made available for collection at the time of lodgement, or shortly thereafter. Where this is not possible, DFAT will notify you and either keep the document for collection the next business day, or offer to post it to your nominated address.

PROOF OF IDENTITY (required by Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages)

Proving your ID online

You may be able to prove your identify online. You will need two (2) forms of ID (as shown below) and a smartphone no more than 5 years old.

If you have one of the following four (4) documents –

  • an Australian passport (current or expired less than 3 years), or
  • a current foreign passport (with linked visa), or
  • an Australian birth certificate, or
  • an ImmiCard

PLUS one of the following two (2) documents –

  • current Australian drivers licence, or
  • Medicare card (only if you don’t have a drivers licence)

– that will be sufficient to prove your identity online for the purpose of obtaining your standard marriage certificate.

📱 You must also have a smartphone that is less than 5 years old. It doesn’t have to be your own phone; you can borrow one. However, you must be able to take a photo of yourself 🤳 with the phone and upload it.

Proving your ID by uploading or mailing

If you don’t have the above documents, or you don’t have access to a smartphone no more than 5 years old, or if the online method isn’t working for you (due to technical or other difficulties), you can send certified copies of your ID to the BDM, either by uploading them, or by sending them through the post.

The types of ID that can be accepted are outlined below.

If you have two (2) of the following three (3) documents – a current Australian driver licence or learner permit, a current Australian passport, or an ImmiCard (Immigration card) – that will be sufficient to prove your identity for the purpose of obtaining your standard marriage certificate. Make sure that you make copies of these and have the copies certified. Only certified copies will be accepted for the purpose of proving your identity to the BDM.

Alternatively, you will need three (3) documents from the four lists shown below. Each document must be from a different list.

  • List 1: Government issued (with photo):
    • Australian driver licence or learner permit
    • Australian passport
    • ImmiCard (Immigration Card)
  • List 2: Evidence of your involvement in the community (with photo):
    • Firearm licence
    • Foreign passport
    • Security guard/crowd control licence
    • Tertiary education institution ID card (with photo)
    • Working with Children check card
  • List 3: Government issued (no photo):
    • Birth certificate (Australian)
    • Change of name certificate (Australian)
    • Citizenship certificate (Australian)
    • Marriage certificate (Australian)
    • Medicare card
    • Visa verification (printed visa status from VEVO)
  • List 4: Evidence of your involvement in the community (no photo):
    • Centrelink card:
         ◦ Pension Concession Card
         ◦ Health Care Card
         ◦ Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
         ◦ Department of Veterans Affairs card
    • Evidence of your residential address, issued in the last 12 months:
         ◦ Lease agreement
         ◦ Rates notice
    • Documents on official company letterhead or stamped and approved by the company (issued in the last 12 months):
         ◦ Bank statement (passbook, credit, savings or cheque account)
         ◦ Superannuation fund statement
         ◦ Utility account (gas, water, electricity, mobile or home phone)

Live Overseas?

If you live outside Australia, you can provide overseas equivalents to Australian identity documents, such as a foreign driver licence. Contact the BDM to discuss which documents you can supply.

You may have photocopies of your identity documents certified by an Australian consulate or embassy official, a Notary Public or a local member of police.

If any identity documents are not written in English, you must also provide a certified translation. The Registry will only accept translations by National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

¹ All proof of identity documents, except foreign passports, should be current. Passports, if expired, should not have expired more than 3 years ago.
² Bank statements, utility accounts, rates notices or superannuation fund statements must have been issued within the last 12 months. Printed versions of online statements need to have an official company letterhead or be stamped and approved by that company.
³ ALL photocopied documents either uploaded or sent by mail with your application MUST be certified. It may be useful to know that your marriage celebrant is an authorised person to certify documents.

Ingrid Heyn, wedding celebrant

No-obligation meeting

Personal service

Best industry standards

State-of-the-art P.A.


   ceremony design

Free forms and
   marriage certificates

Ingrid Heyn, wedding celebrant