Luke asks:

One of my couples that had a Qld wedding booked, now want to change the ceremony location to NSW since the new border easing. What do I need to know and how do I go about doing a wedding in NSW? Is there a set criteria that determines the couples eligibility for getting married over the border into NSW?

A nicley packed question with five things to address Luke, so I’ll break them out here.

Notice of intended marriage form, the NOIM

I’m guessing that you may have already completed a notice of intended marriage form with the couple and you’re wondering if that form can be transferred.

This is especially interesting in Queensland because if you are registered for the Queensland Births, Deaths, Marriages Service provider portal the form that it spits out for you looks slightly different to NOIMs prepared in other parts of the country.

If you have prepared and signed a NOIM with the couple in Queensland using either the traditional NOIM form method, or the new online system method, that NOIM is able to be used in any state, including New South Wales. The form is required as part of the Commonwealth marriage legislation, and as such, is valid anywhere in the Commonwealth.

Side note though: there’s the possibility you’ve done what many celebrants do and entered the date of marriage and place of marriage on the NOIM ahead of the actual marriage taking place. If so, make sure the updated place and date is on the NOIM, and incorrect information there is crossed out with an initialed signature.

Registration on the Qld BDM Service Portal

If you had prepared the couple’s NOIM on the Qld BDM Service provider portal then you’ll need to make sure you cancel the marriage registration from the website.

Your authority to perform a marriage ceremony in NSW

You are a Commonwealth authorised marriage celebrant, and to slip into the Guidelines:

A Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant may solemnise marriages anywhere in Australia, including outside the state or territory in which they reside. 

Luckily for you, that includes New South Wales, so you’re allowed to marry people in NSW.

Registration with the New South Wales Births Deaths and Marriages

As noted in the Guidelines:

The celebrant must forward the official certificate to the BDM in the state or territory where the marriage was solemnised within 14 days of the ceremony.

So if the marriage ceremony is moved to New South Wales the marriage paperwork must represent that location, and be submitted to the NSW BDM.

You’re welcome to prepare and submit the paperwork the traditional way, by mailing the paperwork in, but the best practice today in NSW is to register using eRegistry. You can register with the NSW BDM online and submit it all electronically.

Eligibility to be in New South Wales

There’s a lot of confusion about borders and whether you can be in certain places, and that information is changing through 2020 fairly regularly.

New South Wales has only had border control with Victoria, so if anyone has been in Victoria they could not travel to New South Wales. So everyone in Queensland can go to New South Wales.

The greater issue has been coming home to Queensland. Today on September 29 if a person who lives in Brisbane goes to New South Wales, they can’t come back across the border. They would need to fly into Queensland from Sydney, then quarantine for two weeks. From October 1 that changes slightly with all Queensland residents allowed to travel into a handful of Northern NSW locations.

The truth is, once I click publish this information will start dating quickly, so your best advice is to read the state government websites for accurate information on where you can and can’t go to be allowed back into Queensland, and whether you’ll need a permit printed.