[MM_Access_Decision access=’false’]§ MEMBERS ONLY CONTENT

Hopefully all registered celebrants received an email from the Attorney General’s Department on 27 September 2018, inviting feedback on a new version of the Notice of Intended Marriage.

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[/MM_Access_Decision][MM_Access_Decision access=’true’]§ MEMBERS SECTION

Hopefully all registered celebrants received an email from the Attorney General’s Department on 27 September 2018, inviting feedback on a new version of the Notice of Intended Marriage.

Anyone who’s listened to me talk at OPD or been following the podcast for a while will know that the MLCS has been working on the current review of the marriage forms since January 2015. I remember responding to a request for feedback way back then, and then we heard nothing. In April 2017 MLCS released a new version of all the marriage forms to the Associations for comment, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to give my feedback on those through one of my association contacts. Then again, nothing. We hoped they were biding their time until marriage equality became a thing, and that they would release the new forms at the same time as the update for marriage equality, but December 2017 came and went, and still nothing.

When I was at the AFCC Conference in July 2018, the Registrar of Marriages spoke to us and said that they were about to release a new version, but they’d been arguing with the BDMs for some time about how much information actually needed to be collected by the forms, so that was the current hold-up. She said the MLCS’s view was that any information not specifically required by the Marriage Act should NOT be included on the marriage documentation. That meant anything about the parties’ occupations and address, how long they’d been in Australia, their parents’ names and countries of birth, and details of their previous marriages (apart from information about the termination of the most recent marriage) would not be included if MLCS had their way.

Naturally the BDMs were arguing the toss about this. They view marriage paperwork as an important addition to family history and genealogy. That was the sticking point, and the argument had allegedly been going on for 18 months.

Suddenly, on 27 September, out came this new version of the NOIM, and it appears that MLCS won the argument! All extraneous information has been completely removed from the form, and we believe this will filter on to the DONLIM and the Certificates of Marriage; any information not required by the NOIM will no longer be required by the other marriage documentation either. So let’s have a look at exactly what information is required by the current NOIM, and what will be required if the draft NOIM is accepted.

Current NOIMNew draft NOIM
Page 3Page 1
Name and address of celebrant
For celebrant useFor celebrant use
TimeName of parties
Day of weekTime
DateDate (day, month, year)
Page 3
Parties’ informationParties’ information
Description of party (Groom, Bride, Partner)
Given namesGiven names
Sex (Male, Female, X)Gender (Male, Female, Non-Binary) – optional
Usual occupation
Usual place of residence
Conjugal status (never validly married, widowed, divorced)Conjugal status (tick boxes for never validly married, surviving spouse, divorced, divorce pending)
Date of birthDate of birth
Total period of residence in Australia
Father’s name
Mother’s maiden name
Father’s country of birth
Mother’s country of birth
Previous marriage information
Number of previous marriages
Year of each previous marriage ceremony
Number of children of the previous marriage/s
Year of birth of each of those children
How LAST marriage terminated (death, divorce, nullity)
Date last marriage terminatedDate last marriage ended (moved to p4)
Are the parties related to each other?Are the parties related?
Statement: “I have read this form’s privacy notice and instructions for completion and hereby give notice of my intended marriage”
Signature of partiesSignature of parties
Full name of witness
Signature of witnessQualification
QualificationSignature of witness
Page 4Page 4
Date notice received by celebrantDate notice received
Rites usedRites used (moved to bottom of p4, in a post-ceremony completion section)
Date marriage solemnisedMarriage solemnised on (moved to bottom of p4)
Place marriage solemnisedAt (moved to bottom of p4)
Birth certificate(s) producedEvidence of date and place of birth (tick boxes for birth certificate, Aus passport, overseas passport, stat dec)
Birth certificate registration numberDocument number (if any)
Statutory declaration(s)Identity confirmed
Passport(s) producedType of ID document provided (space to write document type)
Pasport numberDocument number (if any)
Current drivers licence producedState/territory/country of issue (to be filled in re identity document, i.e. passport or licence etc)
Drivers licence number
Current proof of age card or evidence of age card produced
Proof of age card or evidence of age card number
Current identification card displaying cardholder’s photograph produced
Type of identification card
Number of identification card
Evidence of death, nullity or dissolutionEvidence sighted confirming how last marriage ended (tick boxes for death, nullity, divorce, not applicable)
Death certificate number
If dissolution or nullity, insert Court locationCourt location (if divorce or nullity)
For marriage of a party under 18 years (tick boxes for consents received, court approval)If a party is under 18 years (tick boxes for consents received, court approval)
Authority for marriage despite late notice (tick box for not applicable)Authority for marriage despite late notice (tick box for authority given)
Have you given the document referred to in subsection 42(5A) of the Act to the parties?Document referred to in subsection 42(5a) of the Act provided to the parties
Celebrant’s numberSignature of celebrant
Celebrant’s signatureCelebrant’s authorisation number
Transfer of Notice of Intended Marriage to another celebrant
Name of new celebrant
Date of transfer
Statement to tick: “I confirm that in receiving this Notice, I am satisfied that the reasons for transfer are in accordance with s42(6) of the Marriage Act 1961”

See all those blank boxes in the new draft NOIM column? That’s where information that was asked by the previous form is NO LONGER REQUIRED. 

The new form is much, much simpler and easier to complete.

It removes a LOT of the angst we get from couples currently about parents’ names: “my father is abusive and I don’t want him listed on my documents; I never knew my mum and my step-mum raised me, so can I list her on my documents instead?” 

When these documents were first developed, people probably stayed in one occupation and at one address for most of their lives. That information made up part of their identity. This is no longer the case, so the marriage documentation only provides that information at a single moment in time, therefore not being very useful for family history purposes. 

I don’t give much credence to the family history arguments. Any information about parents’ names and places of birth can be found on birth and death certificates. The only information the marriage certificate needs to provide is who got married to whom, when and where. Everything else can be found through other means. If someone has a good argument for me about why this info should be on the marriage certificates when it can be found in other places, I’m all ears!

I’m all for this version of the NOIM, and the versions of the DONLIM and OCM that will likely fall out of them. Here’s hoping that come 1 January 2019 we’ll have new forms to play with 🙂