How to complete your Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

What’s a NOIM? It’s a legal document you must give to your celebrant at least one month (and no more than 18 months) before your marriage ceremony. If we’re working together I’ll provide you with a copy, or it’s available to download here.

There’s four pages including instructions on pages 1 & 2. Start by reading these instructions since the information needs to be entered accurately (no pressure). Having said that, a few questions pop up regularly so to avoid that being your experience here’s a step-by-step guide.

How to complete your NOIM

Q1 Description of Party: There’s 3 options; Groom / Bride / Partner. Select the one that best describes yourself.
Q2 Surname: Also known as your ‘last name’ or ‘family name’. Write it exactly as it appears on your identification (eg. passport).
Q3 Given names: This is your first name and also any middle name(s). Write it exactly as it appears on your identification. For example, my friends know me as “Kate” but my first name is actually “Kathryn” and my middle name is “Ann” - so when I was completing the NOIM in preparation for my marriage I had to write “Kathryn Ann” in this box.
Q4 Sex: There’s 3 options; Male / Female / X. Select the one that you identify with.
Q5 Usual Occupation: Write your current job title, eg “Manager”. Do not write your general area of expertise, eg “Management”.
Q6 Usual place of residence: Write the full address of where you currently live. Not where you plan to live in the future, nor a PO Box address.
Q7 Conjugal status: There’s 3 options; never validly married / widowed / divorced. Select the one that describes your current situation. Don’t write “single” or anything else apart from the 3 options provided.
Q8 Birthplace: Write the city/town and State/Territory (if born Australia) or country (if born overseas). This should match the information on your passport and birth certificate
Q9 Date of birth: This should match the date on your identification.
Q10 If party born outside Australia, total period of residence in Australia: If you’ve been living in Australia for less than two years, provide the number of years and months. If you’ve been living in Australia for two years or more, you only need to provide the completed number of years. For example, a period of five years, nine months residence need be stated only as five years. This information is collected for statistical purposes only; there’s no minimum residency requirement prior to a marriage being solemnised in Australia.
Q11 Father’s name in full: Write this as it appears on his identification, i.e. his first name, any middle name(s), and surname.
Q12 Mother’s maiden name in full: Be sure you write your mother’s maiden surname (not married surname), plus of course first name and any middle name(s).
Q13 Father’s country of birth: Write the country your father was born in, or otherwise write ‘unknown’
Q14 Mother’s country of birth: Write the country your mother was born in, or otherwise write ‘unknown’

Questions 15 - 20 only apply if you’ve previously married. If you’ve never been married before, leave this section blank and go to pg 4.

Q15 Number of previous marriages: How many times have you previously been married?
Q16 Year of each previous marriage ceremony: The year of each marriage is sufficient, or can provide the exact date if you know it.
Q17 Number of children of the previous marriage or marriages born alive: This is asking for the number of children from any previous marriage including children born or adopted before/after the previous marriage took place. Do not include any children you already have with the person you are currently planning to marry.
Q18 Year of birth of each of those children: As it appears on their birth certificate.
Q19 How LAST marriage terminated: There’s 3 options; death / divorce / nullity. Select the one that describes the ending of your most recent marriage.
Q20 Date on which last spouse died, or date on which dissolution of last marriage became final or nullity order made: This information should match the divorce certificate / death certificate.

For the final section on page 4, remember to write your signature in front of a qualified witness (such as your celebrant).

Pg 4 “Are the parties related to each other?” You’ll probably answer “no” but just in case the answer is “yes” please be aware that parties too closely related are not eligible to be married in Australia.
Pg 4 Signatures of Party 1 & Party 2: Remember this needs to be done in front of a qualified witness - so don’t sign without your witness present! As your celebrant I’m qualified to be the witness so easiest scenario is usually that I meet you both in person and you sign this page in my presence. Ideally the NOIM should have both your signatures when its submitted. If it’s genuinely not possible for one of you to sign at least one month before the ceremony (e.g. travelling overseas/interstate) then it’s possible to lodge your NOIM with just one party’s signature, so long as the other party signs it my presence before the marriage is solemnised. Note there are exceptions to this rule; for example it’s not okay for the NOIM to be submitted with only one party’s signature if the wedding is intended to be a surprise for the other party. Both parties must be aware of the NOIM and consent to the intended marriage at the time the NOIM is lodged with your celebrant.
Pg 4 Signature of witness: The easiest witness is your marriage celebrant or otherwise, a Justice of the Peace.

Supporting Documents you will need

  • Evidence of your name, date and place of birth: Usually a passport is sufficient, otherwise your original birth certificate and driver license is also fine. If you don’t have a passport, or your birth certificate has been lost or destroyed and you genuinely cannot obtain a new one, then talk to me about your options.

  • If you’ve previously been married: You’ll need to show me evidence of how the previous marriage ended, e.g. divorce certificate / death certificate

  • If your original documents are in a language other than English: You’ll need to provide an English translation by an accredited translator.

Other Key Points

  • Make sure to lodge your NOIM with your celebrant no later than one month before the date of your ceremony. If you miss this deadline a special application will need to made but approval is only granted under exceptional circumstances… best not to leave it to the last minute! Ideal scenario is to submit your NOIM with plenty of time in advance.

  • Accuracy is important. It’s a criminal offence to give a NOIM to a celebrant if you know it contains a false statement or is defective.

Kate KooperLegal, How to