The Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)
The NOIM Form is one of the most important forms that you will need to fill out before you can be legally married in Australia.
Before you can complete the NOIM Form, you need to choose which celebrant you would like to officiate over the day, because the form requires you to input dates, etc that can’t be finalised until you have your celebrant locked in.
You can download the NOIM Form
Proof of date and place of birth
You need to be able to prove to your celebrant that you actually exist – at least on paper. Documentation that helps prove this includes:
- An original birth certificate that states the date and place of birth
- A passport that states date and place of birth
- or, a statutory declaration made by the party or a parent of the party stating that, for reasons specified in the declaration, it is impracticable to obtain such a certificate and stating, to the best of the declarant’s knowledge as accurately as the declarant has been able to ascertain, when and where the party was born.
If you are an Australian citizen and don’t have a birth certificate or a passport, you would be required to apply for one from Births, Deaths and Marriages and/or the Australian Passport at your own cost. If you were born overseas, even if you are now an Australian citizen, you must provide your birth certificate or your passport issued by an international government that shows date and place of birth. A statutory declaration is a last resort.
The documents must be original and can not be a faxed or photocopy – not even a certified copy of an original is acceptable. Having said that, it is acceptable for the celebrant to sight faxed, emailed or photocopied copies of documents to get the ball rolling, however she or he must sight the originals before the marriage can be solemnised. The celebrant would be committing an offence if they were to go ahead with the marriage without have seen the originals.
Proof of identification
The Marriage Act states that your marriage celebrant should not solemnise a marriage until they are satisfied that both parties are indeed who they claim to be. They can do this by sighting any of the following pieces of identification:
- a driver’s licence
- a passport
- a Proof of Age/Photo Card
- an Australian citizenship certificate along with another form of photographic evidence.
Proof that you are not already validly married
If you have already been married, evidence of death, nullity or dissolution will need to be provided to the celebrant. It’s best if all these pieces of documentation are sighted at the same time that the Notice of Intended Marriage is received.
Another important thing…..
Your marriage celebrant also needs to verify two very important things:
- The couple are not closely related.
- Both parties are over 18, or if one party is between 16-18, parental and court consent has been received.
Then….. you need to sign the NOIM form and have it witnessed:
Signing the NOIM
Generally the NOIM will be signed by both parties being married, and witnessed by their chosen celebrant. The marriage act does allow for one party to sign before the due date as long as the second party can sign before the marriage is solemnised. The NOIM must be signed, witnessed, and delivered to a celebrant before one month before the wedding.
This allows for interstate or overseas partners to be married.
Witnessing the NOIM
If the couple cannot complete the NOIM in the presence of their celebrant, it will need to be signed and witnessed by one of the following authorities:
- an authorised celebrant
- a Commissioner for Declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959
- a justice of the peace
- a barrister or solicitor
- a legally qualified medical practitioner
- a member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a State or Territory.
If the couple are overseas and cannot be back in Australia before the due date of the NOIM, it can be completed and witnessed overseas by one of the following authorities:
- an Australian Diplomatic Officer
- an Australian Consular Officer
- a notary public
- an employee of the Commonwealth authorized under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955
- an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.
A surprise wedding where one or both of the marrying parties don’t know what is happening – can not happen. Both parties must be aware and consent to the NOIM form being lodged and that the marriage ceremony is taking place on a certain date. You can however surprise your guests if you want to.
Due date of the Notice of Intended Marriage
The Notice of Intended Marriage, must be given to the authorised celebrant in the following timeframe.
- No earlier than 18 months, a year and a half, before the wedding day.
- No later than 1 month before the wedding day.
There are five circumstances where an exception can be made to the due date:
- employment related or other travel commitments
- wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations
- medical reasons
- legal proceedings
- error in giving notice
If you want to be married with less than 30 days notice, you must know:
- the reason for seeking a shortening of time must fall within one of the five categories described above before the application can be considered
- the prescribed authority has no discretion to grant a shortening of time outside the circumstances covered by these categories
- and the granting of a shortening of time is not automatic
Application for this shortening of time must be made to a “Prescribed authority”. You can search for a prescribed authority close to you on the Attorney-General’s website