Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

2014 Marriage Forms CoCA Submission

To: Marriage Law and Celebrant Section
From: Coalition of Celebrant Associations
2nd December 2014

DOWNLOAD PDF: CoCA-forms-submission.pdf

Submission: Marriage Forms from 1st July 2014.

In the absence of any request for consultation by the Attorney-General’s Department with celebrant practitioners via their associations or peak body to date, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) makes the following submission.

From feedback from celebrants via our website, which is accessible to all marriage celebrants, and from comments made via our own associations, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) recommends:


    • Pdf writable formats available to all marriage celebrants - as handwritten forms increase risk of transposition errors
    • If security is an issue, make all forms available via the Celebrants Portal and celebrant associations, with the exception of the Notice of Intended Marriage which should be readily available for the general public


    • Use the layout of the existing forms except for the second half of Page 4 of the Notice of Intended Marriage.
    • Use type face the previous forms for  - Font on new form is unattractive & harder to read 
Modernising terms
    • Use “Groom” instead of “Bridegroom"
Form Titles  
    • Consult re re-instating forms numbers for ease of communication between celebrants, and for training.

Notice of Intended Marriage

Satisfaction with identities of the marring couple and the information provided on the Notice

The Marriage Act does not require photo ID. Therefore the specific question required by law would be:

As per Section 42 (8),
is the celebrant satisfied as to the identity of the parties and the accuracy of the information provided on this Notice Yes /No
Then a place for noting specific ID is really For Celebrant Use Only". This would encourage best practice of sighting photo ID or if not, available several other forms of ID, but does not need to take as much room for specific examples.

That is, allow the celebrant note the type of ID for Bride/ Groom (eg Drivers Lc) Number or simply a series of tick boxes []

Given the concerns about identity fraud, and the processes for the disposal of these forms once the marriage is registered, it is recommended that this identification  be simply a series of tick boxes [] without spaces for numbers

Number of children of previous marriage

Remove the item "the number of children of previous marriage is necessary".

“ A great many bridal couples today already have children when they marry. There should be a place on the forms to put the names and birth dates of these children. The present forms allow for the children of former marriages to be recorded, but not  'illegitimate' children, a term I believe should be dispensed with in this day and age. Also, some mothers were unmarried mothers when they came into their present relationship and have children from a former relationship, but not a marriage. The same should go for these children. ALL children should be treated by our government as equal. To ignore 'illegitimate' children is shameful in today's world.”

Suggested other changes:

    • The 3 boxes across the top (For Celebrants/ Celebrant Details/Official Use) could be smaller & thus free up some space on the page.
    • Right hand side of "Rites used" box should line up with "Date marriage solemnised" box because it looks unprofessional.
    • Space to record Change of Name details
    • A 'table' inserted, with two columns and three lines, to fit in dissolution/death/nullity certificate information and allow numbers of divorce papers to be entered on there
    • Change the overseas passport line to just passport and kept the rest of old form the same.
    • A second Signature Box beside the "Date Received" would be useful for Transfers/ shortening but also be helpful for best practice.
    • Designated box/area wherein details of Transfer of the NOIM could be entered – perhaps next to ‘date received’
Format The boxes are poorly laid out with big gaps between those that relate to each other, eg the tick box for the Driver's licence and the box for the licence number.

Reduce space for
    • Date Received
    • side margins
    • Rites/ Marriage Act the marriage box
    • 'instructions' column 
Increase space for
    • place of marriage
    • Given names
    • second line of the address  
    • birth certificate or passport numbers
    • Parents name
    • recording details of two divorce proceedings on page 4 especially if both parties have been divorced.
    • Court location for dissolution or nullity - especially if both Bride & Groom have been previously married.
Declaration of No Impediment to Marriage (Previously Form 14) Increase space for
    • Names – as people from Asia and over seas often have long names
Re-instate Items Missing
    • Celebrant's A number   

Official Marriage Certificate (Previously Form 16)

Re-instate Items Missing

    • Celebrant's A number   
    • Redesign top of form to be more compact
    • No space to record Change of Name details
    • for the Celebrant's AG number  on Form 16
    • provision on the NOIM for children of the marrying couple to be registered
    • delete the words 'overseas' and the country of issue inserted in place thereof.


Comments from Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants

See: What's on your mind? - Marriage Forms

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