Changes to the Marriage Act 1961 on 26 October 2018.

Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2018 made a number of minor changes to the Marriage Act 1961. These changes commenced on 26 October 2018.

The changes deal with technical amendments of minor policy significance, and remedied errors and defects in existing legislation, including removing outdated concepts and to ensure consistency with the Family Law Act 1975.

The following changes relate specifically to Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. The full Act which contains all of the changes to the Marriage Act is available here.

  • Disciplinary measures – Section 39G has been amended so that marriage celebrants must now comply with any disciplinary measures imposed under section 39I of the Marriage Act. The amendment is intended to ensure the Registrar has authority to take additional disciplinary action if a celebrant does not comply with a previously imposed disciplinary measure.
  • The register – the Act has been amended to clarify that the register of marriage celebrants is the publicly available list that is published on the department’s website, as opposed to the administrative database used by the department, which includes other personal information about celebrants’ registration.
  • Update to contact details – Section 39G has been updated so it is now a requirement for celebrants to advise the Registrar of any changes to the contact details previously provided to the Registrar. Previously, celebrants were only required to update the Registrar when there was a change to their contact details published on the register of marriage celebrants. Section 39G has also been amended so that celebrants can advise the Registrar of changes to their contact details via the self‑service portal. This amendment removes any doubt about how the Registrar can be advised of changes to contact details.


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