This page has information on the following:
Your role as a marriage celebrant—obligations and responsibilities
Being a celebrant is a special and important role in the community. It attracts obligations and legal responsibilities. Failure to meet those responsibilities can have serious consequences.
As a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant you must:
All Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants are charged an annual celebrant registration charge of $240.
There are limited circumstances where celebrants can apply for an exemption from the annual celebrant registration charge. Eligibility guidelines are detailed below:
A non-refundable application processing fee of $30 will be charged on all exemption applications.
Marriage celebrants must also register marriages with the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory in which the marriage took place within fourteen days.
Joining a celebrant association may also be beneficial in your role as celebrant.
Updating your contact details or circumstances
You must notify the department of changes to your contact details or personal circumstances if you are a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant.
This is a requirement under section 39G of the Marriage Act.
This includes a change in your occupation, business interests or a criminal conviction.
You can update your details via the Marriage Celebrants Self Service Portal or complete a notification form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will also need to contact your relevant registry of births, deaths and marriages about changes to your details.
If you are no longer practising as a marriage celebrant, send your request to be removed from the Register of Marriage Celebrants through the Marriage Celebrants Self Service Portal or email your completed form to email@example.com.
Celebrant resources and forms
The Marriage Celebrants Self Service Portal supports marriage celebrants to securely manage their information and engage with the Attorney-General’s Department. Celebrants should use their ‘A’ number to log in.
The Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961 for marriage celebrants contains essential information on solemnising marriages.
The Conflict of interest and benefit to business guidelines will help you to identify, disclose and avoid a potential conflict of interest or benefit to a business.
The Advertising guidelines provide advice on how to develop your advertising material.
The Marriage Celebrant Matters newsletter updates celebrants with important news and events.
Additional resources are available from the Forms for use under the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Regulations 1963 page.
Ongoing professional development
You must complete five hours of professional development activities each calendar year. This includes compulsory and elective activities.
Disciplinary measures may be imposed on you if you fail to complete this obligation.
You must choose your 2014 activities from the list below.
Four registered training organisations provide these activities:
- Australian Celebrations Training
- International College of Celebrancy
- Gordon Institute of TAFE.
You should contact them directly for information. There are face-to-face and distance education options.
Seeking an exemption from OPD obligations
To seek an exemption from OPD obligations you must meet the criteria outlined in the Guidelines for Exemption from OPD below.
Eligible celebrants can access an exemption application form in the self-service portal or on the Administration page.
Celebrant association conferences
Celebrant associations can apply to have their association conferences in 2015 count towards elective ongoing professional development requirements for Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants.
Associations wishing to apply for this should use the following form:
Only association conferences that are listed on the department’s website can count towards your elective ongoing professional development requirements. The 2015 list will be uploaded to this website as conferences are approved and will be updated throughout the year.
In June 2013, the department developed a paper outlining the principles and objectives of ongoing professional development which must be met by approved providers and celebrant association conferences from 2014.
Your performance as a celebrant will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is satisfactory.
Your review will be based on the information we have in our files and database. You may also be asked for more information.
You will be informed when a review is due to take place, the period of time it will cover and the outcome once the review is completed.
If your performance is unsatisfactory, disciplinary measures may be imposed. You will have the opportunity to comment if this is the outcome of your review.
More information is in the pack you received when you were registered as a celebrant.
CanPrint Communications is contracted by the Australian Government to supply marriage stationery—including marriage registers, official forms and certificates.
Authorised marriage celebrants can purchase marriage stationery by contacting CanPrint Communications. Your marriage celebrant registration number must be quoted when purchasing marriage stationery.
Visit the CanPrint Communications website for information, order forms and contact details. You can email CanPrint Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CanPrint Communications is the only authorised supplier of the Form 15 Certificate of Marriage. Visit the downloads section on this webpage for forms and certificates that can be downloaded at no cost.
Marriage celebrants may generate or purchase marriage forms from other sources, but must ensure that such forms substantially comply with the forms specified in the Marriage Regulations 1963. If such forms do not comply, the registries of births, deaths and marriages have the authority under the Marriage Act 1961 to reject them.
Stronger Relationships trial
The Australian Government's Stronger Relationships trial will run from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.
The trial provides up to 100000 couples with $200 towards relationship education and counselling with an approved provider of their choice.
Couples aged 18 and over in a committed relationship and who are Australian citizens or permanent residents can register on the Department of Social Services website.