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Updated: Apr 23

Sometimes circumstances change and you may need to apply to The Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriage for a Shortening of Time so you can marry as soon as possible. Here's a few things you need to know.

To get married in Australia you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage with your authorised celebrant and then wait at least one month before you can say your I do's. So if a situation arises and you need to be married asap, you will need to apply to a prescribed authority for a Shortening of Time.

There are only five reasons a prescribed authority may grant a Shortening of Time

  Employment related or other travel commitments (evidence of the date on which the applicant was informed about this commitment as opposed to the date on which the commitment will commence will need to be provided);

  Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations (receipts for payments or evidence of the date wedding invitations were sent will need to be produced);

  Medical reasons (a letter from a medical practitioner will be required);

  Legal proceedings; or

  An error in giving notice (on the part of the celebrant, not the couple.)

The granting of a Shortening of Time is not automatic and the prescribed authority may charge an application fee.

Steps to follow

  1. Make an appointment with the closest prescribed authority to you.

  2. Gather all your documentary evidence to prove why a Shortening of Time is required.

  3. Request your celebrant releases the completed Notice of Intended Marriage and writes a letter advising that they are able to marry you as soon as possible if the application is granted.

  4. Take your documentary evidence, NOIM and letter from your celebrant to the appointment along with cash or credit card to pay any fees charged.

If your application is successful, the prescribed authority will tick 'granted' on page 5 of the NOIM and sign and/or stamp and date this section on the NOIM.

You must then return the NOIM that shows the Shortening of Time has been granted to your celebrant and arrange for your wedding to take place as soon as possible.

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