Just as New Zealand has rejected bizarre names, such as “4Real” “Queen Victoria” and twins names “Benson” and “Hedges”, so Australia has clear rules regarding permissible baby names.

While one might think a baby name is entirely up to the parents, across all the states and territories in Australia there are some binding rules. Below are the key guidelines regarding what parents cannot name their offspring.

Across the States and Territories, here are the baby name rules:

1. It cannot be obscene or offensive or contrary to public interest
(no racial slurs or infringements on the right of another)

2. It cannot be too long
(In NSW, this means under 50 characters)

3. It cannot consist of or includes symbols without phonetic significance
(such as N@talie, Da!sy, J#ke)

4. It cannot include or resemble an official title or rank recognised in Australia
such as King, Lady, Father, Prince, Sir or Admiral

5. Birth name must use English letters

6. Some states (such as Queensland) have an additional rule that the name can’t include a statement (for instance, ‘Save Mother Earth’ or ‘Down with Capitalism’)

7. Some states and territories mandate that the name can’t be similar to a recognised body, organisation or trademark.

8. The state and territory Births Registrars have the right to refuse a name for the reasons above and assign a name to the child if no agreement can be reached.

9. Choose carefully – in some Australian jurisdictions you are only permitted to change your name twice!

However creative spelling is allowed, and is currently a popular trend in Australia!

Click here for our full 2013 Baby Names report.

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