Appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

Non-payment of the annual fee.

In reality there is no course of action to appeal a de-registration simply for the non-payment of the annual fee, but there may be grounds to appeal how soon the deregistration takes affect.

The Commonwealth Marriage Registrar appears to have discretion as to when the de-registration is to take effect from what we understand from Section 39FB 39FB 

Request for Stay Order application can be made via a pdf or rtf form

An application needs to be made before the deregistration takes effect.

Request for Stay Order pdf


Why is there no grounds to appeal the de-registration itself?

Because the Marriage Act does not give the Registrar of Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants any discretion for circumstances beyond the celebrants control. Even though only Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants are required to an annual registration fee.

It does however give discretion as regards how long before the de-registration takes effect.

Therefore The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has no grounds upon which to challenge the decision of the Commonwealth Registrar who is compelled by the Marriage Act to deregister the non-payment of the fee.

The only exceptions may be

    • if you applied for an exemption from paying the fee, and did not receive a response from the Department.
    • If you did pay, but the Department has not been able to find your payment

      Both would require you to have undeniable proof that you applied or paid.

For other reasons for revoking of a Celebrant's Authorisation - the AAT may be able to assist.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is an organisation that reviews a wide range of decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments, agencies and some other tribunals. The AAT also reviews decisions made by the Norfolk Island Government.

The AAT takes a fresh look at a decision and decides if it should stay the same or be changed. The AAT is independent of the person or organisation that made the decision.

The AAT can review many decisions made under Commonwealth laws.

The AAT can only review a decision if the law states that an application can be made to the AAT.

How will I know if the AAT can review my decision?

Your decision should state if the AAT can review it. AAT can also give you information about the kinds of decisions the AAT is able to review.

Ask the AAT if you are not sure.

By phone

Call 1800 228 333 from anywhere in Australia (calls are free from landline phones, however calls from mobiles may be charged).

From Norfolk Island and overseas and direct line: +61 2 9276 5101

How do I apply?

You can either fill out an application form or write the AAT a letter. You can send it to them by post, email or fax.

    • Filling out a form
    • Writing a letter


Is there a time limit for making an application?

Yes. The time limit for making an application to the AAT is usually 28 days after you receive the decision you want reviewed.

But note! For an application for Stay Order you need to apply before the de-registration is to take effect.

$920 - refunded $820 charolotte 

Sometimes it’s longer. For example, applications for review of decisions made by the Veterans’ Review Board have a time limit of three months.

The time limit is usually stated in the decision you want the AAT to review.

Application fees

Is there an application fee?

In many cases, there is no application fee. For example, there is no fee for applications about Commonwealth workers’ compensation, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, social security or family assistance payments or veterans’ pension decisions.

There is an application fee for other kinds of cases, such as taxation decisions.

If there is a fee, you might not have to pay all of it. For example, if you hold a health care card or a Commonwealth seniors health card you only pay a reduced fee of $100. If you believe you can’t afford to pay the full fee, you can apply to pay the reduced fee of $100.

If you pay the full application fee and the application is resolved in your favour, you will receive a partial refund. There is no refund if you have paid a reduced fee.

You will find more information about fees, and the form to apply to have the fee reduced, on the AAT website. We can also send you the form.

Ask AAT if you are not sure – they can help you.

AAT Application fees

When you apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review of some kinds of decisions, there is no application fee. For the review of other decisions, a fee must be paid.

If a fee is payable, the full application fee is $920. In certain circumstances, this fee can be reduced to $100.

If your application will be dealt with in the Small Taxation Claims Tribunal, the application fee is $81. This fee cannot be reduced.

Your application cannot proceed until you pay the application fee. The AAT may dismiss your application if you do not pay the application fee within six weeks of lodging your application.

If you have paid a full application fee and the application is resolved in your favour, most of it will be refunded. There is no refund if you paid the reduced application fee or if your application was dealt with in the Small Taxation Claims Tribunal.

Information re: Marriage Celebrants ability to appeal a decision by the Marriage Celebrant Section revoke their authorisation as a marriage celebrant by the AAT:

Section 34 Marriage Act 1961 - implies an ability to appeal. But this only applies to the length of notice given before your deregistration is applied.

39FB Marriage Act 1961 - Celebrant registration charge: consequence of non-payment - makes it clear there is no discretion by the Commonwealth Registrar to not deregister.
  • However the Marriage Act 1961 does not state how much notice the Rgeistrar must give for the date of Deregistration.

  • The Registrar could make this three months or six months - but currently appears to only give Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants two weeks to transfer their couples to other marriage celebrants.

Life-time appointments

Status of Commonwealth Marriage Celebants,