This article is written by Yavanika Shah, a student of RGNUL, Patiala, drafting a step-by-step guide on changing name legally in India.
What to do when your family Pandit asks you to put that one more A or an S or any other alphabet between your name to change your ‘nakshatra and taaro-ki-dasha’?
Or when you lately realise that you want to change your name to something else, maybe because that appears more appealing in the profession you are in?
Or you get married, and by the virtue of being in a patriarchal family, you need to put your husband’s surname with your name?
Or someone having a long tiring day at the work mistyped your name in your matriculation certificate?
These are some of the common instances where you may need to have your name changed with a legal seal on it.
A question that you might be asking yourself right now, “How long will it take?”. Should you hire a lawyer or do it yourself? By the end of this article, you should have a better idea about how to go about it.
The very first condition of getting your name changed is that you over 18 years of age. For a minor, the parents/guardian can get the process done on his/her behalf.
Getting an Affidavit
The first step is to submit an Affidavit to a First Class Magistrate/Notary Public/Oath Commissioner in the District court.
An affidavit is basically a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant (the one who makes the statement) under an oath/affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law. This document serves as a testimony of your decision and intention to change your name legally.
Every state has different rules for the usage of non-judicial stamp papers for making an affidavit.( E.g. ₹100/-, for Maharashtra.) In most of the states, you will need a stamp paper of a minimal value (Say, ₹10 or ₹20).
Remember, to get a few photo copies of the affidavit with you. If possible, get an electronic copy too and keep it safely. You will also need two passport sized attested photographs with the notary and pasted separately on an A4 paper. You will also need atleast two witnesses along with you to attest the whole process.
You can even use the legal expertise of an advocate for drafting the affidavit properly. A proof of Indian citizenship would also be required to be attested along with the affidavit.
A basic format for the affidavit is given below:
Before the Notary Public, City Name
I Mr. ……………………….. S/o ………………………………… aged about ____________ yrs, residing at………………………………. ,do hereby solemnly affirm and state:
- That my recorded name in school and college is ______________(YOURNAME), but I myself popularly known as _________________(New name).
- That after the completion of my studies I want to start a business in IT Sector. From the numerology point of view; I came to a conclusion that the business in my nickname as in the name of NICKNAME will helpful for my endeavours.
- That by virtue of this affidavit, I changed my name from YOURNAME (old name) to CHOSENNAME (new name) and henceforth I shall be known as the CHOSENNAME (new name) for all purposes.
- That the facts stated above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Certified that the above named deponent being identified by ______________( ADVOCATE NAME), do hereby solemnly affirm his knowledge and belief.
Notary Public, City Name
Here are a few more links for different samples of the same:
Publication in the Newspaper
The next step is to publish an advertisement in two newspapers- one in the official vernacular language and the other in English.
This is done to publically declare the change in the name so that if a conflict arises later, you have an official declaration of your name change.
Preserve the copies of the newspapers very carefully as well its scanned copies.
A sample copy of the format is as follows:
I, Mr./Mrs.____________ (old name) have changed my name from __________________ (old name) to ______________ (new name) by an affidavit sworn before the Notary Public, ______________ (place) on _________ (date). Henceforth, I shall be known as _________________ (New Name) for all the purposes.
______ (Name) and ________ (Complete Postal Address).
Notifying in the Gazette
The next step is to get your name published in the State/ national gazette.
- Go to the department that looks after the Gazette publication, the Government Press, in most of the cases.
- Fill the “Deed changing surname Form” and fill it very carefully following all the instructions mentioned on
- The name changing notification will then be published in the Gazette and you’ll receive its copies in the mentioned address in the Deed Form.
With this, the name change procedure gets officially completed.
The documents required for Name change in gazette for Major / Minor:
For Major / Adults (Mandatory Documents)
- ID Proof : Pan card or Passport or Driving Licence or Aadhar Card or Voters Id
- Address proof : Ration Card or Aadhar Card or Electricity Bill
Photo : One Passport Size Photo
- Application Form : Duly Signed Application Form with all details & reason for Name change
Marriage certificate ( if Any for Female after Marriage)
Affidavit ( If Any Made for any reasons like Adoptions etc.)
Divorce papers (In case of Divorce) etc.
For Minor below 18 years (Mandatory Documents)
ID Proof: Aadhar card or School ID or Aadhar Card
Address Proof: Ration card or Aadhar Card
Age Proof: Birth Certificate or School LC or Bonafide
Photo: One Passport Size Photo
Application Form : Duly Signed By Minor if possible and parents or Guardians
Getting official documents changed
After you have successfully changed your name, you will have to update you official official documents (e.g.-Passport, PAN Card, Driving License, and Ration Card)
The good news is that your copies of the affidavit, Newspaper publication and the Gazette notification are enough to get these documents changed.
- For changes in Passport, you need to fill the following form:
- For changes in the PAN card, you need to fill the following form:
- For changes in the Bank Accounts:
Copy of the affidavit and the gazette notification is needed.
- For changes in the educational certificates:
It is a lot of time consuming process as it requires a lot of paperwork. Thankfully, it is not mandatory to get your educational documents updated with the new name so you can make do without them.
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