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Name change in India

Changing of a name in India is very common. Many people change names for different reasons. Some do it for good luck, others for marriage and some just want to make a spelling change. While you might think, changing your name is fairly simple, you can just write it in a new way, there are legal procedures involved that are quite lengthy. Which is why you need to hire a lawyer or be aware of the entire procedure.

How does the name change procedure work in India?

Creating the Name Change Affidavit

The first step is obviously picking a new name. Once you have shortlisted one, you then have to make a Name Change Affidavit, it is best to take the help of a lawyer to do this. You need to make an affidavit on a stamp paper. The affidavit needs to have details like your previous name, your new name, the reason for the change (marriage, legal, numerological, etc) and your address. The name change affidavit needs to be signed by two witnesses gazetted officer rank along with their stamp.

Placing Advertisement

You would also need to place advertisements in the paper stating that you are changing your name. One has to be in an English daily and the other in a language that is local to the state. Married women changing their name after marriage should write in their husband’s name and address in the notification.

Gazette Procedure

The Name Change Gazette Procedure is the last stage in the change in name procedure. This process is mandatory for public servants and government employees and optional for others. But, we would recommend doing it because the document stands as a substantial proof of your name change.

What are the documents required for Name Change?

  • An affidavit on a stamp paper, minimum value should be Rs.10.
  • An original newspaper cutting in which name change advertisement is given.
  • A prescribed perform in printed format duly signed by the applicant and two witnesses.
  • Two passport size photographs.
  • Photocopies of valid ID proof ( pan card, aadhar card or passport)
  • A CD with a soft copy of the application in Word format duly filled up.
  • A letter stating that the content in the hard and soft copy of the application is true.
  • A request letter together with the registration fee to the authority.

What are government fees for a name change?

The cost of placing an advertisement for a name change in the Gazette of India is Rs. - 2300. Additional costs you may have to incur are fees for attestation and the cost of affidavit and stamp papers, as well as lawyer fees.

What are name change lawyer fees?

Generally, an advocate will charge you around Rs. 3000 for the procedure, though this does not include charges for making an affidavit on a stamp paper, attestation of copies, etc.

The time duration of the process

Under normal circumstances, it takes about 6 months for the entire process to complete. You will, however, have to make frequent visits to the authorities to check on the status, hiring a lawyer, makes it easier as a lawyer will ensure that he or she does all the running about for you.

Preparing the Name Change Affidavit

The affidavit is the most important document in a change in name process. It is a legal document that required to be filled on a stamp paper of Rs.10 or Rs. 20. The document must also be signed by a notary public, generally, most lawyers are notary public servants.

An affidavit can be of many types, let us have a look at some below:

Change of name affidavit

This form requires you to fill in your previous/maiden name, new name, current address, age and the reason for the change in name.

Affidavit for Change Of Name after marriage

This affidavit is used for those who want to change their names after marriage. Along with a filled up form, this requires you to submit a copy of the marriage certificate and photographs of yourself and your spouse.

Affidavit for change of name on the passport

The affidavit is used in cases of change of name on a passport due to spelling mistakes or change in surname after marriage. The procedure is the same as a change of name.

Affidavit for Change Of Name for minors

This affidavit needs to be filled in cases of change of name in minors. The affidavit needs to be presented by the parents or guardians. The other procedures remain the same.

FAQs on Change in Name

Yes, this is the first and most crucial step, an affidavit states your intention of a name change and reasons for it. Without an affidavit, the gazette officer will not accept your change in name request.

You might want to note that every state has different rules for the use of non-judicial stamp papers.
Yes, during the name change ceremony, you need two witnesses, they can be from your family or friends. If you are married, it is better to keep your spouse as one of the witnesses. While signing an affidavit, a valid, attested Indian citizenship proof would also be required.
Yes, for all government and public servants, it is mandatory to post the change of name advertisement in the Gazette of India and in the newspapers. If you are not a government employee, it is optional to do, but it is advisable to place the ad in a gazette of India.
List of certificates commonly applicable for a name change
  • Passport
  • Pan Card
  • Aadhar Card
  • Marriage Certificate
  • School and College Mark Sheets
  • Degree Marksheets
  • Government ID proof
  • Voting Card

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