How to Change Your Name Legally in India


NOTE: I am NOT a legal expert. This is just my personal experience of getting my name changed legally. Since the rules and/or procedures may have changed since when I changed my name, you are advised to refer to other sources as well. For any queries, it is recommended to approach a lawyer well-versed in these matters.

Having changed my first name legally a couple of years back, I would like to share with you the procedure to do the same. Change of name can be for reasons of personal preference, marriage, change of religion, etc. Either way, the procedure and rules remain the same. The only condition is that you must be over 18 years of age to change your own name. For minors, parents can do it on your behalf.

1. The first step is to get submit an Affidavit of Name Change in your respective District Court (e.g. Mayo Hall in Bangalore) before a Magistrate or Notary Public. The Affidavit must mention the current name and the desired new name, and may mention in brief the reason for name change. The Affidavit must be made on a Non-Judicial Stamp Paper of minimal value (say Rs. 10 or Rs. 20). An advocate can help you prepare the Affidavit in a legally appropriate format.

You may be required to attest proof of Indian citizenship with the Affidavit. Once the Affidavit is signed by the Magistrate or Notary, it comes into force immediately.

2. The next step is to publish advertisements announcing your name change in two local newspapers – one in the local official language and another in English. This is required as per law, so that if anyone has objections to your name change, they may have an opportunity to take it up with the authorities. Of course, in vast majority of cases there are no objections at all.

Name change newspaper ad

3. The third step is to publish an advertisement of your name change in the Official Gazette of your respective state (also called a Gazette Notification). For this purpose, you must approach the Government Press of your respective state and fill up the form for the same, giving details such as old and new name, address, etc. Then you must pay the prescribed fees. Your name change notification will be published in the state’s Official Gazette and you will be sent copies of the same at the address given by you.

NOTE: In case your state does not allow printing of name change in its Official Gazette, you can get your name change notification published in the Gazette of India. To do so, follow the procedure outlined here: http://deptpub.nic.in/forms/forms%5B10%5D.pdf

With the Gazette Notification, the name change is officially complete.

4. The next step is to apply for name change in all other official documents such as Passport, PAN Card, Driving License, Ration Card, etc. The above documents (copies of Affidavit, newspaper ads and Gazette Notification) should suffice as proof of name change.

NOTE: For married women applying for name change due to marriage, a copy of Marriage Certificate is enough for changing name in all Government documents. If Marriage Certificate is not available, a Joint Affidavit by husband and wife with a joint photograph declaring their marriage should be adequate.

5. Lastly, you must apply for name change in bank accounts. For this, you can submit Affidavit and Gazette Notification as proof of name change, and new Passport, PAN card, DL, etc. as proof of ID.

6. As for changing name in educational certificates, you can try if you have a lot of patience and free time. This is because getting educational certificates re-issued in new name will require lot of correspondence and paperwork with various institutions, depending on how many degrees you have! Additionally, it is not strictly necessary to have educational certificates in the new name once you start working and have professional work experience.

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About the Author

Vijay PadiyarI'm a friendly guy with a witty sense of humor. I was born in Baroda, Gujarat and am currently settled in Bangalore, Karnataka. I'm a Leo by birth and certainly by character! So pick up any good book on zodiac signs, flip to the Leo section, and you'll know me rather well!View all posts by Vijay Padiyar →

413 Comments

  1. Perumal RajPerumal Raj04-23-2015

    Respected Sir,
    As my daughter name in Birth certificate was ANU SHRIYA in 2009 we changed the name MADHU SHREYAA in Gazette 2010 in Ration card and Aadhaar card also her name is Madhu Shreyaa Then i made her admission in school 2013 -14 in Jr.kg and 2014-15 Sr.kg they accepted form the as per name Gazette name Madhu shreyya in school.
    Now while doing readmission in 1 std in school office they are saying they will take name as per birth certificate the gazette is not valid , or they want new birth certificate with name change. then i went to BMC Office for Certificate they can’t make name changes in certificate.
    what can i do for name change for certificate is the gazette valid, its my daughter future. plz give some suggestion.

  2. shylashyla04-13-2015

    Hello vijay,I am working for a private firm,my name contains first name and last name,but now i wanted to add middle name.So making an affidavit and paper publishing is okay or have to make a gazatte notification.
    Further to make changes in passport should i go for gazatte notification.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar04-14-2015

      I am not sure if you need to undergo name change procedure just to add your middle name in your passport. Kindly consult with a lawyer or any other knowledgeable person who can confirm whether official name change is needed or not.

  3. K P HassanK P Hassan04-07-2015

    Hello, Vijay
    I am a retiree. I also facing some problems due to recording of my wife’s nick name in my service record and PPO. Now I want to amend it very soon, otherwise, my wife will face problems to get her family pension in the event of my death. My wife’s actual name is vishalakshi and all her documents are in this name (PAN, Voter ID, Ration card, Bank a/c etc.)
    But I was used to call her nick always ie Chitra and this nick has been recorded in my service record as well as in PPO. Now I want to amend the nick name in SR & PPO. How can I solve this problems.

    Expect your valuable guidance, please

  4. mangu rammangu ram04-02-2015

    sir my name mangu ram i want to change my name .i am from rajsthan what is the process. m abhi bsf me job kr rha hu m apna name change krna chhta hu.

  5. MrinaliniMrinalini04-02-2015

    Hello Mr. Vijay,
    My son’s name is mentioned Dhruv Mukherjee in his birth certificate but due to astrological reasons we changed his name to Jash Mukherjee. We are from Jaipur, Rajasthan and now staying in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. During his school admission process, we were asked to provide gazette office name change certificate. Please let us know the procedure as we are from other states. My son is 4 yrs old.
    Thank you

  6. Sunder SinghSunder Singh04-02-2015

    How can i change my name in my educational certificates

  7. deveshdevesh03-23-2015

    Sir, there is some mistake in my name in passport , they mentioned divish instead of devesh in passport..I am PSU employee now they want name change in gazette publication… I am not changing my name but to correct name in passport. It is necessary to publish in gazette for this case….please reply sir..,. Devesh

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar03-24-2015

      What was the spelling in the documents provided by you when applying for Passport, as well as in Passport application form?

  8. dhirajdhiraj03-07-2015

    Hi there,

    I want to change my last name kamble to kamliya as my family staying in gujrat. I have all documents with kamble in maharashtra itself, will it be possible in pune. I just want to change my name on pan card and voter.

    Please advise me the procedure and expense.

    Thank you!

  9. armanarman03-06-2015

    how can I change my name in educational docments. my email is bhargainetah@gmail.com
    plz tell

  10. LatheefLatheef02-19-2015

    Your intention of writing this procedure is much appreciated.May almighty bless you

  11. AryanAryan02-11-2015

    hello vijay sir,
    sir i have changed my name through gazette of india,delhi after completing my 10th ,12th & graduation with old name, now i want to ask sir that can i apply for public sector job like SSC,police,UPSC etc with my new name, will they accept me with my new name ?
    sir i have not changed my name in educational certificates…plz reply

  12. jubinjubin01-21-2015

    i am christian by birth..i married a hindu without converting my religion…i didnt like my name from childhood so i wish to change my first name with surname as husbands name….is it possible without converting as the name will sound as hindu name…

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