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 →

348 Comments

  1. Tejashwini RaghavendraTejashwini Raghavendra08-15-2014

    Dear Sir,
    I am from bangalore.I have change my complete name after marriage.Since i cudnt get gazette notification from Karnatak.I m planing to apply in india gazetter.i saw your blog regarding offcial gazette process.I have few question regarding that.Can you please respond /confirm below things.

    Documents to be sent to Gazette of inida
    1.Original afidavit letter(orginal or xerox?)
    2.Kannada and english news paper publication(original or xerox?)
    3.DD in the favour of “controler of publication…Delhi”
    4.2 attested photographs
    5.2 copies of filled Specimen name change letter with old signature

    and post it to Delhi gazette

    Can you please confirm if i missed any documents to send

    I have few more questions regarding this.
    1.after sending the wat is the next process?
    2.Wher they will publish my new name chage in karnataka gazette or inndia gazette?
    3.How do we know it got published or not?Do we get any copy of published gazette through post?
    4.How long overall process it takes?is there any online tracker to check the status?or is there any email id/contact number to check status?
    5.ONce we post the docs,do we get any acknowledgement from them once they recieve.

    Currently i have uated my name in Passport.But PAn card updation is pending because of this offical gazette.

    Can you please please respond to all my queries as soon as possible.

    Thanks in adavance

  2. Rhimy C RajanRhimy C Rajan08-11-2014

    Dear sir

    I have a doubt that how can we change our signature after changing our name? For example in driving license we have to put our signature too.
    Can we use our old signature? Will it create any problem by doing so. Please give me a reply
    Thank you

  3. Rhimy C RajanRhimy C Rajan08-11-2014

    Dear sir

    This is very useful information. I too want to change my name . I want to know whether changing our old name in educational certificates , driving license , other id proofs etc is a difficult process. If we dont change our old name in educational documents will it be a problem in future? please reply
    Thank you

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar08-12-2014

      Changing name in official documents is not difficult once you follow the proper process of name change. But changing name in educational certificates may be tedious as the process depends on the school or college.

  4. mohd ziauddin ansarimohd ziauddin ansari08-09-2014

    Respected sir.
    Please tell me where i have to apply for getting gazette notification in Uttar Pradesh for change my name. My e mail id is biotech.zia@gmail.com

  5. Narottam Ganpat KeerNarottam Ganpat Keer07-28-2014

    My son has adopted a child(girl) by Hindu Law ceremony and adoption deed is done on Rs.200/- Stamp Paper and same is notarized. Now we want to change name of our grand-daughter through Govt. Gazette. As she is Minor; what is the procedure?

  6. Ananya sharmaAnanya sharma07-26-2014

    Can we get all our documents in new name ? like sslc, puc, BE, and others like PAN, UID, DL etc ?
    And my husband family is forcing me to change my name. I am afraid that they do something harmful to me after name change… is there any such bad advantages will they get from getting my name changed ? I really don’t know why they are so strong about it. . they tell it for religious reason but I don’t believe. please tell is there any personal harm to me, or my career ( working in private firm frm 2 yrs) or to my parents…. ?? please reply

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-27-2014

      There is neither any benefit nor any harm in changing name after marriage. It is a personal decision to be taken by you and your husband. You can get all your documents updated with the new name, however getting educational certificates updated may take more time and effort.

  7. MaheshMahesh07-25-2014

    Hi Vijay,

    This is very helpful information. I have also changed my name from Vanza Mahesh to Gohil Mahesh through advocate. At that time he has suggested it is not necessary to publish in newspaper. But I got name changed Gujarat Government Gazette.

    My 10th result is saying OLD surname and now I am taking admission in diploma. But here in Gujarat diploma college authority are saying they will consider name in result, I have shown them my name in Gazette but, they are not taking it.

    I am now in big trouble. I want to continue my new name since now. Please suggest me the right process. My no. is 73590 65244 and ID : gohil.mahesh18z@gmail.com

    Please please contact me ASAP. Thank you in advance.

    Regards,
    Mahesh

  8. NiranjanNiranjan07-25-2014

    Hi vijay,

    I want to know that how can I add surname to my name . My name is niranjan verma, I am known by niranjan verma only.but according to 10th, 12th, degree, master degree , DL, Pan card , passport my name is Niranjan.
    now I want to add surname to my name that is verma only and so I want to reflect in all my document, could you please suggest accordingly and how it can done , please suggest me.
    thanks

  9. SamairahSamairah07-24-2014

    Hi
    On 2012 i was converted from hindu to muslim and got married to a muslim man. Before my marriage itself i changed my name and made an affidavit from a notary, chennai. Now i am staying at chennai but my native is at Orissa. so can i use this affidavit for publish my name change in gazzatte of orissa? Or i have to make an another affidavit for this from orissa? please reply

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-24-2014

      Since your Affidavit was made in Chennai, you can get it published in Tamil Nadu Gazette. However there may be some time limit from date of Affidavit within which you have to get it published. Please check that.

  10. Jamil AnsariJamil Ansari07-13-2014

    Sir I am defense personnel and applied for fresh passport.In the process my name usually written without prefixing MD stands for Mohammad as Sri in Hindu in every correspondence but my tenth board certificates MD is written and hence my application kept on hold in passpot kendra and advised to go for name change with gazette notification.What should I do.I am in Jodhpur

  11. arjun malikarjun malik07-05-2014

    Hi ,Sir
    Can i publish my name change in india gajjete in place of state gajjete.
    Because state government printing press is far away than india government press from my city

  12. Kanu Patel`Kanu Patel`07-05-2014

    Hello Mr. Vijay,

    I want to change my name. i m belonging form Gujarat.

    i have some confusion for changing my name,which are as under.

    1) If i want change my name , what is procedure ?

    2) I have all Documents Like, Driving Licence , Pan Card, Bank A/C , even though Passport also with my old name. so have question that now is it possible to change my name ???

    3) will any problem in future after change the name ??

    4) will Any difficultly in work related to Govt.Sector.after change the name ??

    Hope so you can understand my problem ,

    Now Waiting for your positive reply.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-05-2014

      All these details are in the blog post or in the comments. Please read them.

  13. b mb m07-02-2014

    hi,
    i had a question about which newspapers to put the ad in. temporary address is hyderabad and permanent address is baroda. i was told to put ads in newspapers in both cities so does it have to be an english/hindi newspaper only or regional language( in this case gujarati) is ok?
    thankyou

  14. lipilipi07-01-2014

    Nice information if you can answer few small questions please
    How long does the process took?
    Did you have to travel to Gujrat(being your birth place ) or Delhi to complete any formalities

    Thanks

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-01-2014

      Process was simple. Affidavit was prepared in an hour or so. Newspaper ads were booked by going to the newspaper office – however nowadays you can post newspaper ads online itself. After that updating name in Passport, PAN card, etc. took the usual amount of time (same time as for a fresh issue). No I did not have to travel anywhere. Everything was done right here in Bangalore.

  15. Sai saiSai sai07-01-2014

    Hi Vijay,

    Thank you for all replies and help :)

    I have completed the affidavit and newspaper ad formalities.
    What should be my next step?

    1. Should I wait for some more time and then publish it in gazette? Or can I do it immediately?
    2. Many people say they could not get the gazette notification done in Karnataka as they are private employees and the Karnataka gazette allows for changes only to Govt employees. I also declared myself as a private employee in the affidavit. Is this going to be a problem if I take my case to Karnataka gazette? Any other ways?
    3. Should I now first approach Govt press in mysore road and then go to publication of gazette in Vikasa Soudha? What is the process?

    Thanks
    Sai

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-01-2014

      Yes you may not be able to publish the name change notification in Karnataka. You can send an application to the Gazette of India for name change publication. The process is described in the blog post.

  16. sanju sharmasanju sharma06-30-2014

    hi Vijay,

    i have problem with my last name.

    actually i have missed my last name in 10th marksheet and have not corrected it so after that everything has done with my first name without last name like educcation degrre,b.e degree,pancard,pasport,UID,DL, everywhere i have written only sanju.

    like one example on passport i have mentioned only sanju only.

    i heard that if u have not mentioned ur last name on passport or marksheet then it will create problem in future like when u applied for visa and when u applied for DL in other country like US.

    please help me hot can i correct it or shall i correct all documents or affidavit/notary is enough for this.

    thanks in advances.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-01-2014

      You can get your surname added via the process mentioned here. However, before that check with a lawyer if there is a simpler option available for you, since in your case it is not really a “change” of name.

      • mepramod.bhu@gmail.commepramod.bhu@gmail.com08-06-2014

        If you get anyone who can give his/her degree/certificates which has no photograph.
        anyone can easily get educated or highly educated. he just has to change his name and can get a good jobs if he is capable enough ..HOW COOL .
        Correct me if i m wrong .

        • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar08-07-2014

          Perhaps, but a thorough background check would expose the fraud.

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