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:

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 →


  1. raj kumarraj kumar12-15-2014

    hello sir

    i want to change my surname but i just have a job so what can i do sir after how much time to do change my surname please suggest me.

  2. sneha sivarajakrishnansneha sivarajakrishnan11-26-2014

    Hi vijay,
    I changed my name through maharashtra rajya patra. While applying i have given proper name ,but when i receive my gazette my last name was having a sapce. Is it a major problem? What should i do? I received my gazette around a month back. I contacted my lawyer,he said it wont be a prob for space in last name. TIA.

  3. rtrt11-24-2014

    Hi. What is the legal time limit for placing an ad in newspaper after affidavit?? Is there actually a time limit or is it we can place ad even after a Loooooong time after affidavit??

    Can you throw light on this??

  4. Matthew GhoshMatthew Ghosh11-23-2014

    Will my signature also change if I change my first name or for that I need to specify in the affidavit?

  5. KapilKapil11-18-2014

    Hi Vijay,

    Thank you a ton for sharing well described steps for change of name.

    I have a question, Hope you could answer this when you get some free time.

    Question : I did the Change of name ad in national newspaper (around year and half ago), Can i use it still or do it need to re-publish it again ?

    I spoke with passport officer and he asked to publish it again but this turns confusion for me coz my bank account, Pan card, Voter Identity card were revised based on that newspaper ad clipping.
    Shouldn’t they use the same ad to keep this verification single sync.

    What do you say ?

    Cheers !!

  6. Sandeep R.Sandeep R.11-18-2014

    Hi Vijay,

    Thank you for the article.

    I gotta question for you: Can you tell me how much does it cost to change one’s name up to step 3 (excluding changes in Passport, Bank books, PAN, etc.)? I know it differs with area, can you give me a ball park? Appreciated.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar11-18-2014

      Usually the cost is same as that of new Passport or PAN card. Bank account updation is free.

  7. preyangapreyanga10-31-2014

    hello sir i w ant to change my name sir iam bsc physics completed sir and iam preparing
    for upsc sir how can i change my name

  8. john prakash mandalajohn prakash mandala10-27-2014

    please tell me what is the address to contact personally for change of my name officially in gezette publication?

  9. Asha M.AAsha M.A10-26-2014

    sir i want to change my cast what are the procedures??
    presently my cast is sc kurava, change in sidhanar

  10. babu jatwababu jatwa10-17-2014

    I want to change my name. .. presently I’m doing in civil engineering. .. please suggest me..?

  11. rajiraji10-17-2014

    vinay padiyar ji,
    namasthe. vinay ji my daughter is preparing for M.D.medical entrance. i want to change now before joining in M.D. i selected name also. but my husband is afraid to change name now because he is feeling that there will be problems if we change now. which period is better in name changing either after joining in P.G or after marriage?

    is there rule to add husbands name or surname after marriage for medical students? or they should change( correct) the same using name?


  12. Jeya PrakashJeya Prakash10-16-2014

    Dear Vijay,

    I had changed my name through tamilnadu goverment gazette on 2002. After that i had completed my diploma with my new name. Now i am holding all the documents(passport, voter id, family card, diploma certifcates, Transfer Certificate) with my new name and except my SSLC and HSC mark sheets. Could you tell me, is it possible to change the new name in my SSLC and HSC mark sheets? Because of while I have been applying for higher studies in singapore, the application was declined often by the institute. So please give a good suggestion for this. Thanks a lot.

  13. shibham pandeyshibham pandey10-15-2014

    In my 10th and 12th marksheets name is ‘shibham pandey’ and in my aadhar card and ration card name is ‘shubham pandey’ sir this problem is occur lot of problem for me and now i mam doing with the name shibham pandey so sir please reply me that how should i change my name after my first year result comes out if you give me a suggestion then i change that name in
    only there is single alphabet mistake is there and i want my name shubham pandey instead of shibham pandey
    so,please give me a quick solution to change this name and email me quickly

  14. vijay gondaliyavijay gondaliya10-01-2014

    Me gov. Job kar raha hu job ka 6 sall hogaya hai mene apna nam change ke liye 2 month pahele vakil ko milkar 20rs.stemp pe afidivit kiya lekin ab tak koi gezet ka javab nahi aaya vakil kahte hai kuch din me aa jayenge to muse kya karna chahiye,sir pls rply

    • vijay gondaliyavijay gondaliya10-01-2014

      Mene vakil ko 2200rs. Diye hai,me bhavnagar gujrat ka hu.

  15. PawanPawan09-30-2014

    I am following this process, and would like to add, that now Dept. of Publication requires the name change request (proforma) on a CD as a soft copy as well. I just got a rejection and have to resubmit documents, along with CD for soft copy.

  16. SabaSaba09-24-2014

    hi Vijay,

    I am having with different name on each documnet because of which now cant apply for H1 visa. My 10th certificate name is Saba Bano Yunus, My 12th, BSC and MCA marksheet name is Yunus Saba Bano S M Yunus. My passport name is Sababano Mohammed Yunus Shaikh. My Pancard name is Saba bano Shaikh. And my employment documents name is Saba Shaikh.

    After marriage my name changed to Saba Syed Zulfikar. This name is on Adhar card and voters id card.

    I really need to do something now coz if I don’t then I wont be able to fly abroad.

    Please suggest how should and on which document should I change my name?


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