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 publication of name change in the official Gazette of state/central government, the procedure of 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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  1. cheenucheenu10-11-2012

    hi name is cheenu(i.e. nick name). i m student of bca 2nd year and in all the certificates i.e. is cheenu.i just want to change my name. is that create any problem in my career and how much time will take to change my name.please rply soon……

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar10-11-2012

      It will not create any problems if you get your educational certificates also updated, along with other official documents such as ID & address proofs.

    • NandakumarNandakumar09-26-2016

      Hi sir, my name is Nandakumar.I passed 10th and now studying in 11th.What should I do to change my name?…… please do answer.

  2. SasmithaSasmitha10-09-2012

    Hai Friend
    i have change my name spelling in legally, can i possible for change in school mark sheet am finising degree


    I ravikant rawat, want to know that my name in all educational certificate is RAVIKANT, but on PAN CARD It is RAVIKANT RAWAT( Sir name included).
    sir after receiving PAN CARD ,I Have all bank account ,LIC, & ration card, with sir name.
    now I m worried that how can i go for legal name change procedue , or It is not required .
    pls help me

  4. kshitikakshitika10-04-2012

    hello sir
    i m a medical graduate. i just finished my mbbs. i wanna change my name before my pg. i want to pursue my post graduation wid a new name although my graduation degree carries d same old name!can changing name prove risk to my career!or it wud be okay if i attach my name change paperwork to my grad degree!
    plzz replyy

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar10-04-2012

      Discuss with your college officials on how long it would take to update the name in your degree certificate, and what documents would be required. I am not sure if degree with old name would be accepted with name change affidavit. Please enquire with a lawyer for more clarity. The last option with you is to change your name after you start working, as then you can manage with existing degrees in old name.

  5. jayanth.vishwanathjayanth.vishwanath10-04-2012

    Hi vijay.

    My enquiry is, if suppose my wife got job there in out of country and me joining with her as a dependent (changed my name in my passport ) and a few month later if some job I found Then how I prove to my employer that my certificate stand my original name and my passport stands dependent visa name ?(to showing all Indian standard document in brief to employer). Will my employer accept my proposal ?? or what supporting document I need to submit at that part of time.

    My second enquiry is , if I had a chance to attend MNC company interview and I made change my name In my all required document like pan, driving license, passport , residential proof, affidavit, paper advertisement other then my edu certificate , will they accept my candidature ? if not what they may ask further document?

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar10-04-2012

      If going abroad, you may need to get your name updated in educational degree certificates. If you are already working, it may be easier as you can just update your name in current company and relieving letter and experience certificate will have your new name.

  6. ameta raniameta rani10-03-2012

    Hi Vijay
    i want to just change my signature ,and if possible my spelling from amita to ameta.Do I have to go thro the whole procedure of gazette etc.thanks

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar10-03-2012

      To change signature, Affidavit is not required. To change name spelling Affidavit is required.

  7. priyankapriyanka09-30-2012

    hi, one and half years back I submitted my name name change affidavit in the district court and got the new name advertised in two local news papers but after that i stopped. i hv no affidavit copy or even a single news paper cutting or idea about the date when i got tht done. (no gazette notification and i didnt apply fr tht even in college documents).
    nw i again want the name change(different name) this time, m still a univ student, n i want the change in all documents in which it is feasible. n i dont want to mention the above said name change.
    kindly guide me about the legal complications, if any, involved this time.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar09-30-2012

      In legal matters, such casual approach can get you into serious trouble :). Luckily here it’s ok. Just repeat the process all over again and then get the name changed in official documents. Better do it before you start working as then it gets more complicated.

  8. SugunaSuguna09-26-2012

    Articles like these are such a blessing! Thank you for the same.

    I am searching all over the net for a few more details…hope you will be able to help me…

    I want to include a middle name for my daughter who is 10yrs old.

    We are native of TamilNadu,but now in West Bengal. Can I now make an affidavit here in WB?
    And as she is a minor, is it necessary to send the ads to the gazette and local newspapers?

    Hope you will be able to help me out a little more. Thanks

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar09-26-2012


      I think you may not need to go through this process as your case is not a name change, it’s just a simple middle name addition. I think you can just update your daughter’s name in her school and that should be enough. Once it comes on the certificates, those can be used as proof of name.

  9. Sourav MohataSourav Mohata09-22-2012

    hey vijay,

    thanks for the information bro.. 🙂

    secondly i would like to know that publishing in one local language newspaper is enough or is it necessary to get it published in both local and english daily

    also can you send me a draft of the advertisement that you published in the newspaper…would publishing in would cost much?

    sorry for the inconvenience bro… but please try to reply asap

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar09-22-2012

      You must publish in two newspapers. You can refer to any newspaper for a draft. Usually they carry such ads daily.

  10. shaaaashaaaa09-20-2012

    hi i changed my name legally due to convertion to other religion and i want to keep my old name in all my documents ,will i face any problem

  11. sumitsumit09-20-2012

    Hi Vijay,

    My Surname is not include in my school certificate and many of important document.
    Will i have to change my name to add the surname on my name or any other way? Please guide me

  12. Rajesh KumarRajesh Kumar09-16-2012

    Hello Vijay,

    i am rajesh my name he not as per date of birth so even i am looking for name change,i come accros ur web very good information you have give,my sign is LEO,

    i just want to know changeing name in court wht s approx cost.

    thank you for you infromation.

    thank you
    rajesh kumar

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar09-16-2012

      Cost varies from place to place. It depends on lawyer’s fees and whether you go through agent. For me it cost around Rs. 2500 in all, including newspaper ads and updation of passport.

  13. vishal meenavishal meena09-04-2012

    hey vijay i have a problem i changed my name … but there is a problem in the old name i have extra letter in my middle name could that be a problem for me my old name was guddu ramavtar meena and i have change it to vishal ramavatar meena but as per it is pulbished in gazette my old is guddu ramavatar meena in which my middle dad name has extra a so it could be a problem for me plzz reply me fast i m very tense


    Hi Vijay

    Thanks for the information. keep up the good work. It is always better to go with some knowledge on the topic. Your blog will help many. Good Luck!

  15. koushikkoushik08-18-2012

    Hi Vijay,

    I’am a native from Chennai. I have taken ration card and DL in Bangalore. Should I do the name change procedure in Chennai or Bangalore? Pls help


  16. Krishna RKrishna R08-16-2012

    This is Krishna here from bangalore 🙂 I have read ur articles its really awesome & great job – All the best keep Going on
    I would like to go for CHANGE OF NAME – PLZ GUIDE ME with the LAWYER Contact NUMBER or ADDRESS : in bangalore.

    Thanks Vijay

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar08-17-2012

      Sorry I don’t have any contacts of lawyers. You can find lots of them in Mayo Hall.

  17. mahendramahendra08-16-2012

    sir, main ne gezzete main name change karava liya hain aur ab main merag karne vala hu to kya merag cirtificat main mera new name ayega???

  18. shanzshanz08-10-2012

    hi i have changed my religion and name next if i want to open a bank account or join for a job should i proceed with the old documents and attaching the new name (document) that i have reply soon thank u

  19. TedTed08-07-2012

    Vijay , how long does it take for the name change to be published in the gazette office and secondly , approximately , how long does the entire procedure take ??

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar08-07-2012

      It can take couple of weeks for notification to appear in Gazette. Best to check with them. Affidavit and newspaper ads can be done in 1-2 days.

  20. lovemademelovemademe08-04-2012

    hi vijay bro.. im waiting for ur kind reply pls reply soon ..

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar08-04-2012

      Procedure for filing name change Affidavit is already given. Please follow it. You need to find a lawyer who will help you prepare and file the Affidavit. Go to your District Court and you should be able to find many lawyers.

  21. lovemademelovemademe07-28-2012

    hi vijay bro.. im from chennai.. being a female im gonna get gender change surgury,, so doctors told me to get court affidavit for name change.. so wat i ve to do now???

  22. VinayVinay07-27-2012

    Hi Vijay,

    First of all thanks for the useful information. I have few question regarding Affidavit, should i have go through a lawyer or can i have get from agents.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-27-2012

      Agent will internally approach lawyer for the legal work. So if you can approach a lawyer directly, you can save some money.

  23. BhushanBhushan07-25-2012

    Where can I procure an affidavit stamp paper (Rs. 20 or Rs. 50)?

  24. elamdoseelamdose07-23-2012

    hi my name is ELAMDOSE as per pan card, and i given this proof to bank, i want to change it as ELAMDOSE. P. Because i have this name in SSLC mark card, to apply passpost. How it acco be food

  25. DEEPAKDEEPAK07-14-2012

    Hi !

    I want to know if I face any problme in getting the job (Pvt or Govt) after name change ?

    Please guide me on this I am in great confusion.

    Thanx in advance.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar07-14-2012

      No, as long as you have all the proper documents related to name change.

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