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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/Guidelines%20for%20change%20of%20name%20Adult%20%28Major%29_1.pdf

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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553 Comments

  1. kailash chandra joshikailash chandra joshi10-29-2017

    Sir, My name in my High School certificate & other certificates are without surname and are as- Kailash Chandra and it appears so in my PPO. I am retired Govt. Servant. My Ration Card, PAN, Aadhar, Pass Port, D.L. bank accounts are with surname. Only pension account is without surname. Now I want to continue my name as Kailash Chandra Joshi. My Income tax assessment is also in the complete name. My department has been issuing Form-16 in my complete name. I have applied for inclusion of my surname in my PPO. which will match my PAN, Aadhar etc. Sir is it possible and what procedure to be followed. Thanks.

  2. parmar vinodbhai khemabhaiparmar vinodbhai khemabhai10-06-2017

    Hello sir my surname change can the ple..help me

  3. PankajPankaj09-04-2017

    Thank you for this useful information.
    My name is Pankaj in all academic certificates (B.tech, M.tech, Ph.D) and in other documents (Passport, DL, Pan card). My sir name is not written anywhere, therefore, I have changed my name Pankaj to Pankaj Munjal which has been published in Gazette of India. Now, Change of the name in the academic certificates is not possible.
    My query is: Can It create a problem for getting a job in foreign If I change my name in Passport from Pankaj to Pankaj Munjal.
    Thank you

  4. SaritaSarita09-03-2017

    Hello sir I have a query that is it illegal if two person in one family using common name and dob and fathers name. Bcoz of this Pan number for both person are same. Kindly suggest how one person Change his name

  5. chandanchandan08-25-2017

    I HAVE CHANGED MY NAME CHANDAN H. KASER TO CHANDAN H. VARMA BUT NO ONE TELL ME THAT ADVT. IN NEWS PAPER IS COMPULSARY I HV CHANGED MY NAME IN 2015 AND NOW ITS 2017 NOW FOR WHT??
    MY ALL DOCUMENTS APPEAR OLD NAME NOW I WANT NEW DOCUMEMTS LIKE PAN,ADDHAR AND ELECTION CARD (I DONT HAVE) SO HOW CAN I APPLY??
    PLS SUGGEST ME ASAAP

  6. PraveenPraveen08-15-2017

    Hello vijay sir I want to change my name in my education certificate sslc and diploma what should I do sir to cheang my name plz help me sir.

  7. PallaviPallavi08-13-2017

    I want to change my name.but I made all the things like gaszetted officer signature and paper advertisement.and also I changed my name in aadhar card.but I want to change my name in all educational certificates.how to change . please advice.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar08-13-2017

      You will have to check with the educational institution itself, sorry.

  8. Harjindra SinghHarjindra Singh07-31-2017

    I am a teacher in up gov.Is it possible to change name without having permission from Department.

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