Find out who can change a name in India?

Last Updated at: Aug 25, 2020
Find out who can change name in India_
The Honorable President conveyed the decision of the Union Cabinet to rename the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) as the Ministry of Education.


In a recent development, The Executive Council (EC) of the Allahabad University has rejected requests to change its name to Prayagraj. The city of Allahabad was renamed Prayagraj in 2018. 12 of the 15 members of the EC have voted against the change in name.


Our name is the most important identity that defines us. It defines us effectively, in a manner more than what we realize. A significant percentage of people around the world have changed their names, rationalizing the fact that a name is more than just a name. People opt for a complete name change, add a title to their name, change or remove their surnames.

There are specific protocols and rules to be followed to change your name legally in India. In this article, we will discuss how you can get your name changed and what is the right procedure to do it.

Why do people usually change their name?

  • To change their surname after marriage or after divorce.
  • Numerological or astrological reasons
  • Religious reasons
  • Change of gender
  • Dislike current name
  • Political reasons 

Easy steps of Name Change

Broadly classifying, the process of name change is inclusive of the following steps:

  • Making an affidavit for a name change
  • Placing an advertisement in the 2 newspapers along with name change
  • Submitting the newspaper to The Department of Publication

In order to change the name, one has to be 18 years and above. The procedure of the name change for the individual before the age of 18 is different.

Procedure to change your name legally:

You can change your name officially by following these three simple steps:

  • Creating  an affidavit for a name change
  • Placing an advertisement in the 2 newspapers along with name change
  • Submitting the newspaper to The Department of Publication

Let’s delve deeper into the name change process in India:

Step 1: Create an Affidavit

The first step towards name change is creating an affidavit for the same. It must include the following:

  • Full name of the applicant
  • Father’s name or husband’s name
  • Complete residential address
  • A statement declaring that you are willing to opt for a name change and all the information provided by you is correct. 
  • The applicant must sign the affidavit at the designated place, and this document must be attested by a Judicial Magistrate or Notary or an Oaths Commissioner.

Step 2: Place an advertisement in the newspaper

Once you have got the affidavit made, the next step is to place the advertisement in 2 newspapers. This advertisement must include your old name and the new name along with your address, and name of the witnessing and attesting Authority.

In case the applicant is a government employee, they need to submit a deed for change of name as per the rules mentioned in the Office Memorandum No. 19016/01/87 as issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In case the applicant is living abroad, then he/she must submit the deed  (original)  attested by the Indian Embassy or Indian High Commission to the concerned Authority.

Example of Advertisement Format:

I, Ramamurthy, r/o Trilokpuri, New Delhi, have changed my name as Radhika Nandan as sworn in front of Notary C. Ramanujan on 7/12/2019.

Officially change your name

Step:3 Submitting the newspaper to the Department of Publication

On submitting the newspapers to the Department of publication, you will receive a name change gazette notification. This last step is optional for applicants other than government employees. You will have to submit the newspapers along with the affidavit and identity proofs.

To change your name using the above procedure, you have to be 18 years old and above. The procedure for changing the name of the individuals before the age of 18 is different.

What are the documents required for a name change?

For successful completion of the name change process in India, you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • An affidavit signed by the applicant and attested by the notary.
  • An original newspaper in which you have given an ad regarding your name change
  • Prescribed proforma with signatures of the applicant along with two witnesses
  • A compact disc that has a soft copy of the application in Word format. In the place of signature of the applicant, the applicant’s old name must be given, and all the witness details must be present.
  • A certificate where the applicant has declared that all the content on the documents is true
  • Self-attested passport size photographs
  • Photocopy of Valid ID proof, also self-attested
  • A request letter along with required fees 

All of these documents must be printed and sent to The Controller of Publications, Department of Publication, Civil Lines, Delhi-110054, along with the fees.

Rules involved in legal name changing:

Although Indian law allows its citizens to change their name into anything they prefer, there are still a few exceptions.

  • You cannot change your name to hide your real identity.
  • You cannot change your name to avoid your debt liabilities or escape from legal issues.
  • The court will never allow changing your name to that of a famous personality unless you prove you have no intention to mislead anyone. 
  • You cannot choose an obscene or an offensive name.
  • You cannot choose a complicated name that involves punctuation and numerals.  

How to get my name changed on a PAN card?

The PAN Card is an authorized document that serves as an ID proof. You will be required to produce a PAN card for every bank transaction. In case of discrepancy or if you wish to get your name changed on a PAN card, you would need to follow these steps:

Steps for changing your name in PAN card:

  • To get your name changed in the PAN card, visit the Tax Information Network website, and select Apply Online.
  • After this, go to Application Type and select the option that allows you to change or correct existing PAN Data/ Reprint of PAN Card (No changes in existing PAN data).
  • Choose the ‘Individual’ category and enter details like your surname, first name, DOB, email ID, PAN Number, citizenship, and captcha code. Once you have entered the details, submit the form.
  • On completing the above steps, you will get your token Number. This is sent to your email ID.
  • Now fill the remaining PAN application form. You need to click on ‘Continue with PAN Application Form”.
  • After this, you will be redirected to the online PAN application change page. Here, you can verify the details you had already entered.
  • Then enter the details like your name as given in your Aadhaar card. Then, update your photo and signature.
  • On completing the above steps, you will get an acknowledgement slip.

One can use the acknowledgement number in the slip to check the PAN update status. You can choose to get an e-PAN, a physical PAN card, or both at the time of filling the requisition form. It generally takes around 45 days to receive the updated PAN card after the name change process.

To know more about name change procedure in India: Click here 

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