Name Change in India: A Complete 3-Step Guide

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name change

Changing one’s name, adding initials or even just one letter is regular in India, more so than in many parts of the world. We believe in vaastu, numerology, and it’s common for women from many communities to change their first and last names after marriage.

Given how common this is, you would expect the procedure for changing your name to be fairly quick. But it is, in fact, pretty lengthy, even requiring a newspaper advertisement.

Even though it is lengthy, though, the procedure for changing your name is quite simple. All you need to do is to understand how it is done, what steps needs to be taken, what are the documents essential for submitting the request, and you are good to go. Read the below-mentioned steps to ensure you have everything in place for changing your name to the new initials, as preferred.

Name Change in India

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PROCEDURE FOR NAME CHANGE IN INDIA

There are three mandatory things, which are needed to be done for authorizing the name change:

1. Affidavit Submission: An affidavit needs to be prepared for name change.
2. Ad Publication: An announcement should be published in the newspaper.
3. Gazette Notification: A notification should be published in the Gazette of India regarding the name change.

AFFIDAVIT SUBMISSION

The first step in the legal procedure is affidavit submission. You need to contact a notary to do the needful. The following steps would make the process simpler and clearer:

1. Approach your local notary and mention your request.

2. The notary will suggest the stamp paper of required value on which the affidavit for name change is made.

3. Once you have the paper, you need to provide the following details:
a.Name and New name
b.Current address
c.Reason for name change (Astrology, numerology, marriage, etc)

4. Once the affidavit is printed on a plain stamp paper, it needs to be signed by two witnesses. The legal procedure is to get it signed by two persons of gazetted officer rank. Ensure that you have their signature, along with their stamp (rubber stamp).

5. The procedure for a name change, in the case of a central government employee, needs to be done in lieu with the Ministry of Home Affairs O.M. No. – 190016/1/87-Estt. Dated 12.03.1987. Ask the Notary for advice or read the guidelines.

6. Married women, who would like to change their surname or add their husband’s name as initials, are required to provide the following details:
a. Old name with the father’s name and address;
b. New name with husband’s name and address;
c. Marriage date.

The affidavit reflects both your old and new name. Affidavits can be used for changing the whole name, surname or just a few letters.

Keep a copy of the affidavit. This is a crucial document and comes in handy for any future legal formalities.
For overseas Indians, who would like to change their name, one needs to submit a deed stating the change of name, duly signed by the Indian High Commission office or the Indian Embassy.

2. NEWSPAPER PUBLICATION

If you have made the affidavit, the next step is to publish an advertisement/notification in the local newspaper that you have changed your name. For this, you need to select two newspapers, one published in the official language of the state and the other, an English daily.

For instance, if you reside in Madhya Pradesh, you can opt for Dainik Bhaskar and Times of India/Hindustan Times. If you are from Tamil Nadu, you can opt for Dinakaran/Dina Thanthi and The Hindu/Indian Express.

The requirement is to pick two popular daily and send a request to them, stating the following details:
a. Your new name
b. Your old name
c. Date of Birth
d. Address

Name Change Advertisement Example

The newspapers allot a column for these notifications and will be able to guide you on this. The format can be had from any newspaper. Here is a simple example. Let’s assume XYZ is changing his name to ABC.

I, XYZ, residing at , have changed my name to ABC, and will be known as ABC from here on in. I have submitted an affidavit to this effect, which was signed by on .

Married women, who would like to change their surname after marriage, should add their husband’s name and address in the notification.

Once your notification is published in the newspaper, remember to collect as many copies as you can, and store it for future use. Although one single copy will suffice, it is better to store as many original newspaper ad copies as you can, to be on the safer side.

3. Gazette Notification

We are well at the end of the procedure, and once your gazette notification is published, your name change will be legally complete.

Gazette notification is mandatory for those in employment with the government and optional for others. However, it is substantial proof of your name change. Since it just involves sending a few documents for publication, it may make sense to go through with it.

Here is what you need to do to submit the Gazette notification:

a. Carry a copy of the ‘Deed changing name form’ available with the Controller of Publication, Department of Publication;

b. Alternatively, a letter of declaration from you, stating the need for changing the name will do;

c. Carry original copies of advertisements published with the date. (Attach both ads);

d. Carry two attested photographs to ensure you go ahead with the procedure uninterrupted;

e. Carry address and identity proofs (The address should be the same as the one published in the newspaper and affidavit. Any change of address might result in rejection of application).

However, before sending in the following details, call the Controller’s office of Publication to get a detailed account of what all need to be sent, and note it down. Also, put the above documents in an A4 sized envelope before sending it to the below mentioned address.

The office of the Controller of Publication will send information, with the necessary copies of the Gazette on which the Advertisement/Notification has appeared. Keep this safely for future reference.

Now your part of the work in the name change in India process is done. The Government will print the change of your name in the Gazette. The amount charged for Gazette notifications varies –- either Rs. 700 or Rs. 900 –- depending on whether you want a public notice or not.

The money can be paid either in cash or by a demand draft/postal order drawn in favour of’ the Controller of Publication, Department of Publication, Civil Lines, Delhi – 110054’. This is the address you need to visit in case you will be submitting it in person (office hours are between 10 AM and 1 PM and 2 PM to 3 PM on any working day), or you can courier/speed post the envelope with all details to the address mentioned above.. Check the website of the Department of Publication (Government of India) for further details, here.

Although your work for legalizing your name change is made, it is essential to save all the documents and use it for officially changing your name in the bank records, certificates and any other documents that you deem necessary.

The name change documents might come as crucial ones when you apply or renew a passport or for any other future transactions.

Also, it is noted in several cases that a person has just the affidavit and the Newspaper advertisements for a name change, and have not notified the Gazette regarding the modification. Although, as stated earlier, the government employees have the mandatory clause for Gazette notifications, the banks might ask for Gazette notification before changing your name in the account.

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A lawyer with 14 years' experience, Vikram has worked with several well-known corporate law firms before joining Vakilsearch.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Sir,
    suppose i had changed my name. is it mandatory for i have to change my name for all proof issued by local authorities i.e. Passport, Voter ID, PAN Card Aadhar Card & educational Certificates.
    Please Sir suggest me your valuable feedback.

    Regards,
    Ravindra

  2. Dear Sir,
    Suppose i had changed my name. is it Mandatory for i have to change My name for all Proof issued by local Authorities i.e. Passport, Voter ID, PAN Card Aadhar Card & educational Certificates.
    Please Sir suggest Me your valuable feedback.
    Thank you for the vital information

    • You should do so. It may not be absolutely urgent, but it is recommended. You would need to provide affidavits to the respective authorities, usually notarised by a gazetted officer.

  3. My name is different on my birth certificate than rest of other document like school leaving certificate, aadhar card, voting id and other educational documents. So can i change name on birth certificate to the name which is currently using in my all document? Or give me suggestion, what i should do. please reply me .
    my email is zaid.kureshi41@gmail.com

  4. Hello

    I have changed my name in the passport a few years back so as to match the name in all my certificates… I am yet to publish my name in the gazzette..

    The name in my drivers licesnce is not changed. can you pplease advise me on the procedure to change it?

  5. Hello

    I Shiva ,Name changed process but some problem my Permanent Address Rajsthan . state And Working Address Gujarat , were is Gazzette to name changed

    Gazzette is valid only state & All Over India …Please Reply

  6. Hi
    I have changed my name recently by apply for citizenship requesting name change and a I have got gazette publication of name change done. But I don’t have any affidavit n paper publications regarding name change. Now I wanted to change my name in passport for that gazette publication and anexure E is enough or must have to publish in local news papers.

  7. Is the procedure same for infants?
    I got my 1 yr daughter name changed in birth certificate with an affidavit but the bank still is not happy with the new birth certificate and needs all other proof.

  8. Hello Sir,
    I’ve recently changed my whole name except surname through gazette.Now I’m studying BTech and need my future certificates to be on my new name.But it seems there is some long process for that.Is it necessary to change my name in 10th and Inter(11th and 12th grades)?

  9. Dear Sir,
    I have changed my name being overseas and got my new name in the passport. My old passport with old name is cancelled. Now I want to update India driving license, PAN and ration card.
    They are asking for Gazette notification. If I present a letter signed by Gazetted officer, will that be enough or I should do someone thing else? Please advice

  10. Dear Sir,
    Suppose i had changed my name. is it Mandatory for i have to change My name for all Proof issued by local Authorities i.e. Passport, Voter ID, PAN Card Aadhar Card & educational Certificates.
    Please Sir suggest Me your valuable feedback.
    Thank you for the vital information

  11. Dear Vikram,

    Thanks for the wonderful article. I live in USA and own a property in India.

    1) Is it possible to get the name change done by being here in USA ?
    2) By changing name, do I have to change anything to the property documents?

    Thanks in advance for your inputs.

  12. HI VIKRAM JI,
    i changed my name after passing 12th from school and all documents Driving Licence , Pan, Passport, Election card etc are in New Name.
    Recently I went to Transport Authority in Delhi to change my driving licence to COMMERCIAL DRIVING LICENCE they need at least 8th pass certificate of my present name.
    Since I did not changed name on school certificate I can’t submit the same to them and without school pass certificate they can issue commercial driving licence.

    Appreciate if you please guide me how to get the name changed on 10 pass certificate

  13. Sir after marriage my name is Kumud Joshi and my all documents is name Kumud but I don’t like my name and astrological purpose I got a new name is Rashmi this name is suitable for me and I like this name also
    So I want to change my name in all documents Kumud to Rashmi but there is one problem with me no proof I am Rashmi

  14. i want to change my name in all my educational documents indentity froof/addres proof as well as School/college certificate,passport, adaar, voter id, dl, rc etc., is it possible

  15. Dear Sir,

    I’m a father of twin 1 year grils. My surname is Boya which I did not want to continue and before their birth itslef I wanted to keep their surname as my city name Ballari. So, after their birth, I’ve taken their birth certificate at designated govt.offices with surname mentioning Ballari itself. In their birth certificates, me n my wife’s surnames are mentioned only by initials B as all our certificates like PAN card/DL/marks cards/degree certificate are having the surname mentioned in initials only. This is normal in south india. My doubt now is will it be a problem now in getting their passport where I’ve to mention my surname as boya & their surname as ballari. Do passport authorities object for issuing passport to them. Kindly clear my doubt.

    • No. Having said that, there may be a small chance of rejection. But please mention all information on the passport and it will go through.

  16. Dear Sir,

    i have been married for 10 years, changed my surname after marriage (passport, adhere card, pan card – all have my husband’s surname) but my flat in Mumbai still has my maiden name. how can i change the name registration on my flat? what are the procedures? do i have to be there in person at the time of change? what are the cost of changes?

    thank you

  17. Hello Sir,

    This is Murali, my son’s DOB is 01-04-2015. At that time I have registered my son’s name as Anirudh Mithran and the only ID proof Im having for his name is birth certificate. Recently, I have changed his name as Mithran(Removed Anirudh) and I received Gazette. But I have 2 questions here:
    1)Is that mandatory to advertise in new paper?
    2) Is that possible to get new birth certificate with new name Mithran

    Thanks a lot for your advise.

  18. Hi im chandan student of B.Com
    please give me solution.
    there is mistake in my fathers name. The result of std 1 to 4 my fathers name Mention HarishChandra but STD 5-12 mention “HariChandra” but another hell was the result of graduation my father name is mention “HarishChandra.
    pls give me solution does it will is effect on my future jobs and career??.
    Im from India.

  19. Hi I have already already applied for gazet report to changed my surname is it imp to publish in news paper and can please anyone say how much it takes time to get gazzet

  20. Hi Sir,

    First of all, I want to say thank you, as you are providing a great service to those who are not aware of this hectic procedure, that how to change name in India due to lack of information hats off to you. Now I come straight to my point. I want to inform you that i have already published my name change ad in newspapers in 2006 but on that time i don’t have much information for how to change name legally. Now i want to change my first name. So please suggest me that is it possible that now i use my earlier published name change ad?

    What documents are required for change of name in the following –

    – Passport
    – PAN Card
    – Aadhar Card
    – Driving Licence
    – Bank accounts/Salary account
    – Voted ID
    – Car Loan
    – LIC Policy
    – PF account
    – Car Registration Card (RC)
    – Birth certificate – is name change required here?
    – MCA/ Bcom/ XII/ X Mark sheets & Certificates – is name change required here?
    – Professionally changed my first name in working company – is name change required here?

    Please help me….

    Thanks,
    Dev

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