Changing one’s name is surprisingly common, and happens for a variety of reasons, be it marriage, change of religion, or just a desire for one to be more comfortable with themselves. However, there are many bureaucratic requirements involved in the process.
In spite of the fact that many individuals dislike their names, not every person would opt to make changes. They simply hold tight to their names for the duration of their lives, generally on the grounds that possibly they may not understand what choices are accessible to them, or maybe they believe that the method for name change process is simply tedious. While the procedure is tedious for your average citizen, it isn’t for an expert in the field such as Vakilsearch.
People tend to change their names due to multiple reasons like marriage, dislike of their current name, religious reasons, political contexts, identity makeovers, etc. Also, It’s common for women from many communities to change their first and last names after marriage.
The name change procedure in India includes 3 steps:
- Affidavit Submission: An affidavit needs to be prepared for the name change.
- Ad Publication: An announcement should be published in the newspaper.
- Gazette Notification: A notification should be published in the Gazette of India regarding the name change.
Let us go through each of the steps in detail
Step 1: Affidavit Submission
The first step in the name changing process is affidavit submission. To do this, you’ll have to contact a notary. The following points would make the process simpler:
- Approach your local notary and mention your request.
- The notary would suggest the stamp paper of the required value on which the affidavit is made.
- The following details need to be provided:
- Name and new name
- Current address
- Reason for name change
4. Once the affidavit is printed on a plain stamp paper, it needs to be signed by two witnesses.
5. In case of a central government employee, the name change procedure must be done in lieu with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
6. Married women changing their name, must furnish the following details:
- Current name with father’s name and address
- New name with husband’s name and address
- Marriage date
Note: An affidavit reflects both your old and new names. It can be used for changing the whole name, surname, or just a few letters.
For overseas Indians who would like to change their name, he/she needs to submit a deed stating the change of name, duly signed by the Indian High Commission office or the Indian Embassy.
Step 2: Ad in Newspaper
If you have made the affidavit, the next step is to publish an advertisement in the leading local daily newspapers that you have changed your name. The advertisement must include your
- Old name
- New name
- Date of birth
- Residential address
- Name of witnessing authority
- Place and date on which the affidavit is made.
Note: The ad must be published in two newspapers, one in the official language of the state and the other in English.
Newspaper Ad Format
The newspapers allot a column for these kinds of notifications. The format for placing a name change ad in newspaper is given below:
I, Sanjay r/o Bommanahalli, Begur road, Bangalore, Karnataka have changed my name to Sourav, sworn in front for Notary M. Rajesh on 15/02/2020.
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.
Note: Married women who would like to change their surname after marriage, should add their husband’s name and address in the notification.
Documents Required For Name Change
An individual who is going to change his/her name must keep the below documents ready for the publication of name change advertisement in the Gazette of India:
- An affidavit duly signed by the applicant and attested by Judicial Magistrate/Notary
- Original newspaper in which name change ad is given
- Prescribed proforma (must be computer typed and not handwritten) with signatures of applicant and two witnesses
- A C.D. (compact disc) that contains the soft copy (typed content, not a scanned copy) of the application in MS Word format. In place of the signature of the applicant, the applicant’s old name has to be given, and witness details need not be included
- A certificate in which the applicant declares that the contents included in both soft copy and hard copy are similar. The applicant should duly sign the certificate
- Two passport-size photographs, both self-attested by the applicant
- A photocopy of a valid ID proof, self-attested by the applicant
- A request letter along with the requisite fee as per the authority.
The above-listed documents, along with a forwarding letter must be submitted to The Controller of Publications, Department of Publication, Civil Lines, Delhi-110054. The papers have to be submitted either personally or shall be sent by post/courier to the department.
Note: The documents must not be more than a year old and the documents once submitted shall not be returned under any circumstances. So, it is advised that the applicants keep extra copies of the documents for their personal reference.
Step 3: Gazette Notification
Applying for the change of name in the Gazette is the final step of the name change process. Once the Gazette notification is published, your name will be legally changed.
Once the application is received by the officials, the documents will be checked and sent for notification to the respective Govt. of India Press. It usually takes around one or two months for name change advertisements to appear in the Gazette Publication. Applicants can download the e-copy from the Digital Directory of the Gazette of India. Also, a copy of the name change notification in Gazette of India will be sent to your residential address by post.
Note: The name change Gazette notification is mandatory for those in employment with the government. However, it is a substantial proof of your name change. Since it just involves sending a few documents for publication, it makes sense to go through with it.
Fee for Gazette Notification
Now your part of the work in the name change process in India is over. Let us get into the gazette name change online fees. The Government will print the change of your name in the Gazette. The amount charged for Gazette notifications varies either ₹ 700 or ₹ 900/- depending on whether you want a public notice or not.
You can pay the money 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.
How can Vakilsearch help you with the Name Change Process?
Vakilsearch holds immense knowledge and expertise in the name change process. We make it easier for you to change your name. To start with the process, we will need your basic details such as old name, new name, residential address, ID proof, photographs etc. The rest will be taken care of by us. All you need to do is sit back and relax!