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Name Change

At What Age Can a Person Legally Change their Name

Explore the legal parameters and considerations dictating when individuals can legally change their names, providing insights into the age-related regulations governing this important personal choice. The official age to change the name is however 18 years old.


In India, individuals, whether adults or minors, have the legal right to change their names, each following a specific procedure. This article provides a comprehensive understanding of the entire process involved in legally changing one’s name. For adults aged 18 years and above, the decision lies with the individual, while parents or guardians hold the authority to change the name of a minor (below 18 years). This exploration sheds light on the regulations and steps guiding the legal name change process, offering clarity for those considering this significant personal choice.

Can a Person’s Legal Name Be Completely Changed?

Yes, a person’s legal name can be completely changed through a legal process. Individuals seeking such changes must adhere to the prescribed legal procedures in their respective jurisdictions. The process typically involves submitting a formal application, providing reasons for the name change, and may require publication of the intended change in local newspapers. Once approved, the individual receives a legal document confirming the name change. It’s important to consult with legal authorities or professionals to ensure compliance with local regulations and to navigate the process smoothly.

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Reasons to Change Names in India

People in India may choose to change their names for various reasons, including:


Individuals may opt to change their names post-marriage, traditionally adopting the spouse’s surname.

Personal Identity

A desire for a new identity or alignment with personal beliefs and values may motivate a name change.

Religious Conversion

Conversion to a different religion may lead individuals to change their names to reflect their new faith.

Gender Transition

Individuals undergoing gender transition may change their names to align with their gender identity.

Professional Reasons

Professionals, artists, or performers may adopt stage names for branding or artistic expression.

Avoidance of Stigma

Some individuals may change their names to avoid social stigma or discrimination.

Correction of Errors

Rectifying spelling mistakes or inaccuracies in official records is a common reason for name changes.

Numerology or Astrology

Beliefs in numerology or astrology may influence individuals to change their names for better luck or alignment.

Legal Adoption

In cases of legal adoption, individuals may change their names to reflect their new family ties.

It’s important to follow the legal procedures outlined in the respective jurisdiction when changing names for any reason.

What Is the Procedure to Legally Change Your Name in India?

Here is a 3-step simple guide to legally changing your name in India.

  1. Affidavit

    • You will have to visit a nearby notary office and get an affidavit for Name Change India.
    • Do mention your reason for the name change, your current name, and the proposed new name.
    • For the change of name for a minor, the details of the parents/guardian/the applicant will also have to be provided.
    • Overseas Indians can change their name by submitting a deed regarding the change of name, signed by the Indian Embassy or High Commission Office.
  2. Publication in a Newspaper

    • In two local newspapers, one regional language and one in English, you will have to publish an advertisement for the name change.
    • Details you will need to provide include the shift of your old name to the new name.
    • You can contact the newspaper agency requesting them to help you with the format.
    • For future reference, you might want to save a printed as well as a scanned copy of your advertisement in the newspaper.
  3. A Notification in the Gazette

    • To get your new name published in the Official Gazette of your state, you need to visit the local government press or the department that mobilizes Gazette notification
    • You will need the following documents to apply for the gazette notification
      1. You need to get two copies of the “Deed Changing Surname Form” from the  Controller of Publication, Department of Publication
      2. 2 true copies of the newspapers in which the declaration of your name change was printed
      3. A letter to the Secretary, requesting to allow you to change your name.
      4. Attested copy of the name change affidavit
      5. Two attested photographs
      6. Your address and ID proof (with the same address mentioned in the newspaper advertisement and the affidavit. Having a different address in the proofs might get your application rejected).
    • You can speed post the documents to the Controller of Publication, Department of Publication, Civil Lines, Delhi – 110054
    • The Government will then publish your name in the Gazette for which you will have to pay ₹700 to ₹900 depending on whether or not you want the public notice.
    • Sometimes a person may have an affidavit and a newspaper publication but might not have a gazette notification. But the gazette notification is a must for Government employees. Even banks may ask you for a gazette notification before changing your name in the bank records.

How Vakilsearch Can Be Your Professional Guide?

The process to apply for a legal name change may seem simple, but overwhelming, as the intricacies may be tricky, and would require you to have some legal knowledge. Professional experts at Vakilsearch can help you move through this process in a hassle-free manner, and even answer all your queries real quick. By sending a few required documents right from your house, Vakilsearch can seamlessly get your name legally changed in a  short time.

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