Name Change

Name Change Process in India: A Complete 3-Step Guide

The Process to change your name in India can be a little complicated. Read this guide to get a clear understanding of the process.

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 of your name change application to be fairly quick. But it is, in fact, pretty lengthy, with name change forms to be filled out and even requiring a newspaper advertisement.

In this blog, we will break down the name change process in India for your understanding.

Process for Name Change in India

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

1. Affidavit Submission: An affidavit needs to be prepared for the 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

NOTE: Gazette meaning – Gazette means any form of a journal, newspaper where it is published officially.

1. 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 the required value on which the affidavit for the name change is made
  3. Once you have the paper, you need to provide the following details:
    a. Name and the new name
    b. Current address
    c. Reason for the name change (astrology, numerology, marriage, etc)
  4. Once the affidavit is printed on 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. 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. A new name with husband’s name and address
    c. Marriage date
  6. The affidavit reflects both your old and new names. 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.

Alternatively, you can skip going through all this hassle and get the affidavit and also the rest of the name change process done easily and completely online through Vakilsearch.

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 them 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 now of the name change process in India, with just the gazette procedure remaining. Once your gazette notification is published, your name change will be legally complete.

The name change 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:

  • Carry a copy of the ‘Deed changing name form’ available with the Controller of Publication, Department of Publication or a letter of declaration from you, stating the need for changing the name will do
  • Have original copies of advertisements published with the date (attach both ads)
  • Carry two attested photographs to ensure you go ahead with the procedure uninterrupted
  • 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 them to the 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 safe for future reference.

Fees for Gazette Notification

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.

Change Your Name in Key Documents

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

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

Click here to know who can change the name in India.

Name Change process in India for PAN Card

PAN Card name change may be required due to several reasons including marriage, misspelt name in PAN card, change of name and any other reasons. Name change online is possible for PAN and the name change process is simple and can be accomplished by filling the form for PAN Card name change online through TIN or NSDL. The fee for requesting a PAN card change is ₹105 and in case, the PAN card has to be mailed abroad, an additional charge of ₹866 is applicable.

Reasons for a Name Change

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Dislike Current Name
  • Religious Reasons
  • Political Context
  • Change of Gender
  • Identity Makeover

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