Change of name is a very common process in India, the land of numerous customs and beliefs. While some people change it as it doesn’t match the Vaastu, the other change it as per the numerology/astrology. In some families, wives change their surname to the surname of their husbands. And sometimes the registrar misspells the name in the Aadhar or Pan Card which leads to change in name. These are the instances where one might think of getting their name change but they get intimidated thinking that there is a cumbersome procedure involved. But this is not true, the name change application form is just a 3-step process.
Procedure for Name Change
The first thing that is imperative to note that in order to get your name changed you must be above 18 years of age. In case of a minor, the process can be completed by a parent/guardian.
The name change application can be put down to a 3-step process that involves-
- Step-I- Getting an Affidavit made
Step 1 involves making an affidavit and submitting it to a First-Class Magistrate or a Notary or a Public Oath Commissioner in the District Court. This document testifies that the individual voluntary intends to change his/her name. An affidavit is a legal declaration of certain sworn facts made by the deponent under an oath or affirmation by a person authorised to do so. The basic contents of an affidavit include-
- Complete name of the deponent
- Deponent’s Father’s name/husband’s name
- Complete residential address
- A declaration stating that the facts stated in the affidavit are true and correct to the best of deponent’s or his advocate’s knowledge
Do not forget to keep copies of the affidavit. One can take the help of an advocate to make a proper affidavit. Two duly attested photographs along with two witnesses will be needed to complete the registration process. You can also keep an electronic copy of the affidavit at your disposal.
- Step II- Publishing it in the Newspaper
The next step involves placing the name change application in two daily newspapers- one in the vernacular knowledge and the other in the English language. For example, if you want to change your name in Delhi you can opt for Dainik Bhaskar and Times of India. This is to avoid future confusion and making an official declaration is important for future correspondence. The main contents of the newspaper article must include-
- The previous name along with the newly changed name of the applicant,
- Applicant’s complete residential address,
- Name of the witnessing/attesting authority
- Date and place on which the affidavit was signed.
It is important to preserve the copies of the newspaper advertisement.
- Step III- Gazette Notification
The last step involves publication in the Official Gazette of the State or the Centre. This is the final step in getting your name changed legally. This process is mandatory for government employees and optional for others. But it is advisable to go through this process as well to avoid any future disputes. This is a very simple step and just involves the submission of a few documents. It is important to call up the Controller’s Office of Publication to inquire about what all documents need to be submitted.
The major documents required for major/minor include-
Documents for a major-
- Any ID Proof, PAN Card/Aadhar card/Voter ID card
- Address proof: Ration Card/Aadhar Card/Electricity Bill
- One passport size photo
- Complete application form: Duly Signed form with complete details and reason for a change in name must be submitted
Optional documents that can be submitted include-
- Marriage certificate (if a wife wants to get her name changed)
- Divorce Certificate/ Death certificate in case of second marriage and change in name
- Affidavits in case of adoption, etc.
Minor below the age of 18 years require the following documents-
- Identification proof: Aadhar card/School ID/ Aadhar Card
- Address Proof
- Proof of age through Aadhar Card/ birth certificate / School ID/ Bonafide certificate
- One passport sized photo
- Application Form which is duly signed by minor’s parents or guardians
On submission of these documents to the Controller of Publication, it will send the necessary copies of the Gazette. These documents must be kept safely. The requisite amount to be paid varies from Rs700-900 depending upon whether you require public notice or not. The documents can either be submitted in person or can be sent through a registered post along with the requisite fees in cash or demand draft.
It is important to keep all these documents safely to get your name further changed in bank accounts and other legal documents. After getting your name changed through this process, you need to apply for a change in name in Passports, PAN card and other legal documents which can be easily done with the help of Affidavit, Newspaper Advertisement and Gazette Notification. You can take the help of an advocate to effectively complete the change in name application process.