Legal Procedure To Change Name In India

To begin with the saying of Dale Carnegie,” Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Though many people don’t like their names. Thus, a person undergoes to change his/her name.  People in India believe in Vaastu, numerology, and it’s common for women from many communities to change their first and last name after marriage.

There are different other reasons for changing the name include divorce, social considerations, political background, gender change, personality transfer, etc. It requires time and legal formalities to register one’s name. The first prerequisite to change the name being above the age of 18. The procedure should be carried out on behalf of an infant by the parent/guardian.

The legal process for changing the name in India are as follows:

1. Prepare a Name change Affidavit:

The first step in the legal process of name change is prepared an affidavit, which acts as a substantial written statement of fact made by an individual under oath granted to him by an authorized person to do so by law.

It can be used to change a whole name, a surname, or just a few letters. The person must submit an affidavit with the help of a lawyer to a first-class Magistrate/ Notary Public/Oath Commissioner in the District court.

He must, therefore, approach local notary and mention his name change order. The notary will then suggest the stamp of the requested document, on which the applicant must include details such as the old name, the proposed new name, the reason for the change of name (marriage, divorce, religion, numerology, gender change, etc.) and the current address of the applicant.

When a married woman wants to change her surname or to add the name of her husband, the following information must be submitted:

  1. Old name with father’s name and address;
  2. A new name with husband’s name and address;
  3. Marriage date.

Print the affidavit on a stamp paper and get it duly signed by two witnesses. The legal procedure is to get a stamp (rubber stamp) signed by two persons in the rank of gazette officer. This document should be preserved for any possible legal formalities in the future.

2. Publish an advertisement:

The second step will be to publish a notification or an ad in the Official Language of the Government and the other in English for a change of name in at least two newspapers.

The explanation for the notification is to make the change in the name publicly visible so that a person can show an official declaration of name change if a conflict appears later.

The newspaper copies must, therefore, keep their scanned copies very carefully. The notification or advertisement will include the old name and the applicant’s new name, the full residential address, the name of the place of the witnessing authority, and the date of the affidavit.

In case the applicant is an employee of the Government, he/she shall submit a change name deed according to the rules laid down in Memorandum No. 19016/01/87 issued by the Ministry of the Home affairs. If the applicant is an Indian living abroad. Then he/ she should submit deed duly attested by the Indian Embassy or Indian High Commission, in original to the Authority.

The following sample format is used to place a new name ad in the newspaper:[1]

I, Mr./Mrs._________ (old name) have changed my name from ___________ (old name) to ___________ (new name) by an affidavit sworn before the Notary Public, ______________ (place) on _________ (date). Henceforth, I shall be known as _________________ (New Name) for all the purposes.

______ (Name) and ________ (Complete Postal Address).

Full Signature

3. Publish in Gazette Notification:

Finally, the application and the documents of a name change shall be sent to the Department of Publication, which refers to substantial proof. The payment for Gazette notification varies-either 700 or Rs. 900- based on whether the person chooses to public notice or not.  The money will be paid either in cash or by demand draft/postal order notification drawn up in favour of the controller of publication,  Department of publication, civil lines, Delhi-110054. The person must complete and obey all directions carefully written in the “Deed changing surname form.” The announcement of the name change shall be made within 7days from the application in the official gazette, and a copy of gazette notification shall be sent to the address specified in the deed form.

An individual required to submit following documents for the Gazette Notification which are as follows:[2]

  1. Affidavit for name change.
  2. An original copy of the newspaper in which name change advertisement is given.
  3. A prescribed form should be signed by two witnesses, including their full name, address, mobile/ phone no.
  4. A Compact Disc(CD) that contains the soft copy (type content, not a scanned copy) of the application in MS word format. In the place of signature of the applicant, the applicant’s old name has to be given, and witness details need to be mentioned.
  5. 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.
  6. The applicant will have to self-attested two attested passport size photos.
  7. A photocopy of valid ID proof such as Adhar card, passport, voter identity card, pan card, license).
  8. Cover letter
  9. Demand draft for payment of fees.

However, The system of name change seems convenient, but people can hardly understand the legal procedure, as well as pay multiple visits to various government offices.  The Government should digitize this program to eliminate all difficulties for marginalized citizens.

[1] Guest Post, ‘A Step-By-Step Guide On Changing Name Legally In India – Ipleaders’ (iPleaders, 2020) <> accessed 2 April 2020.

[2] Krupesh Bhat, ‘Legaldesk.Com Procedure For Name Change In India’ (, 2020) <> accessed 1 April 2020.

This article is authored by Md Raihan, student of LLM at South Asian University, New Delhi.

Also Read – Difference Between Legal Heir & Nominee

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