Name change procedure in India

Name Change Procedure in India – All You Need to Know

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Name change has become a common phenomenon in recent years, with an increasing number of individuals opting to alter their birth names legally. The reasons behind this decision vary from personal to professional. However, it is very necessary that such name changes should be in accordance with the name change procedure prescribed by the law.

Reasons Causing Name Change

There can be various factors that cause people to change their birth names. Let us understand some of such reasons as follows.

Troublesome past

One significant reason for changing one’s name is to escape a troubled past or associations that have brought negativity into their lives. Individuals who have experienced traumatic events or been associated with criminal activities often desire a fresh start. By changing their name legally, they hope to distance themselves from their past and break free from any reminders or prejudices tied to their previous identity.

Professional Reason

Another influencing factor in the decision to legally change one’s name lies in personal branding and career progression. In today’s competitive world, where first impressions matter greatly, some people believe that their birth names may hinder their professional growth. A name that is difficult to pronounce or associated with a particular culture or ethnicity can sometimes be a barrier in certain industries. Changing their name can provide a level playing field and increase their chances of success.


Furthermore, marriage or divorce can also lead to name changes for both men and women. After tying the knot, many couples prefer combining their surnames or adopting their spouse’s last name to signify their union. Conversely, in the case of divorce, individuals may choose to revert to their maiden name to regain their identity and move forward independently.

Religous and Cultural Factors

In addition to personal and professional reasons, religious and cultural factors also influence name changes. Converting to a different religion often involves adopting a new name, which reflects their newfound beliefs and spirituality. Similarly, immigrants may choose to change their name to integrate better into the new culture or align themselves with their ancestral heritage.

Legalizing name changes is crucial as it grants individuals official recognition of their new identity, ensuring that they are treated lawfully and fairly. By providing legal documentation of the change, individuals can update their identification papers, including passports, driver’s licenses, and social security records. This enables them to navigate various aspects of life without facing any discrimination or inconvenience Name Change Procedure in India

Name Change Procedure in India involves 3 major steps.

They are as follows.

  1. Drafting of an Affidavit
  2. Notification in the Local Newspaper
  3. Notification in the Official Gazette

Let us understand each of the following in detail.

Affidavit for Name Change

AFFIDAVIT is the first step in the legal name change procedure. This also involves the following four steps.

  • The first thing to do to get your name changed is to get an Affidavit made by a Notary  or an Advocate.
  • The Notary will provide with the stamp paper on which the  affidavit for the name change is to be made.
  • After you get the Stamp paper, provide the details such as current name and new name one intends to adopt, current address, reason for the name change.
  • When the Affidavit gets printed on the stamp paper, it has to be signed by 2 witnesses. Legally it has to be signed by 2 officers of Gazette rank along with their rubber stamp. Affidavit carries both your names ( old and new). It has to be preserved as it may be needed in future legal formalities.

Name Change Advertisement in the Local Newspaper

A notification or advertisement has to be given regarding the name change  in 2 local news papers out of which 1 should be in the regional language of the state. The other Notification should be published in an English daily newspaper.

Following details have to be provided in the news papers-
a) New name
b) Old name
c) date of birth,
d) address

Notification in the Official Gazette

Publishing the name change in the  official gazette is mandatory only for those who are Government employees for others its optional.  This notification can be published in Central as well as State Gazette as applicable for the respective servants.The Central and State Official Gazettes are published once in a month.

Documents needed for a Gazette Notification.

a) Along with the affidavit, an application (deed for name change form) has to be  submitted to the Controller of Publication. 
b) A Declaration letter stating the reasons to change the name.
c) Original copies of the Newspaper in which notification of the name change was published along with the date.
d) Two photographs for a smooth procedure.
e) Address and Identity proofs. The address should be the same as mentioned in the affidavit and newspapers.

The office of the Publication Department will send the information of the copies of the Gazette on which the notification of the name change appeared. Once your new name gets published in the Central or State Official Gazette,  it assures that your name has legally changed. Such gazette copies have to be preserved for future.
However, because these gazettes are published once in a month it may take upto 3 months for the procedure of the name change to complete

Name Change Procedure After Marriage

A Married woman requires to mention the following details in the affidavit to initiate her name change procedure on the account of marriage.

a) Her old name along with her Father’s name and address. 
b) Her new name along with her Husband’s name and address.
c) Her Marriage date.
d) Her wish to change the name
Affidavit needs to be notarized followed by a newspaper publication and later a publication in the official gazette.

Name Change Procedure for Government Employees

  • For government employees, name change procedure should be done in the lieu of  Ministry of Home Affairs O.M. No.- 190016/1/87-Estt. Dated 12.3.1987.
  • Any government employee who wishes to adopt a new or modify his / her existing name may do so, by executing a formal deed to change his / her name.
  • After the execution of the deed, publication of the name change should be done in a prominent local news paper and in the official gazette of India by the goverment employee at his own expense.

Name Change Procedure for a Female Government Employee on account of Marriage/Remarriage or Death/Divorce

  • If the female government employee desires a change she should give a formal intimation to her appointing authority of her marriage and request for a change in her surname.
  • Particulars of the husband may be provided for making necessary entries in the Service Book.

In case of Death or Divorce, the female government employee should give:

  • an intimation to the appointing authority regarding change in marital status; and
  • a formal request for reversion to her maiden name.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to change name in the passport?

To change name in passport, an affidavit containing the details of the applicant and stating the reasons of the name change is required. wait until the notification of name change is published in the official gazette of India. Then, publish two advertisements in two different newspapers about the name change, Lastly, visit the Passport Seva Kendra and submit the application with the changed name.

What documents are required for a name change?

Documents required for a name change includes, a notorised affidavit, newspaper clippings which contains the name change advertisements, two passport size photos, copies of valid Identity proofs, (for example PAN card, passport or Aadhaar card), the prescribed performa duly signed by the applicant along with two witnesses, CD containing the soft copies of the duly filled application form in the DOC.X format, a letter stating that the details mentioned in the application is true and a request letter with the registration fee to the authority.

What is the procedure for an NRI to change his name

An NRI has to submit a deed stating the change of name, duly signed by Indian High Commission Office or Indian Embassy to the Controller of Publication.

Is affidavit enough for name change?

No, just drafting an affidavit to change the name is not enough for a name change. Advertisement displaying the changed name in two local newspapers is mandatory. And for those who are government employees, a notification in the central or state official gazette regarding the name change is mandatory. For non-government employees, such gazette notification is just an option and not mandatory.

How long does it take to change your name in India?

It takes around 4-6 weeks or even more to change name in India. Drafting and notorizing the affidavit and then advertisement in the local news paper may take upto 2 weeks. Applying for the gazette notification may take upto 2-4 weeks depending upon the workload of the Gazette officials and Controiller of the Publication.

Once the application is done, the notification of the same may take 2-4 weeks. Updating the changed name in the official documents like PAN card, passport, Aadhaar card etc, may take 2- 3 weeks. Notifying the banks and updating may also take some weeks depending upon the internal working process of the banks. Ultimately, it may take upto 6 weeks or more for the name change to reflect everywhere.

In the above article , we learnt about the various reasons causing people to change their name and also we understood the legal procedures one has to follow in order to get their names changed officially. Whatever could be the reason for the change of name, it is always recommended to abide by the legal procedures involved in it. Non-oberservance of so can be very problematic in future.

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