How to change your name legally in India

There could be many reasons why a person wishes to change their name. Name change is usually required after marriage when the surname needs to be adjusted on documents such as passports. Another trend that is becoming The process that is required to change your name in India is discussed here.

Steps involved:

The first step is to file a request to change your name. This document is in the form of an affidavit requesting a change in your legal name. This affidavit can be attested by a notary public or first class magistrate in India. NRIs can get this affidavit attested by the nearest Indian consulate applicable to their area of residence. Prepare a document on a clean white paper, showing details such as your current name, the name you wish to adopt, your father’s or husband’s name and address. If you have an employer, then include your employer’s name as well. Sign the document in front of two witnesses and also have them sign it.  (See Sample Form) The next step is to advertise in any local daily newspaper a notice of name change. Many newspapers in India, actually devote a specific column devoted to name changes. Your advertisement should mention that you are changing your name, include your old and new name, mention your father’s or husband’s name and address. You must keep a copy of the original advertisement as it appears in the newspaper when it is published. It may be prudent to keep a few original copies. The next step is to send the documents and fee to the controller of publication, department of publication, civil lines, Delhi-54. Documents to be sent are: o Attested affidavit o Your document that was prepared showing yours and two witnesses signatures (Step 2) o Two passport size photographs o The original advertisement that was published in the newspaper. o The printing charges for publication of change of name Rs. 700/-  for a name change and Rupees 900 for public notice. The amount will have to be submitted or remitted in advance in cash or by Demand Draft/India Postal Order drawn in favor of Controller of Publication, Department of Publication, Civil Lines, Delhi-54. o The cost of advertising of change of name in the Gazette of India for Indian living abroad is Rs. - 2300/- which includes air mail charges also. o The extra copies of the Gazette are supplied (to the extent of 2 ) on additional payment of Rs. - 35/- per copy. o Documents and payment in cash can also be made in person o The documents being sent should not be more than one year old. o The documents being sent should not be more than one year old. Please note that once sent, no documents are returned. So make sure you keep appropriate copies and/or originals of any documents you wish to keep. If the individual adopts the name of other religion and not change his/her religion, he/she must produce an affidavit duly signed by the SDM that he/she not changed his/her religion. The cost of such type of advertisement will be Rs. 900/- Such type of matter for change of Religion must also be shown in the newspaper as well as in the document that you prepare with the signature of two witnesses (step 2).

Information for Non Residents

NRI’s applicants seeking  to change first name or surname or both, are required to place advertisements to that effect in a prominent newspaper of usual place of residence in the country they live in and also in a prominent daily newspaper of area of permanent address in India. Original clippings of these advertisements (newspaper page) along with a sworn affidavit in the prescribed format are required to be furnished with the application. This will be required when a new passport is normally applied for in a changed name.
newpaper clip
Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006
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