A Name Change Certificate, also known as a Gazette Notification, is an official document issued by the Government of India that legally recognizes your new name. The notification in the Gazette serves as a record of your name change and is an accepted document which can be used to update your name in various documents, such as your passport, driver's license, and bank account.
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What is the Procedure for Gazette Name Change in India?
Following your decision on a new name, you need take the following actions to formally change your name:
- An Undertaking/Affidavit signed by the applicant should contain their old and new names, along with full details of the father’s/husband’s name and residential address. The applicant declares that the facts stated therein are true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.
- In the case of individuals working with the Central Government, they should submit a request for a change of name following the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Two Gazetted Officers should act as witnesses.
- For Indians living abroad, the applicant must submit a deed duly attested by the respective Indian Embassy/Indian High Commission in the original to this department.
- The change of name should be advertised in one of the leading daily newspapers, both regionally and nationally. The advertisement should include the Father’s/Husband’s Name along with the residential address and be forwarded in the original to this department.
- Two copies of the prescribed proforma, completed in all respects, should be typed on separate plain papers and signed by the individual, including the old name. The form should also include the name, address, contact number, and signature of two witnesses.
- The same proforma, without witness details and with the old name, must be saved on a CD in Word format. The proforma should be computer-typed.
- The applicant is required to submit two passport-sized photos and a self-attested government ID proof such as Aadhar Card or Passport, etc.
- A certificate signed by the applicant should declare that the contents of the hard copy and soft copy are similar.
- A request letter, along with the requisite fee, is required to be submitted to the Department of Publications at Civil Lines, Delhi.
- If someone is changing their name due to divorce, they will need a Divorce Decree and a Divorce Deed. For a name change due to a change of religion, a Religion Conversion Certificate is required. In the case of adoption, an Adoption Deed is necessary. If the name change is related to marriage, a Marriage Certificate is required. For a change of gender, a GID Certificate from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) or Head of the Hospital, along with an initiation letter for Hormone Replacement Therapy, is needed.
Who Can Apply for a Name Change in India?
In India, like in many other places, individuals may apply for a name change for various reasons. The process and eligibility criteria can vary, but generally, the following categories of individuals may seek a name change:
Adult Individuals: Any adult (usually 18 years or older) who wishes to change their name for personal, professional, or other reasons can apply for a name change.
Married Individuals: A person who wishes to change their name after marriage or divorce may apply for a name change.
Minors: Parents or legal guardians can apply for a name change on behalf of a minor. The process may involve additional requirements and legal considerations.
Additionally, in the case of a divorce, the mother of the minor, after legally divorcing her husband, has the option to initiate a name change for her son or daughter.
Gender Change: Individuals undergoing gender transition may apply for a name change to reflect their gender identity. This may involve providing additional documentation related to the gender change.
NRI's: NRI's residing in India may also apply for a name change, but the process may involve additional steps and documentation.
What are the Benefits of Changing the Name Legally in India?
Changing one's name legally in India, or anywhere else, can have various personal and practical benefits. Here are some potential advantages:
Personal Identity: A legal name change allows individuals to align their official documents with their chosen or preferred name, contributing to a stronger sense of personal identity.
Professional Opportunities: A name change can be beneficial in a professional context. It allows individuals to present themselves consistently across resumes, professional profiles, and other work-related documents.
Gender Identity: For individuals undergoing a gender transition, a legal name change is a crucial step to align their official documents with their gender identity.
Cultural or Religious Reasons: Some individuals may choose to change their names for cultural, religious, or spiritual reasons, allowing them to better express their beliefs and values.
Avoiding Confusion: A legal name change helps in avoiding confusion in various aspects of life, such as social interactions, legal matters, and official documentation.
Privacy and Safety: In certain situations, individuals may choose to change their name for privacy or safety reasons, seeking a level of anonymity or protection.
Parental or Guardian Decision: Parents or legal guardians may opt for a name change for a minor, ensuring that the child's name aligns with family choices or cultural considerations.
No Requirement of Lawyer: The process of name change in India does not necessitate the involvement of a lawyer. Individuals can manage the procedures independently without the need for legal representation.
Easy During Marriage and Divorce: The name change process is simplified during marriage and divorce proceedings in India. According to the Family Courts Act, 1988, if a woman chooses not to adopt her husband's name after marriage, divorce proceedings can be initiated in her maiden name or any other name officially notified. Even after divorce, individuals can retain their married names unless there is an intent to defraud the other partner.
Official Recognition: Indian citizens, upon applying for any document or public service, receive approval and recognition with their new name as the official name on that document. Incomplete or incorrect name change procedures may lead to rejection for insufficient proof of identity by certain government offices and public sector banks.
Permanent Record: Opting for the official route in the name change process results in a permanent, authentic record accessible to anyone. This permanence facilitates the verification process and minimizes issues related to obtaining documents and fulfilling tax obligations.
Availability of Aadhaar after Name Change: Changing one's name legally allows for the update of crucial identification records, including Aadhaar, PAN, Bank Account Number, Employment ID, etc. Following the official name change procedure ensures approval and processing by the relevant authorities, ensuring accuracy and consistency across various records.
What Rules are Involved in Legal Name Changing in India?
Indian law permits citizens to change their names according to their preference, but there are certain exceptions. These rules include:
Prohibition for Identity Concealment: Changing a name is not permitted if the intention is to conceal one's identity. The process should be transparent and truthful.
Restriction to Avoid Debt Liabilities or Legal Issues: Name changes are not allowed if the purpose is to evade debt liabilities or escape legal matters. The process must not be used to circumvent legal responsibilities.
Court Approval for Famous Personalities' Names: Approval from the court is required if an individual intends to change their name to that of a famous personality. This is to ensure that the change is not made with the intention to mislead or deceive.
Avoidance of Obscenity or Offensiveness: The chosen name should not be obscene or offensive. This rule is in place to maintain societal norms and prevent the use of names that could be deemed inappropriate.
Avoidance of Complicated Names with Punctuation: Citizens are not allowed to select complicated names that involve punctuation. This rule aims to maintain simplicity in names for practical and administrative purposes.
What are the Documents required for name change in India?
Affidavit for Name Change: The initial step in the name change process involves the submission of a duly signed affidavit declaring the intent and details of the name change.
Newspaper Advertisement: Both the original and a photocopy of the newspaper advertisement announcing the name change are required to be submitted.
Prescribed Proforma: Complete the prescribed proforma for name change. The form should be signed by two witnesses, providing their full names, addresses, and contact numbers.
Soft Copy on CD: Include a CD containing the soft copy of the proforma without witness details. The applicant's old name should be stated in place of a signature.
Certificate of Consistency: Submit a certificate affirming that the details in the CD and hard copy are identical.
Passport-sized Photos: Include two self-attested passport-sized photos of the applicant.
Identity Proof: Attach a Self Attested photocopy of the applicant's identity proof. Acceptable documents include Aadhar Card, Passport, Voter ID Card, PAN Card, or Driving License.
In specific cases, additional documents are required for name changes:
Divorce: Submit a Divorce Decree and a Divorce Deed.
Change of Religion: Provide a Religion Conversion Certificate.
Adoption: Include an Adoption Deed.
Marriage: Submit a Marriage Certificate.
Gender Change: Include a GID Certificate from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) or Head of the Hospital, along with an initiation letter for Hormone Replacement Therapy
What are the types of Affidavits for Name Changes in India?
In India, there are different kinds affidavits that people can use when they want to change their names. Each type of affidavit has a specific purpose and is important for people who want to legally change their names or fix issues related to their names.
Here are the main types of name change affidavits:
One Person Many Names Affidavit: This affidavit, also known as a multi-name affidavit, is used when someone has different names on their official documents. It is a legal statement that declares that all these names belong to the same person.
Affidavit for Name Change due to change of Gender: Legal document for officially changing one's name post-gender transition. Affirms new gender identity and requests a name change, aiding in Gazette of India publication.
Affidavit for Change of Name after Divorce: Legal instrument for formally changing one's name after divorce. Declares voluntary name change, ensuring recognition through Gazette of India and other authorities.
Affidavit for Name Change after Religion Conversion: Legal statement for changing name post-religious conversion. Affirms adoption of new faith, facilitating official updates, and Gazette of India publication.
Affidavit for Name Change after Adoption: Legal document for changing name post-adoption. Signifies the adoptive parent's voluntary name change, aiding in legal recognition and Gazette of India publication.
Affidavit for Name Change: This affidavit is a legal paper used to officially change a person's name on all their important documents. It also helps in publishing the name change in the Gazette of India.
Affidavit for Change of Name after Marriage: Women who want to change their last names after getting married use this affidavit. It allows them to update their names in different official documents.
Name Change for Minors Affidavit: When the name of a child needs to be changed, parents or guardians use this affidavit. They have to submit this paper as part of the process to change the name for minors.
What are the Reasons for Name Change?
- Errors in the Birth Certificate: Rectifying inaccuracies in the birth certificate, such as mistakes in spelling or incorrect information.
- Errors in School Certificate: Correcting errors in school-related documents, ensuring accurate academic records.
- After Marriage by Women: Adopting the spouse's surname or changing the name after marriage.
- After Divorce by Women: Reverting to the maiden name or adopting a new name post-divorce.
- Spelling Errors: Correcting spelling mistakes in the current name for accuracy.
- For Adoptions: Changing the name to reflect the adoptive family or for personal reasons after adoption.
- If Religion is Changed: Aligning the name with a new religious affiliation.
- Numerology or Astrology: Changing the name based on numerological or astrological beliefs for positive energy.
- To Change Surname: Opting for a change in the family name or surname.
- Change of Gender: Adjusting the name to align with one's gender identity.
- Dislike of Current Name: Choosing to change the name due to personal preference or dissatisfaction with the current one.
- Identity Change: Making a broader change to one's identity, which may include a new name.
What is the Eligibility for Name Change?
To be eligible for a name change in India, individuals must meet the following criteria:
- Indian Citizenship: The person seeking a name change must be an Indian citizen.
- Valid Government ID Proof: Possession of a valid government-issued identification document is mandatory for the name change process.
- Valid Reason for Name Change: There should be a legitimate and valid reason for wanting to change the name. Acceptable reasons may include corrections, personal choice, marriage, divorce, or other justifiable grounds.
- Minors' Process: For minors seeking a name change, the parents or legal guardians are required to submit the birth certificate along with the Government ID of the minor and the ID of the applicant.
Why choose eSahayak?
At eSahayak, our team of experts takes the burden of the complicated name change procedure off your shoulders when you decide to change your name in India.
- Effortless Affidavit Drafting: Our experts craft your name change affidavit seamlessly, tailored to your needs.
- Notary Assurance: Your affidavit is notarized, ensuring legal authenticity and peace of mind.
- Publication Precision: We handle the newspaper publication with precision, leaving no room for errors.
- Streamlined Documentation Process: We effortlessly forward your documents to the Department of Publication, meticulously verifying each step of the process.
- Timely Gazette Notification Updates: We keep you in the loop! Receive prompt notifications when your gazette notification is published, ensuring you're always informed.
- Online Convenience: Our 100% online name change procedure makes the entire process swift, secure, and accessible from the comfort of your home.
- Expert Guidance: Our seasoned experts provide continuous guidance, ensuring you're confidently guided through every phase of the name change process.
- Dedicated Support Team: Got questions? Our support team is here to assist! Your queries are our priority, and we're committed to addressing them promptly.
Choose eSahayak – where simplicity meets expertise in your name change journey!