A Guide on How To Change Name Legally in India

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: June 9, 2023

an affidavit regarding a change of name lies on the table and is ready to fill
An affidavit regarding a change of name lies on the table and is ready to fill

India is a diverse nation with a population that comprises different languages, cultures, and religions. Amidst this diversity, it is not unusual for people to consider changing their legal names. There could be numerous reasons: a desire for a fresh start, religious or personal beliefs, or even just preference. If you find yourself contemplating “how to change name legally in India,” this article will provide you with a comprehensive roadmap to navigate this process seamlessly.

The procedure to change your name legally in India can be somewhat intricate, but with proper guidance, it becomes relatively easy to manage. Therefore, before you jump into the process, it is beneficial to understand how the procedure operates, the documents you will require, and the potential hurdles you might encounter.

Understanding the legal framework behind the name change process is crucial before you initiate the procedure. The procedure to change name legally in India is governed by the provisions of the Indian Constitution and is implemented at both the central and state levels.

The name change process mainly includes three steps: drafting an affidavit, publishing the name change in two newspapers, and publishing the name change in the Official Gazette of India.

2 Drafting an Affidavit

drafting an affidavit
Drafting an Affidavit

The first step towards legally changing your name in India is drafting an affidavit. It is a legal document that confirms your wish to change your name.
To begin, you need to approach a local notary or a lawyer who can draft the affidavit for you. The affidavit must contain details about your current name, the desired name, your current address, and a clear declaration that the change of name is not intended for any fraudulent activities.

This affidavit needs to be sworn before a Judicial Magistrate or a Notary Public. Remember, the details mentioned in the affidavit should match those on your current identity proofs to avoid any discrepancies.

3 Publication in Newspaper

Once your affidavit has been notarised, the next step in learning how to change your name legally in India is the publication of the name change in two local newspapers – one in the local language and the other in English. This is to announce publicly your decision to change your name and invite objections, if any.

4 Publication in the Official Gazette

After the newspaper publication, the final step in changing your name legally in India is to publish it in the Official Gazette of India. To do this, you need to approach the Department of Publications, which falls under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

You’ll need to submit a few documents, including a letter that seeks the publication of the name change, copies of the newspaper in which your name change was published, the original affidavit, two attested photographs, and a copy of a valid ID proof.
Once your request is approved, your name change will be published in the Official Gazette. Once this is done, your name change is legally recognised.

5 Updating Your New Name

Following the successful completion of these steps, you need to start updating your new name on all legal documents, including your PAN Card, Aadhar Card, Passport, bank accounts, and other legal documents.

Each of these processes will have different requirements, and you need to approach the respective departments to get your name changed.

6 Documents Required

While the exact documents required may vary slightly, you generally need:

  1. Affidavit of name change
  2. Newspaper publications
  3. Request letter to the Secretary, Department of Publications
  4. Copy of a valid ID proof
  5. Two passport-sized photographs
  6. An undertaking letter stating the details of the documents submitted.

7 Important Considerations When Changing Your Name Legally in India

Once you’ve successfully navigated the steps on how to change name legally in India, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Remember, a legal name change is a significant event that could have far-reaching implications in your personal and professional life.

  • Social Implications: Changing your name can impact your relationships and social standing. It’s crucial to discuss this decision with your family and close friends. Their support and understanding will make this process smoother.
  • Professional Implications: If you are well-established in your professional life, a name change can sometimes create confusion. Inform your colleagues, clients, and professional contacts about your decision.
  • Legal Implications: Ensure to update all your legal documents, such as your PAN card, driving license, Aadhar Card, and bank account details. Neglecting this can lead to legal complications later on.
  • Educational Implications: If you are a student, it is essential to inform your educational institution about the change to avoid any future misunderstandings or complications.

8 Wrapping Up

We’ve carefully outlined the procedure on how to change name legally in India to provide clarity for anyone considering this important decision. Remember, although the process may seem daunting, taking each step systematically will ensure a smooth transition. Inform all relevant authorities and your social circle to avoid any complications.

Changing your name legally in India is a significant step in your life journey, and we hope this guide has made the process less overwhelming. Always keep in mind the various implications of such a decision and proceed only when you are completely ready. With patience and diligence, you will successfully navigate this process. Remember, every new beginning is an opportunity for growth and transformation, and your new name could be the start of an exciting new chapter in your life.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: June 9, 2023
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