Do you know who Shivaji Rao Gaekwad and A.S. Dileep Kumar are?? They are both among the most famous Indian film personalities. Does the names ring any bell in your mind? Alright, don’t start Googling, they are none other than Superstar Rajinikanth and Oscar winning music composer A.R Rahman. The former are their respective birth names. These are just examples of how few Indians changed their names.
In India, it is common for people to change their names for various reasons. It might be due to astrology, numerology, or luck factor. Some people change their names as they do not like their birth names and/or get inspired or love to be called by some other name. Also, it is common for women to change their surname once married. So if you ever want to change your name for any reason, then you must know about the following rules and procedure to change your name.
1. File an Affidavit for Change of Name
The first step is to file an affidavit for change of name in your District Court or before a Magistrate or a Notary Public. The current name, the new name and the reason for name change has to be given in the affidavit along with your personal details such as your Father’s/Husband’s name, residential address etc., To get the affidavit in the correct format, you may sought help of an advocate.
2. Publish an Advertisement in Local Newspaper
Once the affidavit is signed by the Magistrate or Notary, it becomes a valid name change document. But you’re required to publish an advertisement about your name change in at least two local newspapers, one in your local/official language and other in English.
Publishing an advert is very important as it is required when applying for a passport or when updating your new name in your passport.
3. Buy and Preserve Multiple Copies of Newspaper
It is advised to pick up and preserve multiple copies of newspaper in which your advertisement is published as it would be required for you to produce original newspaper advertisement during updating your new name in several documents like Passport, Voter ID etc.,
4. Gazette Notification
After you’ve published advertisements about your name change in the local newspapers, you need to publish one in an Official Gazette of your state or Gazette of India. To initiate this, you will have to approach a Government Press in your city/state with the originals and copies of your name change affidavit and the advertisements you had published in local newspapers. Submit your advertisement matter to print in the Gazette in the prescribed format (which can be obtained from http://deptpub.nic.in/forms/forms.pdf) by typing it on a plain paper with your signature corresponding to your old/existing name. You will have to pay a publication fee which varies from state to state.
Name Change for Women after Marriage
The above procedure holds good when you’re changing your whole name and/or just your surname or you’re adding or deleting your surname which has to be clearly mentioned in your affidavit. For women who want to change their surnames after marriage, the first and foremost thing is to get their marriage registered and obtaining a certificate for the same. This can be obtained at your local Sub-registrar’s office.
Once you have the marriage certificate, you can follow the same procedure as that of changing name and/or surname but while filing affidavit, you will have to provide your marriage certificate as a supporting document. The rest of the procedure remains the same.
What Next After Changing the Name??
After completing the procedure and once your name change advert is published in the Official Gazette, you can now start applying for effecting your name change in your educational certificates, Driving License, Passport, PAN Card etc.,
For Educational Certificates and Mark-sheets
Most experts and advocates suggest that there is no need to change your name in your educational certificates as the educational institutions and universities do not change your name in their records. So a copy of the name change affidavit and the gazette and newspaper adverts attached to your educational mark sheets/certificates would suffice.
But it is advised that you intimate your educational institution and university about your name change along with supporting documents so that you do not face any hurdle when an employer or an authority does a verification check of your certificates with your college and/or university.
You may visit the nearest Passport Seva Kendra and apply for Passport Reissue with name change by submitting the appropriate application or by visiting http://passportindia.gov.in website. It may be noted that the name change application will be accepted only after 30 days of your advert being published in the newspapers.
For PAN Card
You may apply for changes in PAN Card at authorized TIN Facilitation Centers or PAN Centers or you may apply online on https://tin.tin.nsdl.com/pan/changerequest.html
For Driving License and Voter ID
You may apply for changes in your DL at the Office of Regional Transport Officer using appropriate form. For changes in Voter ID, you may apply during the annual revision of Electoral Rolls or by visiting the office of Chief Electoral Officer.
Though changing of name is a very long and tedious process, we just hope your new name brings you that extra luck you wished for and a new, fresh identity to you..!!