Often after some point of time, people do feel the need to change their names or their children’s. A name change in India may appear to be a tedious process as by then some of your official documents might also be issued. Of all the certificates, the Birth Certificate holds significant importance. It has to be mandatory produced during national level examinations, medical check-ups, school and job transfers and the list may go on as new rules and amendments keep coming in. Essentially, a Birth Certificate contains the following details:
- Name of the person
- Mother’s name
- Father’s name
- Date of birth
- Time of birth
A legally valid birth certificate is one that is issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths, who is a state-level authority. Anybody in India, above the age of 18 has the right to change their name, following the right legal procedure. Some states have introduced the service of correcting the details of Birth Certificate online. Like Telangana has recently introduced an integrated service delivery gateway- Meeseva. Here is a procedure for change of name in the birth certificate.
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Step 1- Send in an application to the Issuing Authority:
Firstly, write an application to the Registrar of Births and Deaths under your Municipal Corporation. The Registrar is generally the issuing authority for all states. The letter should contain your old details, your new details and a brief statement of the reasons for a name change.
Step 2- Produce documents supporting the change sought:
Along with the application, you need to attach some supporting documents. This will include an appropriately notarized affidavit, in case of a name change. However, if you are looking to change your parent’s name or date of birth, the supporting documents will vary from state to state. Like for instance, in Bangalore, you will need a Deed Changing Surname. In some cases, you might be required to give the hospital discharge certificates, often asked for a change in date of birth.
After you have submitted all the documents and applications, the Registrar can either accept it or reject it. Generally, if all the documents are correct, the chances for rejection is bleak. However, in case the authority rejects your application for name change, then you can file a writ of mandamus in the High Court, praying the Registrar or other issuing authority, to state reasons for the same.
After the issuing authority approves your application, you should publish a small advertisement in the local newspaper, as a public declaration. The format for the advertisement follows below:
I, XYZ, residing at, have changed my name to ABC and will be known as ABC from here on in. I have submitted an affidavit to this effect, which was signed by on.
Publication in the Official Gazette: This is the final step in the name-change process. In order to have your name recognized legally, you need to publish it in the State Gazette ( like ‘The Delhi Gazette’). A Gazette is a Government publication and in many instances, the name change published in the Gazette is insisted on. For this, you need to write an application to either the State Gazette Office or State Gazette Office. Generally, the application should consist of the following documents:
- Three copies of individually drafted applications with relevant documents.
- Copy of affidavit
- Copy of newspaper advertisement
- Demand draft of the requisite deed.
- Attested passport size photos.
- The matter of the notification that is to be published.
All these documents have to be self-attested by the applicant and one witness before submission. It takes approximately two months from the date of your application for the publication to appear, however, it might even take longer. Once published, obtain copies of the gazette publication where your advertisement appears for all future purposes.
Important points to remember for Change of Name in Birth Certificate
- Every State differs slightly with respect to the process of changing the information on the birth certificate, so pay close attention to the steps provided by the state government office.
- There is a mandatory fee that you should pay at the time of submitting the application, depending on the state rules. However, the fee is nominal.
- Keep a copy of all the documents produced and obtained, it can be asked for at any later point of time.
- Obtain a copy of the newly modified Birth Certificate from the Registrar of Births and Deaths. There is a nominal pay which you should pay for every copy you wish to obtain.
- Also, you can change the details in your birth certificate only once in your lifetime. Be extremely careful, as whatever includes in the new certificate will stay with you forever!
It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a professional service provider who can guide throughout the entire process without hassles, including followup with the government officials.
Change of father/mother name in the birth certificate:
Let us take an example: You are married to a divorcee and your spouse (wife) already has a child. You are a stepfather now to the child and not the biological father. Now that you wanted to change the name of the father in that child’s birth certificate. You can request for change of father name in birth certificate.
If you desire to change the name of the father in the birth certificate you may have to adopt the child and get the adoption registered and declared by a court order based on which you can apply for change of name of the father name in that child’s birth certificate. Before that, make sure to check with the eligibility conditions for adoption.
The same may be needed for the change of mother name in birth certificate.