Name Change After Marriage In India: This Is How You Do It

Wedding is a moment of bliss for the two souls taking their vows to stay together for life. It is also a legal commitment, which is bound by certain laws and rules prescribed by the lawmakers. Name change after marriage is a choice. Some women prefer to go for it while some don’t. A woman usually can choose to affix the last name of her husband to her name or replace her maiden last name with that of her husband’s. In India, the latter option is often preferred. But name change after marriage isn’t like a compulsory thing.

Full names are often bound to things like bank accounts, credit card, government schemes etc., so sticking to your maiden name after the wedding is the most viable option. But in case you intend to change your name after marriage and still stay linked to all your statutory holdings, then there is a prescribed legal procedure to do so. In this article, we look at how to go about the process of name change after marriage in India.

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Legal Process For Name Change After Marriage

First things first. It is not a compulsion for woman to change her name after marriage in India, nor can she be forced to do so. Changing the surname or even the first name is up to the personal choice of the woman. There is a misconception that different surnames can cause some trouble when an espoused couple would like to acquire an entity with collaborative ownership. A woman can stick to her maiden name, and still be entitled to all the benefits, rights and privileges of being a wife. Therefore, you can decide whether you want a name change after marriage or not. In case you are positive about it, here’s the legal procedure for it in India:

Step 1

Name Change After Marriage In India

If you’re sure, and ready for a name change after marriage, then you need to first get a marriage certificate, which means you need to legally get your marriage registered. You will have to download a form from your state government’s website and submit it at Sub Registrar Office. You will have to submit an array of photocopies of documents like Aadhar Card, PAN card etc., whose list you can find on the government’s website. Please note that marriages in India are registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or the Special Marriage Act, 1954. You can find more details about each on the state government’s website or the central government’s website

Step 2

You need to visit a registered notary and ask for an affidavit for name change after marriage. An affidavit is basically a stamp paper notifying your intention of changing your name to a new one along with the details of previous name, new name and the reason for a change in name.

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Step 3

Name Change After Marriage In India - Classifieds

You need to then get a proof of your name change after marriage. This means that you need to have a statement made by a third party that says that you have changed your name. Although it is third party, you need to submit the proclamation yourself. You need to do two things for this:

One is submit a newspaper advertisement in at least two popular local newspapers stating that you have changed your name in the presence of a notary.

Here’s a sample:

“ I, (insert your maiden full name) married to (insert your husband’s full name), on (insert wedding date in DD-MM-YYYY format) residing at (insert your current permanent address) have changed my name to (insert your new name) with Affidavit dated (insert date of affidavit) sworn before Notary (insert name and city of the notary)”

Make sure you keep a few copies of the entire newspaper with you once it is published.

The second thing is that you need to make an announcement of the name change after marriage in the Gazette of India. For that you need to submit an application form for a name change to Department of Publications, which works under Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. Gazette of India is an official government journal published by the government. You can find more information regarding this here. Also find some additional information about name change here.

Step 4

Once you are done with all the above steps, all you have to do is make the necessary changes at all the other places, like at your bank, where you may need to change your signature as a result of your name change after marriage. You will also have to make an application for a new PAN Card, Aadhar Card, etc. A uniform change at all the places with a record of name will help in the long run.

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Reasons To Change, Not Change And The Middle Path

Name Change After Marriage In India - Reasons To Change, Not Change And The Middle Path

Like I said before, there is no compulsion for a name change after marriage. But in case you fancy the idea of doing so, here are some reasons that will help you take a sound decision:

1. Helps In Documentation

After a name change after marriage, with a common surname, paperwork gets easier when applying for something or procuring something. For example, it will be easier for you to prove that you are the wife of your husband when you intend to buy a joint property. There are various such instances where you will realise that sharing a common surname actually helps.

2. Easy For The Children

It will be less awkward for children to say their parents’ name in schools than saying two different names. The latter case will surely ensue a series of questions, from the older folks who’re used to the name change after marriage, which your child is surely going to bring home. Also, like the case in previous point, a common surname will help in easy documentation when you admit your children in school.

3. Easy For Others To Address You

Just think of it, after you name change after marriage, the next time you are asked your name, you can give a terse response of Mrs. Hubby’s Surname. You need not divulge your first name at all. This also makes it a lot easier for those sending you an invitation, especially those who only know your husband. They can just write Mr. and Mrs. Hubby’s Surname, and that’s it, you are invited to the party too.

4. You Get A Bonus Marriage Certificate

In India, traditionally the marriage certificate is given a pass. But applying for a legal change of name would compel you to acquire a marriage certificate, which has numerous benefits. It is a simple piece of paper that is documentary proof that you and your partner are legally married. If you intend to settle abroad, especially in countries where traditional Indian weddings are not recognised, then a name change after marriage will be very helpful.

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Why should I stick to my maiden name?

You should stick to your maiden name if:

  1. Your name is a brand, which means you have various publications, research papers or simply put, some fame attached to it. In that case, you would like to maintain your maiden name intact.
  2. You have several legal holdings tagged to your maiden name, and therefore you would like to keep your maiden name so that you have hassle-free dealings pertaining to those entities.
  3. You would like to be discoverable on social media, and mainly because of the nature of your work demands active networking.
  4. Your husband’s surname is outright funny, or your first name just does not go well with that of your husband’s.

If that is the case, you can always go for the middle path i.e. having a dual surname. This means retaining your maiden surname, and suffixing your husband’s surname to it. You would wonder what would then exactly be your surname, after such a name change after marriage.

Well, in case of hybrid surnames, your husband’s surname becomes your actual surname, and that maiden surname of yours now becomes your ‘middle name’. Since ‘First-Middle-Last’ format is acceptable, and in fact popular type of nomenclature system in India, name change after marriage can easily deal with the problems you would otherwise face by retaining just your maiden surname.

Even legal forms and general application forms have the provision for scribing your middle name, and since your surname is officially that of husband’s, you can continue using your previous surname now in the form of your middle name. Overall, a win-win situation.

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Lastly, it is up to you whether you would like to change your surname or retain the old one or go for a hybrid version. There are some benefits attached to changing your surname to that of your husband’s but you can avail the same benefits by going for a dual surname strategy. In the end, it is best to discuss this matter with your husband, and seek his opinion as well. You can then take a mutual decision to choose the best solution that will have long term benefits for both of you.

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