Changing your name in India is no more a troublesome process. Till some time back people used to shudder just by thinking about the hassles that are associated with the process. If you are aware of the basic steps that you have to follow then I believe changing your name is not a big deal!
First of all let me make you aware that the whole procedure is a bit time consuming; it might take up to 6 months. Also quite a lot of travelling is required to local offices. So if you are absolutely sure about changing your identity then here are the steps you have to go through:
Go to the local Notary and make an affidavit. Get it duly signed and attested by a First class magistrate in your area. Give a valid reason as to why you want to change your name. A lawyer will help you drafting the letter. They are aware of the legalities and formalities involved and hence are best suited to help you in the process.
Write down all your personal details like your old name, your new name, your Father’s name, your permanent address and the name of your employer on a blank sheet of paper. Sign the paper in front of two witnesses and ask them to sign it as well. It is advisable to make a few copies of the signed paper and keep the original one with you very carefully. This forms to be an important part in the process and again a lawyer is the person who will guide you to complete this formality as required by the government.
Your next step will be to publish a statement in one of your local newspapers declaring that you are changing your name. A standard format is always available at the local newspaper office. If you are not sure about the format, take the help of your lawyer. He/she will draft the publication as per norms. Don’t forget to keep a copy of the original advertisement for future reference.
Now you have to send certain documents to “Controller of Publication, Department of Publication, (Your State). The documents that you will have to send are the original advertisement published in the newspaper, original declaration statement, attested affidavit and 2 passport size photographs. You can either send these in person or by registered post. If you are not sure, take legal help. A lawyer will guide you by helping you to complete the formalities.
Get the copies of the official gazette in which your statement of changing your name has been published. This gazette copy will act as a proof of your new identity in the future whenever you need.
Throughout the process, you will need legal help, so seek the help of a legal counselor. He/she will not only make the process for you easier but will also ensure that the process is completed seamlessly. For them it is easy as they know all the legalities involved. Their involvement will mean some expenses for you but then it is best to invest some money to get things done.
Note: The original copy of the Gazette notification regarding your name change will act as your name change certificate.