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Srini Cheurkupalli (Business)     06 July 2009

Surname change after marriage for women


I want to know the procedure for surname change after marriage for women. Do we need to follow some legal procedure (like affadivits or documents) or else marriage certificate only suffice to use surname in place of her maiden name in all future records?

Thanks alot for your response.




 23 Replies

Adv. Deepak (Advocate)     06 July 2009

Respected Madam,  For change of name of women after marriage, it is required that the change of name should be published in the government gazet.  For that purpose, in government press prescribed form is available at a very meagre cost.  In that form you have to furnish the details of your maiden name, name you would like to opt after marriage, your residential address and certain other details.  Also, you will have to fill in the comumn in which you have to state how many copies of the gazet you would like to have and on which address.  A prescribed fee is also charged.  Then the government gazet will publish your name and the date of change of your name and the gazet copies will be sent to you on your residential address.  For all government purposes, they demand such gazet copy for the proof of change of your name.  Regards.

abhijit (legal )     15 July 2009

sir, can u give me the reference of what u have  stated? i ll be obliged.

J. P. Shah (RTI & CONSUMER ACTIVIST)     27 July 2009

In Gujarat one has to approach govt press for change of names. Pl find out positon in your state by contacting collectorate office/mamlatdar/tahsildar office. The procedure explained by adv Deepak is perfectly correct.   

CS Pooja (Company Secretary)     27 July 2009

In case a marriage is registered, and the marriage certificate clearly states the name change of the bride, is it obligatory for the bride to use her changed name onwards.

Will that be illegal if she continues using her maiden name and doesnt use her changed name...???

ad. creaminall (professional Advocate)     27 July 2009

For change your surname, your marriage registration certificate is sufficient, no need to file any documents or any kind of affidavit before any authority untill and unless a specific  demand.

CS Pooja (Company Secretary)     27 July 2009

Sir I would like to know if it will be illegal if she continues using her maiden name and doesnt use her changed name inspite her marriage certificate certifies her changed name...

Adv. Deepak (Advocate)     27 July 2009

Ms. Pooja, Whether to change the name after marriage or to continue with the her maiden name is the choice of the woman.  Nothing is illegal.  However, if she decides not to change her name, she should continue to use her maiden name everywhere and nowhere her name after marriage should appear.  She cannot make the choice of her name every time.  The purpose is that her identity should be unique.  She should be and must be identified by a single name.

Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     27 July 2009

Dear All.

1.  By virtue of the various Marriage Acts and rules,  the female automatically acquires (by legal default) the family name (surname) of the Husband.  Affadavits, Gazettes.... etc.. is not  at all required in view of name change by Registered Marriage.

2. If the female,  freshly continues to use her maiden name, after marriage,  it is a legal offfence of  intentional "Misrepresentation" and "Fraud",  when done so for purposes of Passport, Ration Card, Pan card, Bank account, Business registrations etc...

3. The married female has no option, but to immediately adopt her husbands family surname, once the marriage has been registered.

4. FOR INTROSPECTION :  Even after marriage,  after becoming a Widow,  the female cannot revert back to her maiden name and WILL HAVE TO continue using her husbands family name (surname).  In case of divorce with her husband, the name change is reverted back to her maiden name,  due to the divorce decree or more specifically THEN thru a affadavit or a gazettee notification.

4.  IF the marrige is performed around a fire (in a jungle on a rainy day) without witnesses, then the female can continue using her maiden name, specially more so, when the marriage is not registered.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal



india (self)     08 January 2010

Can a girl apply for gov. Job after marriage with her maiden name?

Sampoorna (Executive)     13 January 2010

Hemant Agarwal, I don't understand which age you are living...what you have said is absolutely ridiculous. There is no law which states that the girl has to change her surname after her marriage. It is definitely not a fraudulent act if she chooses to use her maiden name post her marriage

A girl is under no obligation to change her surname. She has all rights to retain her maiden name after her marriage. Please check Right to Information act before you give your introspection speech


Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     19 February 2010

Dear All,

This was reported in  "Times of India,  dated 19 February'2010, Mumbai edition, page 01".
(read article, as reproduced below)


1.  The name change HC order, is not applicable  IF  the Husband has died and neither the wife can be addressed as EX-wife.   In case of husbands death (where the marriage contract is still running),  the wife has legal right to use her husbands name  TILL SHE REMARRIES.

*  HUSBAND DEATH is  NOT  equal to Divorce  (retains all heir'ercal rights, under HSAct).
* *  WOMAN REMARRY  IS  equal to Divorce  (Forefeits all heir'ercal rights, under HSAct).


2.  Similarly,  a Woman  "AFTER"   marriage CANNOT continue using her  "maiden surname" (her fathers surname).  She is compulsorily bound by Law (and now by the latest HC order)  to change her old maiden surname  INTO  her latest married surname (which happens by legal default).


There is no provision under ANY Indian law to retain two different surnames. IT is a legal offfence of  intentional "Misrepresentation" and "Fraud",  when done so for purposes of Passport, Ration Card, Pan card, Bank account, Business registrations etc...


The Passport or the Ration Card or the Pan Card or the Bank Account or the Sales Tax/ Profession Tax / Excise  registration  cannot be done with a alien name (maiden name)  since that name is non-existant (in the law of court)  AND NEITHER  such registration authorities will register anything in the maiden name,  IF IT IS PROVED THAT THE WOMAN IS PRESENTLY UNDER RUNNING MARRIAGE CONTRACT, under another surname.


HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE LIVING IN A WORLD OF ILLUSION AND HALLUCINATION, like the world of  Modelling, Film Industry, Call Girl  or  P o r n industry,  or other fly-by-night industry or any other industry run by the gangsters (D-company),  you can then definetely have several maiden names and several surnames, without any restrictions   (Pun intended).


3.  IF  the female,  freshly continues to use her maiden name, after marriage,  it is a legal offfence of  intentional "Misrepresentation" and "Fraud",  when done so for purposes of Passport, Ration Card, Pan card, Bank account, Business registrations etc...


4.  A child (legal heir) born after such "legal or illegal"  wedlock,  WILL HAVE TO COMPULSORILY continue using his mothers husbands surname, EVEN IF THE MOTHER HAS DIVORCED THE CHILD'S FATHER.     - BUT - ,  the woman cannot continue using the child's father's (her former husband) surname after Divorce.


5.  After Divorce,  "IF"   the mother remarries and also changes the surname of her partioned-custody-child and thereby giving him a gazetted new surname of her latest new husband,   THEN THE CHILD LOSES HIS  "INHERITANCE  RIGHTS"  over his original bio-logical father (whether Dead or Alive). 

The child CANNOT have two inheritance rights.  i.e.  one inheritance right of his earlier bio-logical father  and another inheritance right of / due to his latest surname of his step-father.


6.  Similarly, the  Woman loses ALL  "INHERITANCE RIGHTS"   immediately after the divorce decree has been passed,  EVEN SPECIALLY IF THE HUSBAND DIES ACCIDENTLY or otherwise, AFTER SUCH DIVORCE DECREE is passed.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal


Divorced woman can’t use ex’s name : HC
("Times of India,  dated 19 February'2010, Mumbai edition, page 01")


Mumbai: What’s in a name? The famous Shakespearean line popped up during an acrimonious court proceeding on Wednesday.

“A lot,’’ said an aggrieved man, especially when my ex-wife is misusing it. The Bombay high court agreed and passed a rare order that might make divorced men smile. The court directed a divorced woman to stop using her former husband’s name and surname. The HC also clarified that the “ex-wife cannot use the husband’s name anywhere, including in her bank account’’.


   The judgment was passed by Justice Roshan Dalvi as she dismissed a petition filed by a woman challenging an interim order of the Bandra family court. R R Vachha, principal judge of the family court in Mumbai, had last September restrained the woman from using her ex-husband’s name and surname as their marriage had ended four years ago. “By using the ex-husband’s name or surname, there is always a possibility of people being misled that she is still the wife,when in fact she is not,’’ said Vachha. The HC upheld the family court order and said it need not be interfered with but should be given effect to “for all purposes’’.


Man says ex using his name to embarrass him


Mumbai: The legal battle over names between the Mumbai couple arose a year after the family court in February 2006 granted them divorce and the HC finalised it the same year. But the wife says she has moved the supreme court where the matter is pending; she claimed she was still his wife.



   The couple had begun their divorce fight in 1996 after staying together for a little over six months. When after their divorce, the woman filed for more maintenance, the husband—a 49-year-old police inspector—contended through his lawyers Ramesh and Sadhana Lalwani that his ex-wife continued to use his name even though she was no longer legally his wife and sought that she be restrained from doing so.


   The man alleged that she was “mischievously posing as his wife, entering into altercations and caused embarrassing situations for him’’. He produced a news report from a local paper in his native village in Maharashtra about one such act of hers and said in villages where people were known by their family names, such behaviour affected not only him but also his entire family.

   The Lalwanis also argued that since the woman was not a wife anymore, she was not entitled to tag on her ex-husband’s name and surname to her own as it would be misleading. The wife argued that her ex was merely being “malicious and trying to malign’’ her.


   The family court held that “the marriage had come to an end by virtue of the orders of two courts, but still the woman claimed to be the wife’’. Observing that the issue arose out of a marital relationship, it restrained her from using the ex-husband’s name.


   The woman immediately moved the high court in appeal and said the family court order was wrong. Her lawyer Milin Jadhav, the HC said, “fairly concedes that since the marriage has been dissolved by a decree for divorce which has become final, the wife cannot use the name of the husband’’. He hadalso said that the bank account of the wife stood in both her maiden and married names.


   Justice Dalvi observed that “this itself shows that the wife uses the name of the ex-husband even after their marital relationship has been dissolved by a court order’’ and significantly held that “the descripttion of the bank account was improper and the family court order had to be adhered to’’.



Changing a name is not that difficult as it may seem

   Once a divorce decree is in hand, a woman can change her name after divorce and even after remarriage

   For instance when applying for her passport she can apply for change of name/surname by furnishing a copy of a divorce decree and fill out particular form given as an annexure in the application documents

   The change of name has to be done at the government printing press office in the gazette and an insert of it in two daily newspapers is a must.




Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     13 March 2013

The meaning of  'automatically acquires by legal default' :


1.  When a child is born, he  'automatically acquires by legal default'  the surname of his biological father.  The civic birth certficate of the child will state the surname of his father  'automatically by legal default'.    Here the child is not required to file a govt. gazette, declaring that his surname is so and so ....  The Law does not allow the Child to acquire or assume any other surname, other than the surname of his lawful father.

2.  However, in other cases where a deliberate need arises to change the surname (from an existing one into a another new surname),  THEN due lawful procedures have to be executed & published vide a govt. gazette, for permanent change of surname (or even first names).

3.  By "legal default",   one person can have only one surname and NOT two surnames.  Having two surnames itself will imply Fraud, Forgery, Cheating, Mispresentation (depending on various parameters), in case the matters goes to a law court and invites criminal prosecutions.

4.  IF such legal nuisance of "HAVING TWO SURNAMES or names" is allowed, then every fraudester or conner will possess multiple dentities & multiple documents (viz.... PAN card, AADHAR card and so on .... ).  There would be no end to such hallucinated desire for multiple surnames and the legal system would be in dool-drums.    People would open Bank account and conduct business income in one Surname PAN card  AND file income tax returns in another surname PAN card.

QUOTE:  "It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious"

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Saurabh (Sr. Engineer)     03 October 2013

Can A person Either Man Or Woman change his/her (First Name+Last Name) entirely before marriage.

Is there any legal proceedure?

pls help us

Neha (Ph.D. Scholar)     06 November 2013

Hi all,

I want to know that, If I change my name keeping both surname (e.g. ruchi joshi sharma). do i need to change my all documents (driving licence, passport, passbook) like this or will it work alone. I have heard that if u keep both the surname you are not supposed to change ur any document further. Will it work?


Any suggestion will be appreciated.



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