You should be aware that every South African has the legal right to change their name. There are, however, several variations, as in all rights. We’ll go through the exceptions before we get through the process of changing your name in South Africa.
In South Africa, people change their names for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, it’s for marital benefits. For example, a woman marries and chooses to take her husband’s surname instead of her maiden name.
The process to legally change your name in South Africa is not difficult. Below are the steps to take in order to legally change your name in South Africa.
- To apply for changing a name or apply for a deed poll in person, the person who wishes to do should pay a visit to the office of the Department of Home affairs which are nearest to the applicant’s location.
- Please click on the following link for the contact details and address of the office of the Department of Home affairs: Among the list of provinces, click on your province name and get the details accordingly.
- Go to the office of the DHA and get the Application form for changing your name in the Register. The applicant will have to get an application form according to his/her requirement.
- If the need is to change the forename, you have to obtain Form BI-85 from the office of DHA and fill the form as required. Also, the applicant should provide a sufficient reason for the change of name.
- Form BI-85 can also be downloaded by clicking Here
- If the applicant wants to change the surname of a minor in the Population register, he/she needs to get Form BI-193 from the office and fill the form with appropriate information. Also, the applicant should provide a sufficient reason for the change of name.
- Form BI-193 can also be downloaded by clicking Here
- Or if the applicant, who is a major, wants to assume a different surname for themselves have to get Form BI-196 from the office and fill it with appropriate details. Also, the applicant should provide a sufficient reason for the change of name.
- Form BI-196 can also be downloaded by clicking Here
- After completing the application form with respect to the need, attach the documents mentioned in the “Required Documents” section of this page and then submit it at the Department of Home Affairs office for further verification and validation processes.
- Then, the concerned officials will examine the application form and attached documents and scrutinize the reason provided for the change of name.
- If the authorities find the reason stated is sufficient and valid, the application will be further forwarded to the Director-General who will authorize the change of name.
- After authorizing, the Director-General will amend the change of name and publish the change in the gazette, in a prescribed manner. Then, the Director-General shall issue a Certificate from the Population Register on the change of the name.
- Duly filled and signed Application form (for all cases)
- Written consent by natural father (for a minor in case of mother’s remarriage)
- Written consent by the mother’s husband (for a minor in case of mother’s remarriage)
- Written consent by the mother (for a minor)
- Reason for the change of name in written form (for all cases)
- Written consent of the spouse (surname change for majors)
- Application for any change of the forenames or surname of a minor – R70.00
- Application for the changing of a major’s forenames in the birth register – R140.00
- Application by a major to assume a different surname – R325.00