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Everything You Need to Know About Changing Your Name After Marriage in Nigeria

Changing your name after marriage is a personal decision that many women make in Nigeria. It can be a symbol of unity, commitment, and respect for your spouse and your culture.

However, changing your name is not as simple as saying “I do”.

It involves some legal steps and requirements that you need to follow to ensure that your name change is recognized by the authorities and other institutions.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of changing your name in Nigeria after marriage, and provide you with some tips and advice on how to do it smoothly and efficiently.
Why Change Your Name After Marriage?

There are many reasons why you may want to change your name after marriage. Some of the most common ones are:

Symbol of unity: Changing your name after marriage can show that you and your spouse are now a family unit and that you share a common identity. It can also make it easier for others to recognize your relationship and address you properly.

Cultural tradition: In many Nigerian cultures, it is customary for a woman to take her husband’s surname after marriage. This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation and is still widely practiced today. It can also help you to connect with your spouse’s family and heritage.

Legal recognition: Changing your name after marriage can also have legal benefits. It can help you to avoid confusion and complications in legal matters, such as inheritance, property ownership, taxation, banking, travel, etc. It can also make it easier for you to update your personal documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, national identity card, etc.

Professional reasons: Some women may choose to change their name for professional reasons. For example, if you have built a successful career under your maiden name, you may want to keep it as your professional name and adopt your husband’s name for personal use. This can help you to maintain your reputation and credibility in your field of work.

Whatever your reason may be, changing your name after marriage is a personal choice that only you and your spouse can make. There is no right or wrong decision, as long as you are comfortable and happy with it.
How to Change Your Name After Marriage in Nigeria

The process of changing your name after marriage in Nigeria is not complicated, but it requires following some necessary steps. Here are the main steps that you need to take:
Step 1: Obtain a Valid Marriage Certificate

The first step is to obtain a valid marriage certificate from the appropriate authority. This document serves as evidence of your marital status and is a prerequisite for the name change process. Depending on the type of marriage ceremony that you had, you can obtain your marriage certificate from one of the following sources:

Marriage Registry: If you had a civil or statutory marriage ceremony at a marriage registry, you can obtain your marriage certificate from the same registry where you registered your marriage. You will need to pay a fee and provide some personal details, such as your full names, date of birth, place of birth, etc.

Religious Institution: If you had a religious or customary marriage ceremony at a church, mosque, or any other religious institution, you can obtain your marriage certificate from the same institution where you had your ceremony. You will need to pay a fee and provide some personal details, such as your full names, date of birth, place of birth, etc.

Embassy or Consulate: If you had a foreign or international marriage ceremony at an embassy or consulate of another country, you can obtain your marriage certificate from the same embassy or consulate where you had your ceremony. You will need to pay a fee and provide some personal details, such as your full names, date of birth, place of birth, etc.

Once you have obtained your marriage certificate, make sure to keep it safe and make copies of it for future use.
Step 2: Publish an Announcement of Your Intention to Change Your Name

The next step is to publish an announcement of your intention to change your name in at least two national newspapers. This step ensures that your intent is made public and can be easily verified. To publish an announcement of your name change, you will need to do the following:

Choose two national newspapers: You can choose any two national newspapers that have wide circulation and coverage in Nigeria.

Write a notice: You will need to write a notice that states your full names (both old and new), date of birth, place of birth, marital status, date of marriage, place of marriage, spouse’s name, reason for name change (marriage), and date of publication. You will also need to sign the notice with both your old and new signatures.

Submit the notice: You will need to submit the notice to the newspapers along with a copy of your marriage certificate and a fee. The fee may vary depending on the newspaper and the size of the notice. You can contact the newspapers directly to find out the exact fee and procedure.

Keep the publications: Once the newspapers have published your notice, make sure to buy copies of the newspapers and keep them safe. You will need to present them as proof of your name change in the next step.

Step 3: Prepare a Legal Document Known as a Deed Poll or an Affidavit

The final step is to prepare a legal document known as a deed poll or an affidavit that declares your name change. This document is a formal statement that confirms your old and new names and your intention to use your new name for all purposes. To prepare a deed poll or an affidavit, you will need to do the following:

Choose a deed poll or an affidavit: You can choose either a deed poll or an affidavit as your legal document for name change. A deed poll is a document that is signed by you and witnessed by two other people, while an affidavit is a document that is sworn by you before a commissioner for oaths or a notary public. Both documents have the same legal effect and validity, but a deed poll may be cheaper and easier to prepare than an affidavit.

Write the document: You will need to write the document using a standard format and language. You can find samples and templates of deed polls and affidavits online or at any legal stationery shop. You will need to include your full names (both old and new), date of birth, place of birth, marital status, date of marriage, place of marriage, spouse’s name, reason for name change (marriage), and date of declaration. You will also need to sign the document with both your old and new signatures.

Witness the document: You will need to have two witnesses for your deed poll or one witness for your affidavit. The witnesses must be adults who know you personally and are not related to you by blood or marriage. They must also sign the document with their full names, addresses, and occupations.

Stamp the document: You will need to stamp the document with a revenue stamp at any post office or court registry. The stamp fee may vary depending on the state and the type of document. You can contact the post office or court registry directly to find out the exact fee and procedure.
Keep the document: Once you have prepared your deed poll or affidavit, make sure to keep it safe and make copies of it for future use.

How to Update Your Personal Documents After Changing Your Name

After you have completed the steps above, you have successfully changed your name legally in Nigeria. However, you still need to update your personal documents with your new name to avoid any confusion or inconvenience in your daily life. Some of the personal documents that you need to update are:

Passport: To update your passport with your new name, you will need to apply for a re-issue of your passport at any immigration office or passport office in Nigeria. You will need to fill an application form and submit it along with your old passport, marriage certificate, deed poll or affidavit, newspaper publications, two passport photographs, and a fee. The fee may vary depending on the type and validity of your passport. You can contact the immigration office or passport office directly to find out the exact fee and procedure.

Driver’s License: To update your driver’s license with your new name, you will need to apply for a renewal of your driver’s license at any driver’s license center in Nigeria. You will need to fill an application form and submit it along with your old driver’s license, marriage certificate, deed poll or affidavit, newspaper publications, two passport photographs, and a fee. The fee may vary depending on the state and the type of driver’s license. You can contact the driver’s license center directly to find out the exact fee and procedure.

National Identity Card: To update your national identity card with your new name, you will need to apply for a modification of your national identity card at any National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) office in Nigeria. You will need to fill an application form and submit it along with your old national identity card, marriage certificate, deed poll or affidavit, newspaper publications, two passport photographs, and a fee. The fee may vary depending on the state and the type of national identity card. You can contact the NIMC office directly to find out the exact fee and procedure.

Bank Accounts: To update your bank accounts with your new name, you will need to visit any branch of your bank in Nigeria. You will need to fill an account update form and submit it along with your old bank cards, marriage certificate, deed poll or affidavit, newspaper publications, two passport photographs, and any other documents that may be required by your bank. There is usually no fee for updating your bank accounts with your new name.

Other Documents: To update any other documents that may have your name on them, such as your educational certificates, professional licenses, insurance policies, utility bills, etc., you will need to contact the respective authorities or institutions that issued them and follow their procedures for name change. You will likely need to provide them with your marriage certificate, deed poll or affidavit, newspaper publications, and any other documents that they may require. The fees and processes may vary depending on the type and issuer of the document.

Tips and Advice for Changing Your Name After Marriage in Nigeria

Changing your name after marriage in Nigeria can be a smooth and hassle-free process if you follow the steps above and plan ahead. Here are some tips and advice that can help you along the way:

Decide on your new name: Before you start the name change process, you should decide on what your new name will be. You can choose to take your husband’s surname, keep your maiden name, hyphenate both names, or create a new name that combines both names. You should also decide on how you want to spell and pronounce your new name.

Inform your family and friends: Once you have decided on your new name, you should inform your family and friends about it. You can do this by sending them a message, calling them, or announcing it on social media. You should also update your online profiles and accounts with your new name.

Start the process as soon as possible: You should start the name change process as soon as possible after your marriage. This will help you to avoid any confusion or inconvenience in your daily life and legal matters. It will also make it easier for you to update your personal documents with your new name.

Keep copies of all documents: You should keep copies of all the documents that you use for the name change process, such as your marriage certificate, deed poll or affidavit, newspaper publications, old and new passports, driver’s licenses, national identity cards, bank cards, etc. You should also keep copies of any documents that you update with your new name, such as your educational certificates, professional licenses, insurance policies, utility bills, etc. These copies will serve as proof of your name change and may be required by some authorities or institutions in the future.

Be patient and persistent: You should be patient and persistent when changing your name after marriage in Nigeria. You may encounter some delays or challenges along the way, such as bureaucratic procedures, uncooperative officials, lost documents, etc. However, you should not give up or get discouraged. You should follow up on your applications and requests and seek help from reliable sources if needed..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

 

About the author

Bunady

JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE (Bunady.com). He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email: contact.bunady@gmail.com

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