The individual intending to change his/her name appears before a notary public personally and has the Notarial Deed for change of name executed. The Notarial Deed of change of name should clearly state one’s old name and the new name to be assumed.
A name is a word or set of words by which a person or thing is known, addressed, or referred to.
What are the legally acceptable reasons for a name change?
There are numerous instances that may result in an individual seeking to change their name the following are examples of such;
- Where there is a strong dislike of one’s name and a general liking of another name associated with what one generally likes or approves of.
- Where there is a desire to assume a celebrity name
- For Religious and or spiritual reasons
- In instances where one wishes to assume their father’s surname when one has been given a maternal surname.
- Where a woman assumes her husband’s surname after marriage
The reasons given above are not exhaustive. There can be many other reasons provided the reason to change one’s name is not intended for criminal or fraudulent activities.
Change of Name: The Legal Process for Majors
This process is done with the assistance of a lawyer who is also registered as a notary public in terms of the law in Zimbabwe. The following are the steps to be followed;
- The individual intending to change his/her name appears before a notary public personally and has the Notarial Deed for change of name executed. The Notarial Deed of change of name should clearly state one’s old name and the new name to be assumed.
- Armed with the executed Notarial Deed, the Notary public causes the process to be advertised in the local newspaper and the Government Gazette. The advert then runs for fourteen days from the date of its publication of the advert.
- After fourteen days, the Notary Public lodges the Notarial Deed of change of name with the Registrar of deeds together with the proof of advertising in the manner prescribed by the law.
- Upon satisfaction by the Registrar of Deeds that the application is above board, he/she registers the Notarial Deed of change of name.
- Once the Notarial Deed of change of name is registered, the individual who has changed his name(s) takes the registered Notarial Deed, proof of advertisement and his/her old birth certificate to the Registrar of Births and Deaths for the issuance of a new birth certificate.
Change of Name: The Legal Process for Minors
A minor is any person who is below 18 years of age and minors too can change their names the process is equally the same as that articulated above with the only difference being that the Notarial Deed of change of name is signed by their parent or guardian. If the Registrar General is satisfied with the application, he/ she then issues a new birth certificate.
Change of name by a wife adopting her husband’s surname
A woman who wishes to adopt her husband’s surname after marriage does so through an application to the Registrar General, no notary public is required. The wife need only submit the spouse’s Marriage Certificate and after satisfying all the aforementioned requirements, the Registrar issues out new identity documents bearing the new surname.
Why advertise in the local newspaper and the Government Gazette?
Advertising is done to inform the public of one’s intention to change as a way of ensuring that no one changes their name for the purpose of defrauding the public. Therefore, if a party with a vested interest in the process of the name change, feels that the name change is being pursued the wrong reasons, objections can be lodged by such party and if sufficient proof is available to sustain the objections, then the Registrar of Deeds will not approve of the name change.
Fees required for the change of name process
- Where one involves a notary public, then notary’s fees are payable
- Advertising fees, payable to the relevant papers
- A statutory fee, payable to the Registrar of Deeds
- A statutory fee is payable for the issuance of a new birth certificate.
The change of name process is a straightforward process that takes approximately a month to complete provided one is properly advised of the procedures to be undertaken. The process is affordable and there is therefore no need for an aggrieved individual to stick with a name that one feels is associated with beliefs that are contrary to one’s moral and/or religious beliefs.
How much does it cost to change a name in Zimbabwe?
A statutory fee of US$105 for normal processing. Additional US$5 per urgent processing.
What is the process of changing names in Zimbabwe?
The change of surname is done through a notarial deed of change of name. The person who wants to change their surname goes to a notary public who draws up a notarial deed of change of name based on the instructions given.
How do I change my name after marriage in Zimbabwe?
The LAW IN Zimbabwe
A woman who wishes to adopt her husband’s surname after marriage can do so through an application to the Registrar General. The Applicant should submit the Marriage Certificate and satisfy all the requirements by completing the relevant forms at the Registrar’s office.
What is Zimbabwe now called?
Coordinates: 19°S 30°E. Zimbabwe (/zɪmˈbɑːbweɪ, -wi/), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the south-west, Zambia to the north, and Mozambique to the east.