Recording a change of name
The law of Northern Ireland allows anyone born or legally adopted in Northern Ireland to change their forename and/or surname. There are several ways in which a registered name may be changed:
Change of name following parents’ marriage
Where a child is registered as born to an unmarried couple, the birth should be re-registered if the couple get married. Re-registration also provides the facility to change the child’s name and surname if required.
Change of name following the inclusion of father’s details
Where the father’s details have not been included on a child’s birth registration, re-registration may, in certain circumstances, be allowed. This may also allow a change of name and surname.
Recorded change of name
Change of name(s) and/or surname for children under 18 years of age
If the child is under 18 years of age, the application to change a name and/or surname must be made by a Qualified Applicant(s)
- Application for change of name(s) or surname of a child under 18 years of age (PDF 62 KB)
- Help with PDF files
The Qualified Applicant(s) for an alteration to a child’s name are:
- both parents if they were married to, or in a civil partnership with, each other
- both parents where they are not married to, or in a civil partnership with, each other but the father/second female parent has parental responsibility for the child
- the mother where the parents are not married to, or in a civil partnership with each other at the time of the child’s birth and the father/second female parent does not have parental responsibility for the child
- the surviving parent if either of the parents of the child is deceased and the surviving parent has parental responsibility for the child
- the guardian of the child or any other person who has parental responsibility for the child if both the parents are deceased or either of the parents are deceased and the surviving parent does not have parental responsibility for the child.
Change of Name(s) and/or surname for a person over 18 years of age
Persons over the age of 18 can apply for a change of name(s) or surname. The applicant must complete and sign their own application form.
- Application for change of name or surname for person aged 18 years or over (PDF 56 KB)
- Help wih PDF files
Number of name changes which can be recorded
One change of name(s) or surname may be recorded up to eighteen years of age.
If you are eighteen or over, one change of name and up to three changes of surname can be recorded. There must be a gap of five years between each change of surname.
Each application form must be signed by the qualified applicant. The signature must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (JP), a Lay Magistrate or a practising solicitor. If there are two qualidied applicants, both signatures must be witnessed.
Justices of the Peace and Lay Magistrates do not charge for this service. To contact a JP or a Lay Magistrate please telephone the Judicial & Customer Services Group on 028 9032 8594. Their address is:Laganside House
- recording of change of name(s) and/or surname for children under 18 years of age - £35.00
- for second or subsequent members of the family(if applying at the same time) - £16.00
- recording change of name(s) and/or surname for a person over 18 years of age - £35.00
These fees are for recording the change only - a certificate showing the recorded change costs £15.00.