AFTER getting married, Sibongile wanted to update her details with her husband’s surname.
She knew this should be done on her ID book as well, but wasn’t sure where to start.
She also wanted to change her little girl’s surname to that of her new husband’s.
Her husband is a Scorpion Legal Protection member, so he headed to his nearest Scorpion branch for assistance.
What does the law say?
The Births and Deaths Registration Act of South Africa governs the process to change your name.
Personal information about all its citizens and residents are recorded in the National Population Register.
To change your name, you should be at least 16 years old.
You can apply to change your name for the following reasons:
)To use your spouse’s surname after getting married.
) To revert to your legal maiden name after a divorce.
) To get adouble-barreled surname.
) If you want to use your biological or step-parent’s surname.
) If you want to add, remove or change your forenames for a justifiable reason.
How does it work?
To change your name in South Africa, you will have to go to your nearest home affairs office and complete the following forms:
)BI-196 for change of surname of majors.
) BI-85 for application for alteration of forename.
) BI-9 for application for alteration of identity document.
All these forms are available at any regional or district office of the Department of Home Affairs.
The completed forms, along with two photographs (for a new identity document) and an identity document with your current name(s) and surname, should be submitted.
You should have sufficient reasons for changing your surname in writing.
Changing your child’s name
Civil law in South Africa allows parents to change the names of their children.
If, like Sibongile, you would want to change a child’s name to that of your new husband’s, you will need:
) Written consent from the biological father if the child was born in wedlock, unless a court ruling overrides this.
) If you want your child to use the surname of your husband, who is not the biological father of the child, you should also get written consent from him.
The way forward
Scorpion Legal Protection members can get paralegal advice on such cases.
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