Is change of name in Nigeria after marriage a difficult process?

Is change of name in Nigeria after marriage a difficult process?

A marriage is a step towards a new life. At this stage, many women change their surnames. This involves some bureaucratic delays, which, however, it's quite possible to overcome. From this article, you will learn how the change of name in Nigeria is done.

Nigerian marriage

A long-awaited marriage may be a serious test for some women. When thinking about your future marriage, you will already have to ask yourself an important question: is it better to leave the name given at birth, to take the future spouse's or maybe to agree on a compromise double surname? You will be surprised to know that some men even take the surname of their future wife. However, according to statistics, now there are only 1.5-2% of such men. Most brides remain faithful to ancient tradition, preferring to change their surname after a wedding. In order to dispel any doubts, we will find out all the pros and cons of changing a surname.

Change of name in Nigeria after marriage


● It helps create an environment of family and unity. After all, in the future, your children will certainly bear the surname of their father, and in order not to create confusion it is necessary to have a common family name.

● There are not a lot of men that would agree that their wives continue to use her maiden name. So, to maintain peace and put smiles on the face of their beloved, most women prefer to stick to ancient tradition of changing surnames.

● Questions from your future children about why dad and mom have different surnames can be stressful and confusing. Therefore, it's better to exclude the issue from the very beginning.

● Changing of name after marriage is not a dead end hopelessness or obedience to a future spouse, but rather respect for traditions and the designation of your beloved as the head of cohesive, united family.

● In some cases, women believe that the change of name is beneficial for them because the surname of a future spouse is more convenient or comes with respect and even wealth.

READ ALSO: Marriage certificate in Nigeria: Registration and cost

Nigerian couple


● The refusal of many women to change the name after a wedding is motivated by the fact that they have to spend a lot of time to replace vital documents: passports, driver's license, credit cards, etc. Psychologists say that this decision is most likely taken by a person who is lazy, unwilling to make an effort or afraid of bureaucratic red tape with documents.

● It's also not favorable for women who have already "created" a name for themselves in the society. Typically, it applies to singers, actresses, TV presenters or women who own certain business empires.

● Change of names is also unacceptable for superstitious people who believe that this action will entail certain astrological changes in their future fate. Sometimes it's true, but it's not typically a rule.

● Refusal of husband's surname may be as a result of being the only child in the family and, unfortunately, female. You might feel the need to continue the family name.

● Some women might just not like their future husband's name. Well, who wants to change their proud name to a modest or even comical one?


Every woman makes this decision on her own. If you decide to change the name, we'll tell you how to do it.

What's the process of change of name after marriage in Nigeria?

The process of changing name has its own peculiarities in every single country. In the USA even every state can have its own rules that are not regulated by national legislation. In any case, applicants need to have a sufficient reason for making the changes.

West Africa fully relies on state laws. The wedding certificate will immediately indicate a new name, which significantly reduces the hassle. Find out simple steps you should take for the change of name in Nigeria after marriage:

Happy Nigerian couple
  1. Before you send a request, find out the exact list of necessary documents. So you'll not get into an awkward situation and process won't be stretched for a long time. Usually, applicants should have signed affidavit and a cutting from a newspaper with a message about your name change. Age of these docs is to be less than 1 year. Also get two passport photographs. They should be attested if the documents will be submitted by a representative. Evidence of payment, publishing fees, letter from entrusted person, public announcement and statutory declaration, notification printed in Official newspapers are needed too.
  2. At first, you’re to get stamp paper. The affidavit should contain father’s name, address, your valid name and the one you want to change to. Go to a high court to swear this doc. You’ll tender at any place where you are known with the old name.
  3. We wrote about newspaper cutting. Let’s share more details about that. You should apply to local newspaper and declare your name change in it. Your husband's name and address will also be needed. The new name should be printed in this official newspaper.
  4. Now applications related to change of name may be sent to the Civil registry, Department of Publication. Documents that should be attached are listed above. Make sure you have made copies of all important papers, as sometimes originals are required.
  5. You need to order a new National Identity Card. This document will display your name change. Also, go to the Federal Road Safety Commission and request for a new driver's license.
  6. Then you need to apply for an amendment/validation of your passport. After filling the special form you are to send it to the nearest passport department, along with fees, valid passport (or passports if you have several), documents of the name change, including a copy of marriage certificate or judicial docs. That's not all. You also need to change the information on all bank cards, working papers, and other documents, which indicate your old data.

Change of name after marriage

7. Contact the directors of previous work places, the school where you studied, university and other organizations in whose reports your data is listed. They should know about changing the name to your new one in their documents.

8. Of course, your current employer also should be informed if you work in a corporate company. In large enterprises, it is not always possible to keep track of every employee, so it is necessary to notify the personnel department or other structure that are in charge of employee details.

9. Change info in mortgage companies, insurance, car registration docs and so on. Notify the postal service, local utilities, authorities and registration of voters.

10. Finally, having done this, allow yourself to rest, solemnly announcing the change of name to family and friends. Celebrate this important event that means a lot for every woman.

Change of name in Nigeria after marriage - Happy couple

If you want to find out how to do the change of name in Nigeria for other purposes, the procedure will be exactly the same. The only difference is that the marriage certificate is not used. In addition to marriage, the reason for changing name may be adoption, divorce, and personal reasons, for example, a person simply does not like his or her name and always dreamed of having another.

Of course, getting all the documents won't be easy, but at the end, you'll be proud to have your husband's surname and that should bring him pleasure.

happy couple

It's wise to use the services of a lawyer to speed up the process, avoid errors related to lack of information. Then the name change will pass quickly and easily. You don't have to worry about any complications.

READ ALSO: Eritrea marriage law: 2 wives


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