There are several reasons why one might want to change his/her name. Some could change names due to marriage, or any other personal reason. In this guide, we’ll take you through the whole process of applying for change of name in Ghana.
Before you can change your name, you need a legal backing that will attest to that. This legal document validates all documents bearing your former name. In fact, without this document, all other document bearing your former name remains invalid.
Before we go to the procedures of change of name in Ghana, let’s take a look at possible reasons why people change names.
Possible Reasons Why People Change Their Names
There are several reasons why people choose to change their names. However, we’ll name but a few tangible reasons why people want to change their names.
- Dislike Current Name
- Changing Name Following Divorce
- Changing Child’s Surname to Mother’s or Father’s
- A desire for a Less or More “Ethnic” Name
- Transgender Name Changes
- Religious Reasons
- Political Statement
Having said that, let’s now take a look at the whole process involved in applying for a change of name in Ghana.
How to Apply for Change of Name in Ghana
Change of name in Ghana cannot be done by proxy, you need to apply in person. Just follow the steps outlined below.
- Approach any Ghanaian court to begin the process.
- Make an application in writing to the Minister of Justice giving sufficient reasons why you want to make the change. Documents should be submitted with the following documents (see below).
- You are then to swear to an Affidavit of Change of Name (Deed Pool) before the Commission of Oaths, in the Ghanaian court. The affidavit should say that you have changed from your old name and wish to be known by your new name, and you show your affidavit anywhere you want to present any documentation in your old name. The affidavit is a statutory declaration recording your intention to abandon your old name and adopt a new one.
- Once this is done, go to the Office of the Judicial Secretary, where the affidavit is signed/ endorsed.
- Take your documents to Assembly Press, Accra city center, and put in your application. You will be given a form to fill and asked to return within a time frame.
- Your name change will be published in a Ghanaian gazette. You will be given copies of the gazette for your records when you return. There will be a section in it that will state your new name, and also states that documents with your old name are still valid.
- The final step is applying for new government documents reflecting your new acquired name. This can only be done once the new name is published in the Ghana newspapers. A copy of the newspaper has to be attached to the application documents for the new documents.
Required Documents for Change of Name in Ghana
You’ll need the following documents in order to apply for a change of name in Ghana.
- Application letter addressed to the Minister of Justice
- A deed poll/ affidavit for the name change signed by a commissioner of oaths or notary public.
- Two passport photographs (for a new identity document) [birth certificate/passport / national ID (Ghana card)].
- Your Identity document with your current name(s) and surname, (which you will surrender)
- A letter stating sufficient reasons for changing your name in writing.
- Marriage certificate (Men are not required to submit marriage certificate.)
- A filing fee of GHS 250.
Processing Time for Change of Name in Ghana
Once your documents are complete, it will take between 14 to 21 days for your change of name to be effected.