Image by AdobeStock
Image by AdobeStock
The law states that you cannot use any other surname than the one shown in the National Population Register maintained by the Department of Home Affairs. But what if you recently got married (or divorced) and you’re considering changing your surname? Applying for these changes to your personal documents directly with home affairs can take months, and in most cases, you won’t have the luxury of time when it comes to obtaining your official documents.
Any woman getting married, divorced, or that has been widowed has the option of:
You will need to obtain authorisation from Home Affairs for any surname changes other than those mentioned above, which is an even lengthier process than simply changing your surname after getting married or divorced.
At the moment, men that wish to have their surnames changed have to follow the lengthier process since the current regulations only cater to women getting married or divorced. In this case, a notification of your proposed name change will have to be gazetted before it will be approved by DHA.
If you’re in South Africa, you can head over to a Department of Home Affairs Office for the standard procedure of standing in a cue for hours on end. South Africans living abroad will have to contact their nearest SA mission or Embassy and collect and complete the BI-196 form. In most cases, however, this is a waste of valuable time that most of us do not have.
The simple truth is that Home Affairs takes forever to process surname changes and often makes mistakes too. South African women are tearing their hair out and are fed up with delayed processes, but most of them don’t know that Apostil.co.za can assist within a week’s time without any hiccups.
South African civil law makes provision for the surnames of minor children (under 16) to be changed, but certain conditions and requirements that have to be met first. These include:
Keep in mind that the process of changing a child’s surname is not as simple as changing your own surname after getting married or divorced and includes a multi-tier approach. Even though this is a complicated process, Apostil.co.za can still assist with the best turnaround times.
Unless you fancy the idea of waiting months to get your surname changed, we suggest getting in touch with a document assistance service (like Apostil.co.za) that act on your behalf and obtain your documents for you. Instead of dealing with endless cues and waiting months on end for your documents to be issued, document assistance services can help you change your surname in as little as a week.