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Bahamas - Change Your Name (Deed Poll)

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Contents

Introduction

If you are using, or wish to use, a name other than your registered name, there is no legal requirement that you formally change your name. It is, however, recommended that you change your name officially, both for identification and as evidence of your name change.

Name change generally refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a name different from their name at birth, marriage or adoption. The procedures and ease of a name change vary between jurisdictions.

Eligibility

Everyone has the right to change their name.

Both adults and children can change their name for a variety of reasons.

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Instructions

Typically, you may legally change your name to whatever name you'd like. There are some exceptions, though:

  • You can't change your name just to escape debt liability or to hide from criminal liability.
  • You can't change your name in order to commit a crime.
  • You can't change your name with the intention to mislead. This usually involves taking the name of a famous person. Courts typically do not allow this, unless you have a convincing reason that is not related to the famous person or the use of his or her name.
  • You can't choose a confusing name one that includes numerals or punctuation. However, some courts have permitted people to spell out the numbers, for example "Seven" instead of "7".
  • You can't choose a name that would intimidate, offend, or be considered obscene.
  • You can't choose a racial slur.

Required Information

  • Your name as listed on birth certificate or immigration or citizenship documents.
  • The full name you are applying to change to (if you are changing your name).
  • Date and place of birth
  • Marital status and details
  • Places of residence for last three months
  • Address for Correspondence

Procedure

  • Obtain all necessary documents in applying for the change of name.
  • Submit your application along with all other requirements.
  • Once the new name or surname is accepted, you may proceed in registering your new name.

Once you have your Change of Name Certificate, you can start changing your name on your identification documents (e.g. drivers licence, passport etc) and with government departments and other organisations. It is interesting to note however, that legally you can start using your new name whenever you like within the community, and this is called "name by association". It's just not possible to change your name on your identity documents and with organisations until you have proof of your name change (by way of your Change of Name Certificate).

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Required Documents

  • Certificate of Criminal Record
  • Request Addressed to the Minister of Justice
  • Application addressed to the Registrar
  • Identity Card (original and photocopy)

Fees

Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.

Validity

Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

Sample Documents

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time

Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.

Office Locations & Contacts

Registrar Generals Department
Office of the Attorney General & Ministry of Legal Affairs
Shirley House
50 Shirley Street
P. O. Box N-532
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
registrargeneral@bahamas.gov.bs
Web Site: http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/rgd
Phone: (242) - 397-9143-58, 397-8995, 397-9126, 397-8953 397-9178, 397-9162, 397-9178
Fax: (242) - 322-5553

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Video

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 
	

Information which might help

How you should go about changing your name will depend upon which category you fit into. Changing your name after marriage or divorce is quite a simple process, while changing your name 'just because' requires a little more effort, but it is still quite straight forward and a lot easier than it used to be.

To change your name, submit a petition to your local Superior Court that details the reasons you'd like to change your name. After the court approves your request, you'll then need to update your Social Security card, driver's license and passport.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate

You may want to change your name because:

  • You have just gotten married
  • You have divorced
  • You just want a change

External Links

Registrar Generals Department

Office of the Attorney General & Ministry of Legal Affairs

The Official Website of the Government of The Bahamas

All Government Contacts

Others

You do not need legal proof that you have changed your name, provided that you can be identified by your new chosen name. However, there are some circumstances, for example, applying for a passport, when additional evidence of the change of name is required. The evidence required varies depending on the purpose for which it is needed and can include:-

  • a letter from a responsible person
  • a public announcement
  • a statutory declaration
  • a deed poll.
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