Brazil - Change Your Name (Deed Poll)
A name is one of the primary markers of an individual’s identity. In legal terms a birth name is the one given to a person by his/her parents or guardian while the surname indicates his/her father’s or family’s name. Both are usually mentioned in an individual’s birth certificate. Sometimes though a person may wish to adopt a new name or alter an existing one to mark a change in marital, religious, cultural or personal identity. If you are in Brazil and planning something on these lines, here is what you should know.
According to the Brazilian Civil Code and public registry act, the name given at birth is definitive and immutable. However you may be allowed to petition for a change of name only under certain conditions. These are:
- If your present name contains an obvious writing error which was made while registering your name as a child.
- In case you are recognized publicly by another name, you can request a name change or addition by bringing three testimonials that can prove your position.
- In case you have been legally adopted
- If your name exposes you to ridicule and goes against your well being in everyday life.
In case of sex change, you may be allowed to legally modify your name at the discretion of the concerned authorities; but in practice, people who have undergone a sex change make use of the last condition while applying for a name change since their previous name (male or female) does not conform with the new physical situation and could expose these persons to ridicule.
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Even if you possess any of the above valid reasons for change of name, you can apply for the process only after you attain the age of maturity which in Brazil is eighteen. Even more importantly you can apply only to change your first name since modification of surnames is not allowed. In Brazil, the principle of unchangeability of the forename is based upon Art. 58 Civil Registration Act.
- 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
- 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.
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Among the documents which you may be required to produce when applying for a change of name is;
- Proof of your Brazilian citizenship,
- A Brazilian birth or marriage certificate,
- A Brazilian identification card,
- A Brazilian military document,
- And/or any other documents deemed necessary by the concerned authority.
Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.
Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid. e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever
Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links
Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.
Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.
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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".
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.
You may want to change your name because:
- You have just gotten married
- You have divorced
- You just want a change
People choose to change their name for a variety of reasons. Maybe you just want to change the spelling of your name, you don't like the name your parents gave you, you want to get rid of your middle name, you want to remove any family associations, or maybe you just want a change! You can legally change your first name, middle name or surname, or any combination of those.