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Ethiopia - Apply for Change of Person Name (Deed Poll)

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If you wish to be known by a different name you can change your name at any time, provided you do not intend to deceive or defraud another person. Although there is no legal way to change a name in Ethiopia , you may want evidence that you have changed your name.

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.


To eligible you must be a citizen of The republic of Ethiopia.

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.

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  • You must seek legal procedures and give genuine reason why you want to actually change your legal name and be referred to by a different name.
  • You must post your self in the popular news paper to announce that you have changed your name to a different name for a period of 14 days.
  • You must produce a birth certificate indicating your previous names.
  • you passport photo size taken recently with a clear white background must appear in the newspaper.
  • You must swear an affidavit with the commissioner of oath.
  • The state requires that you have been a resident of Ethiopia for 1 year or less and you do not intend to deceive or mislead anyone, such as creditors.
  • That you have reasonable and proper cause (and if sought for a child you must show that it’s in their “best interest”)to change the name.

Required Information

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Valid identity proof
  • Citizenship
  • Address
  • Occupation
  • Reason for change of name
  • Official witness to change of name


In Person

The procedure is fairly simple; to apply for your name change,

  • The first step in officially changing your name is to file a Name Change Petition in the proper court and pay the filing fee.
  • In most states, the person making the request must publish a notice in a local newspaper stating that he or she has filed a Name Change Petition.
  • If other individuals (such as the parents of a minor child or a spouse) would be affected by the name change, then notice must be given to the affected party.
  • Usually, the court will order a hearing for final consideration of the Name Change Petition.
  • This is also an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the name change.
  • If the court does not find any reasonable objections, it will issue a judgement authorizing the name change.
  • Applicants who wish to change their names are required by law to give a “reasonable explanation” for their decision.
  • And upon acceptance of the application by the Commissioner for Oaths, the applicant is required to post legal notices in newspapers to announce the name change. That you published notice of the change to the public, often times in a newspaper. This notice must generally be done a few weeks prior to your name-change hearing so that if anyone wanting to object to the name change will be able to attend the hearing.
  • Not less than seven days after the publication of the notice, the person intending to change his or her name may apply in the prescribed form to the registrar of the births and deaths registration district in which his or her birth is registered.
  • The registrar shall, upon being satisfied that the requirements of this section have been carried out and upon payment of the prescribed fee, amend the register accordingly and shall sign and date the amendment.

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Required Documents

  • A letter from a responsible person, such as a GP, solicitor, minister, priest or MP
  • An advertisement in a local or national newspaper.
  • A statutory declaration ( a statement, recording your intention to abandon your old name and adopt a new one)
  • Name Change Affidavit


  • The fees charged by a Commissioner for Oaths is determined by statute. Fees charges ranges 100Bir to 150 Bir.


The document is valid till you die

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

Processing time takes 2 months

Office Locations & Contacts

Civil Registrar
Ministry of Justice
P.O Box 1370
Addis Ababa
Tel: 00251115515099
Fax: 517755
Justice Branch Offices

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
P.O.Box 2056 Ethiopia
Addis Ababa
Telephone: 251-11-5518510

Ministry Of Women’s Affairs (MOWA)
Children and Youth Affairs Office, Adoption Team (CYAO)
P.O. Box 1293
Addis Ababa

Head Office
Contacts Address: Kirkos Kifle Ketema, Kebele 18
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
P.O.Box 2056
Telephone: +251-11-551-7080
Fax: +251-11-551-8396/+251-11-551-5316/+251-11-550-1220

Contact Address:
Telephone: 251-11-553-7970

Family Affairs Team
Contacts Address:
Telephone: 251-11-515-9365

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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 "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

Information which might help

Additional examples of names that may not be used include famous people’s names as the assumption is that one is attempting to confuse others with the name change. Moreover, if one hopes to adopt an unusual name.

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
  • In case of adoption

External Links

Government of Ethiopia

Ministries and Agencies

The Regional States of Ethiopia

Ministry of Justice


  • Generally, a marriage certificate and divorce decree stating that one is reverting back to their maiden name (or another old name) is sufficient legal proof of a name change.
  • But there are a few common situations that will require you obtain a legal name change through court order even though you have been recently married or divorced.
  • There are times where a recently married woman changes her name after the marriage to her husbands’ surname, but soon decides that she actually wants to go back to her old name.
  • Such a situation will require a legal name change through court order.
  • After you have obtained the legal name change, you must notify the appropriate government and private agencies.
  • The court order will act as the “legal proof” needed to get the name recognized.
  • The name change notification process is handled in more detail on a state by state level.
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