Recording Changes of Forename(s) and Surname(s) in Scotland
Recording Changes of Forename(s) and Surname(s) in Scotland
The attached Registration Privacy Notice (248 KB PDF) tells you what happens to personal information when a life event is registered.
Who may Apply to Record a Change of Name?
Any person whose birth is registered in Scotland or who is the subject in Scotland of an entry in the Adopted Children Register, the Parental Order Register or the Gender Recognition Register may apply for a recorded change of name. If the person is under 16 years of age, the application must be made by a qualified applicant who is defined as follows:-
- where only one parent has parental responsibilities in relation to the child, that parent;
- where both parents have such responsibilities in relation to the child, both parents; and
- where neither parent has such responsibilities, any other person who has such responsibilities.
If the person is over 16 years of age, they must apply on their own behalf.
How do I go about it?
You will need to complete an application form and may find it helpful to download the following documents:-
- Information Leaflet RCN1 (43 KB PDF) – Recording changes of forename(s) and surname(s) in Scotland.
- Form 21 (44 KB PDF) – Application for recording of forename(s) or change of forename(s) of child under twelve months of age.
- Form 23 (179 KB PDF) – Application for recording of change of forename(s) or surname(s) of child under 16 years of age.
- Form 24 (42 KB PDF) – Application for recording of change of forename(s) or surname(s) of person over 16 years of age.
- Form PRF (27 KB PDF) – Questionnaire to be completed where parents were unmarried at the time of the child’s birth and have not subsequently married.
The leaflet RCN1 (43 KB PDF) should answer most of your questions but please bear in mind the following points:
- Where the parents of a child were married at the time of the birth, or married subsequent to the birth, then both parents have parental responsibilities for the child and therefore both parents should usually sign the application form.
- Where the parents of a child are not married but both parents registered or re-registered the child's birth on or after 4 May 2006, both parents have parental responsibilties for the child and therefore both parents should usually sign the application form.
- Where the parents are unmarried or only the mother’s details appear on the birth entry then a Form PRF (27 KB PDF) should accompany the application form.
- Any birth certificate issued subsequent to the recording of the change will show the new forename(s) and surname(s) with the original forename(s) and surname(s) shown separately. (This does not apply to an application for recording of forename(s) or change of forename(s) of a child under twelve months of age, ie, form 21 applications.)
How much will this cost me?
The current fee is £40.00. For family applications, the fee is £40.00 for the first family member and £10.00 for each subsequent family member when applied for at the same time. Following a change of name extracts (birth certificates) can be purchased from the ScotlandsPeople website or, from your nearest registration office.
Important: The cheque or postal order should be made payable to the Scottish Government. If you wish to pay by credit or debit card, please complete form CON Card at the back of the application form.
Changing Surname on Marriage or Civil Partnership Registration
It is generally accepted in Scotland that, on marriage, a woman will simply ASSUME the surname of her husband. Similarly, in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership, either partner may wish to assume the other partner’s surname, or combine their names to show both surnames (hyphenated or not). This is a matter of personal choice.
Please note that the change of name service provided by the National Records of Scotland results in that change being recorded against a person’s birth record. Most people would NOT want to have their birth entry changed to record the name they have assumed following a marriage or civil partnership registration, although there is nothing to prevent you from doing so if you wish. However, please be aware that your birth record would be permanently altered as a result.
If you choose to assume your partner’s name following a marriage or civil partnership registration, it is usually enough to let people who hold information about you, such as your employer, doctor, bank and passport office, know that you wish to be known as that new name. They may ask to see your marriage or civil partnership certificates to explain the change.
Reverting to Birth (Maiden) Surname Following Separation, Divorce or Civil Partnership Dissolution
If your relationship with your partner has ended and you no longer wish to be known by the name you assumed when you married or registered your civil partnership, you can simply let people who hold information about you such as your employer, doctor bank and passport office that you wish to be known as a different name. This could be a name you were previously known by such as your birth (or maiden) name.
Banks and certain other organisations may ask to see your marriage or civil partnership certificate and any subsequent divorce or dissolution certificate to explain the change.
Unless you previously changed your name via the change of name procedure carried out by the National Records of Scotland described in this section of our website and your birth entry was revised, you do NOT need to complete any forms to revert to your birth (maiden) surname.
Where do I Send the Application?
The completed application form, the fee and where appropriate the Form PRF (27 KB PDF), should be sent to the National Records of Scotland, Change of Name Unit at the address below.
National Records of Scotland
Change of Name Unit
New Register House
3 West Register Street
Telephone: 0131 314 4444