National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

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 (150KB PDF) tells you what happens to personal information when a life event is registered.

The Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965 permits changes to forenames and/or surnames for persons born or adopted in Scotland on their birth or adoption record.

Our change of name team continue to work through a high volume of applications and are processing these in date of receipt order.  We are currently working on applications received in the third quarter of 2023.  Please email us at [email protected] if your request requires priority consideration due to exceptional circumstances.

Forename change request for children under age 12 months

Please download and complete the application form 21 (146 KB pdf) to add or change of forename(s).

The original name will be replaced on the both the full and abbreviated birth certificate.

Name change request for children between 12 months and 16 years of age

Please note legislation allows for:-

•    One forename change
•    One surname change

Please download and complete the application form 23 (154 KB pdf) for a change of forename(s) and/or surname(s).

Please note the original name(s) will be shown at the bottom of any new certificate purchased as ‘Formerly known as’.

Name change request for individuals over 16 years of age

Please note legislation allows for:-

•    One forename change
•    Up to three surname changes (with at least 5 years between each surname change)

Please download and complete the application form 24 (93 KB pdf) for a change of forename(s) and/or surname(s).

Please note the original name(s) will be shown at the bottom of any new certificate purchased as ‘Formerly known as’.

Completed application forms should be printed, signed in ink and posted to:-

National Records of Scotland, Change of Name Unit, New Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT

Fees Payable

There is a fee of £40.00 to record a change of name (plus £10 for each additional family member when applications are submitted together) for this service.  Our staff will contact you by phone prior to proceeding with your application to check that you wish to proceed and process your card payment.  

Please ensure when sending your application that you provide a daytime telephone number.  

Please do not include payment details with your application.

Frequently asked questions

I have recently married or registered a civil partnership.  Do I need to complete a change of name form?

No, you are not required to complete a change of name form.   It is accepted that partners may wish to assume a surname following marriage or registering a civil partnership.  You may wish to inform organisations if you are assuming a new surname. They may ask you to provide your marriage/civil partnership certificate as evidence of your change of name.

A recorded name change completed through the National Records of Scotland will alter the  individual’s birth certificate.

I wish to return to using my birth surname following divorce or dissolving my partnership.  Do I need to complete a change of name form?

You do not need to complete any forms to revert to your birth (maiden) surname unless you previously changed your name via the change of name procedure carried out by the National Records of Scotland.  You may wish to inform organisations if you are assuming a new surname. 

Can I include my maiden name in my forenames?

If you make a change of name application to add your birth surname to your forename(s) you will not be able to make a further application to revert to your original forename(s).  Any birth certificate purchased after you add your surname at birth to your forename(s) would then be recorded twice on the birth certificate. e.g. 
Forenames - Mary Smith 
Surname - Smith.

Can I email a form for processing?

Unfortunately we require the forms to be manually signed and are unable to accept scanned documents. 

Further information can be obtained by emailing [email protected]

Last updated July 2023