How to Change Surname On Card After Wedding In South Africa?

Change of surname on card after wedding in South Africa isn’t as easy as someone thinks because several factors should be considered. Besides, you have to fill all the prerequisites demanded by the system to change the Surname on your card.

 In this article, we explain the rules and essential requirements briefly to follow while applying for changing the Surname process. So let’s move to the guide and understand the process of Surname changing on the card after marriage.

Basic Rules Around Changing The Name In South Africa

There are some definite rules around changing names regarding marriage or divorce situations. In the case of a woman, the name on her card can only change on her spouse’s Surname or not be changed. However, in case of divorce, if the Surname is changed, it will change back to her maiden Surname, or she may keep it the same.

So, firstly, it is dependent on the woman whether she wants to change her name after marriage or divorce.

Issues Occurred Around Changing The Name In South Africa

  • It takes a long period of approximately 3-4 months to apply changes in the Surname.
  • The woman isn’t getting benefits from the government while the changing process is going on.
  • Even sometimes, women couldn’t access their bank accounts and could not use their vote rights.
Note: Firstly, your marriage must register on the DHA’s system of South Africa. If your marriage isn’t registered on this system, you can’t change your Surname.

Though these problems do not go with you long-term, show little patience and move to the changing process.

Register Yourself On DHA

  • So, firstly register yourself on the Department of Home Affairs with your existing Id. Where also give the reason for changing your Surname which is marriage.
  • The second thing is the name on your passport; this isn’t needed to change. You can travel with your old Surname unless it expires. So, only changing the Surname on your National Id card is necessary for getting registered and availing of many services with your spouse.

Documents required

Primary documents required for changing the Surname on National Card are;

  •  Married registered certificate on the DHA
  • Existing ID card
  •  Financial documents
  • Retail accounts
  • Spouse ID card
  •  Spouse job certificate
  •  Spouse main identity
  •  Your main identity
  • Two passport-size photos
Note: An essential thing while performing this is you should check your name spelling present on your provided documents.

Things to Know Before Changing the Last Name in South Africa

The law of changing the name on your card is governed by the Births and Deaths Registration Act of South Africa. According to the law, every citizen of RSA who is at least 16 years old candidate can apply to change the first, last, or surname. The National Population Register keeps the data of all South African citizens on their private portal. Here are a few circumstances that allow you to change your name:

  1. If candidates want to get a double-barreled surname they can apply for the name change. 
  2. If someone wants to show a step-parent surname they have got the opportunity to do so. 
  3. After the divorce, a woman can apply to revert the legal maiden name. 
  4. Depending on your reasons, you might want to change your forenames. 

Once you’ve got a solid reason to change your name, visit the nearest home affairs office and fill out these forms:

  1. BI-196 from (Used to change surname)
  2. BI-85 form (Used to revert the forename)
  3. BI-9 form (this form ensures that you’re willing to change your identity document)
  4. 2 passport-size images need to attach with current and next identity documents. 
  5. You must have to specify a good reason why are you changing your surname. 

How to Change the Surname of a Child After a Wedding in South Africa? 

Thankfully, the civil laws in South Africa are not too strict and they allow parents to change their children’s names. So if your child is under 16 years you can apply for a name change if you fulfill the terms & conditions. Here are a few rules that may apply;

  1. If the child is born out of wedlock, obtain written consent from the biological father, unless terminated by a court order.
  2. When you want to use your husband’s surname with your child’s identity, you need the permission of the biological father. 
  3. The third option is still available, if you get the court ruling permission then you don’t need to get the consent of the child’s biological father. 

Bottom Line: Changing the name of your child is not as easy as a divorced woman can change her own. Typically it requires multi-tier approaches if the biological father doesn’t allow to change the name. However, by following the laws a woman can change the surname of a child.

Process Of Changing The Surname

If you have complete documentation, then move to the changing process. It is effortless to apply for changing the Surname on your Id card.

1. Changing the Surname via visiting the DHA office

Visit the DHA office, and the representative will give you the application form and fill it with the required data by them. Form BI-9 is for changing the Surname based on spouse authority. The DHA takes your fingerprints to verify your identity.

2. Changing the Surname via the DHA website (Online)

If you’re not free to visit the office, you may go for the online option. In the online method, you first have to download the application form from the DHA official website of South Africa.

Changing the Surname via DHA website

fill it with the necessary demanded information in the respective boxes. After filling, click to submit.

Fee Charges For changing Surname

The fee charges demanded will be approximately 270.50 dollars. Pay these charges via wallet card and complete the submission process.


How long does it take from time to time to change my Surname?

After application submission successfully, the estimated processing time is approximately three to four months to change your Surname. So a little patience must be shown by you while applying for it.

What is the process of changing my Surname after marriage?

You have first to submit your marriage certificate copy that the home affairs of South Africa must register. Then download from with the BI-9 number and fill it press submit to the final proceeding.


We are keeping the concern of newly-weds couples in mind, take this guide to you. We cover each aspect, including rules to follow while applying, issues that occurred in the process, essential requirements to fulfill, and how to access the official website for changing Surname online after marriage. Further, we answer frequently asked queries by the wed women. After reviewing this guide, we are assured that the changing process will become less complicated.

Leave a Comment