Requirements To Change Your Surname In South Africa

A woman may assume her husband’s surname, or revert to her maiden surname or a prior surname she legally bore, and since 1997 a woman may also join her surname with that of her husband’s as a double-barrelled surname. No application to the Department of Home Affairs is necessary in these instances. Person’s whose surnames have changed, may apply for a tourist passport and/or identity document, reflecting the married surname.

On receipt of the following documentation, your application for the change of your surname will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa. Legislation prescribes that the change of a surname of a Major must be gazetted in South Africa. The publication will be done by Home Affairs and your application fee covers this.

  1. Application form BI-196 and form BI-529.
  2. Form DHA-9 – All applications for amendments of persons 16 years and older MUST include the finger print form. To obtain the DHA-9 finger print form please send a self-addressed prepaid ordinary or express post envelope to the South African High Commission, State Circle, Yarralumla, Canberra 2600. Please include a cover note requesting the form and quoting applicant(s) full name and RSA ID number(s). (If more than one DHA-9 form is required please send a separate envelope for each form or one large envelope to accommodate all the forms).
  3. A birth certificate which shows parentage place of birth.
  4. Evidence of usage of the name to be registered. This may be in the form of qualifications, school reports, baptismal certificates, bank statements, etc. or a statutory declaration by a South African citizen who is prepared to state that this is the name currently being used.
  5. Written reasons for the name change must be supplied.

Application Fee: Non-refundable fee of AUD 36.00 per application

Payment must be in Australian Dollars (AUD) made out to the “South African High Commission” by way of Postal Money Order or Bank Cheque.

Personal cheques or credit cards are NOT accepted. ONE bank cheque or Postal Money Order for the total amount / whole family is preferred. Incorrect payment will not be accepted; in case of incorrect payment the cheque or postal money order will be returned to applicant.

Return Postage

  • For applications originating from within Australia – a Self-addressed Registered Post Envelope (only one envelope per family).

Forms may be down loaded from or

Postal Address:

South African High Commission
State Circle

Can I change my surname in South Africa?

Go to the office of the DHA and get the Application form for changing your name in the Register. If the need is to change the forename, you have to obtain Form BI-85 from the office of DHA and fill the form as required. Also the applicant should provide a sufficient reason for change of name.

Can I change my child’s surname without the father’s consent in South Africa?

A– You need the ex’s consent (or a court order) to change their surname. You would need the permission of the biological father to acquire sole guardianship (or to change the children’s surname). If he refuses, you will have to approach a SA court to appoint you as the sole guardian of the children.

How much does it cost to change a child’s surname in South Africa?

Visit the Department of Home Affairs and complete the application form DI -193 or BI-196. Take along R70 for the application fee.