In terms of the Births and Deaths Registrations Act, no person may assume or describe themselves under any surname other than that recorded in the formal population register, or under which such a person was granted permanent residence in South Africa. Certain exceptions apply, for example:
- a woman, after her marriage, may assume the surname of her husband;
- a married or divorced woman or widow, may revert to her maiden surname or any prior surname which she legally bore; and
- a woman, married or divorced, may join any prior legally held surname to her married name, to form a double-barrelled surname.
A surname may also be amended by making application to the relevant Director General in the prescribed form and showing good cause for the change. If approved the change must be published in the Government Gazette.
Contact STBB should you require assistance.