Renfrewshire Council

Recording changes of forename(s) or surname(s) in Scotland

Who can apply to have a change of forename(s) or surname(s)?

Any person whose birth is registered in Scotland, or who was legally adopted in Scotland, can apply to have a change of forename(s) or surname(s) recorded.

The RCN1 - Recording changes of Forename(s) and Surename(s) leaflet within the related documents area explains the details of the process:

Any application for a change to be recorded in respect of a child under 16 years of age 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; or
  • 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 which may find it helpful to download within the related documents area.

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 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 after 4 May 2006, both parents have parental responsibilities 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 parental responsibilities form (Form PRF) should accompany the application form.

Any birth certificate issued after the recording of the change of forename(s) or surname(s) 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 the recording of forename(s) or change of forename(s) of a child under 12 months of age.

How and where to apply

Completed application forms should be sent to: National Records for Scotland, Change of Name Unit (Room 35) New Register House, Edinburgh EH1 3YT along with the recording fee and fee for any full certificate or abbreviated certificate that you can apply for from General Register Office.

Cheques or Post orders should be crossed and made payable to: The Registrar General.

The current fee for recording a change of name is £40

For family applications the fee is £40 or the first family member and £10 for each subsequent family member applied for at the same time.

A birth certificate costs £15.00 and an abbreviated birth certificate costs £15.00. Two certificates - full and abbreviated ordered at the same time costs £25.00.

The most common causes of delay in processing applications are:

  • insufficient fees,
  • the absence of the signatures of both parents of the child where the parents of a child were married at the time of the child's conception or subsequently,
  • the absence of signatures of both parents, where the parents of the child have never married but where both parents registered or re-registered the child's birth on or after 4 May 2006,
  • The absence of a parental responsibilities form where the parents of a child have never married and the mother has sole parental responsibilities,
  • a form not signed and/or dated,
  • completion of wrong from, or
  • wrong payee on cheque.
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