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Can I change my name and surname?: New law news

Many find names with those who really do not feel identified because nobody calls them that way, or because some people may be uncomfortable when they are accompanied by their last names, see "Elena Nito del Bosque" (real name, which some people holdwithout any problem but that others generate discomfort and opt for their change).

Likewise, sometimes erratas are dragged into the surnames that give rise to administrative confusions, or you even want to invest the order of the surnames or do without the surname of any of the parents.

Can be done?

The change of name and surname is regulated in the Civil Registry Law.

In our country we had the same Civil Registry Law since 1957, however, on April 30, 2021, after a long wait, the Civil Registry Law 20/2011 of July 21 of July 21 entered into force in its entirety.

The main objective of this new law is to achieve a unique civil registry for all of Spain, with the same common and computerized database, which is also individual, personalized and continuous.

Thus, from now on there will be no more sections that divide the registration into birth, marriage, death ..., but it will be like an individual record as a full personal file where all the decisive facts of the beginning and the end of personality appear.

In this way, the registration will be divided by people and not by registered facts.

Focusing on the change of name and surname, we see that the regulation of these changes is different as we want to change our name or our surname, and according to the reason we present for it.


Who can change their name?Those over 16 years old.In the event that a 16 -year -old girl wants, he will have to do it through his legal representatives.

Where can you request this name change?Before, the applicant had to be applied for at the Civil Registry from where.

Can I change my name freely?Nope.Interestingly, with the entry into force of the 2011 law, the possibility that there was previously changing the name for mere will as long as just cause and absence of damage to third parties is eliminated..

But since April 30, 2021, only the change of name is admitted to another usually used, and provided that a just cause, absence of damage to third parties and compliance with the established limitations.

Can I put any name?No, the Civil Registry Law regulates a series of limitations in order to maintain public order.

These limitations are regulated in art.51 of the new law, being practically the same limitations that were established in the law of 1957:

• No more than a compound name may not be consigned, or more than two simple.

¿Puedo cambiarme de nombre y de apellido?: Novedades de la nueva ley

• Names that are contrary to the dignity of the person or those who make identification cannot be imposed..

With names contrary to dignity, it refers to those disrespectful, soecos, ridiculous, vexatory or that are unusual or inappropriate to designate a person for different reasons.

Example: You can't call Darlin in Spain, by unusual.

With names that make identification confusing when it is confused between surname and name.This does not seem like a very strict requirement, since Martín or Alonso, occur both in name and in last name and are not prohibited.

This new wording eliminates the prohibition of those names that induce error in terms of sex regulated in the old law of 1957.

Such suppression should be interpreted as overcoming ancient barriers, thus confirming the doctrine of the DGRN that rejects names that unequivocally designate the opposite sex but that admits ambiguous names for one and for another sex.

However, the denial of a name of the other sex at the born will continue to be a public order, that is, a man cannot be called Maria or a woman Juan.

• You will not be able to impose itself at the born name that one of her brothers holds, unless she had died.


Who can change their surname?As with the name, from the entry into force of the new law, the surnames or the same can be changed to those over 16 years of age or those under 16 through their legal representatives.

Where is the change requested?Previously it was requested in the registration of the applicant's address, today in any general office.

Can I change my last names whenever I want?It is expressly regulated when we can change the surnames, and the different types of changes that exist:

Taxes by law

a) By alteration of affiliation.Three assumptions of modification of the "status filii" that affect the surnames:

Late recognition of affiliation.Automatically modify the surnames.However, to avoid damages, art.53.5 LRC 2011, allows the child and their descendants to keep the surnames that had been using before recognition.

Challenge of affiliation.Produces the automatic loss of surnames and their modification by those corresponding to the new state.

Change of surnames by virtue of adoption.The change of surnames entails as a general rule, however, the conservation of the primitives that it came using, when there is just cause and no damage for third party is allowed.

b) By reason of parental authority.The change of parents' surnames automatically reaches children subject to parental rights.

With the new law of 2011, minors from the age of 16 must consent to change.

By declaration of will:

The mere declaration of the applicant's willingness to change the registration manager is enough for the registration.

The cases in which this change is admitted to mere will regulate in art.53 de la nueva ley:

a) Investment of the surname.

One of the most important milestones of this new law has been the overcom.

Además, el artículo53 se regula la posibilidad de invertir el orden de los apellidos ya registrados por la mera voluntad del solicitante.

Likewise, parents may commonly put an last name or another for all the brothers already born and registered, although in the case of existence of children over 12 years, the audience of them will be necessary to proceed to the alteration.

Can legal tutors change the order of last names?No, since according to the DGRN this faculty only corresponds to the parents.

Is it possible to restore primitive order?It is not possible that by the simple request, a second investment is obtained (Resolution May 12, 2010)

b) Preparation of the preposition "of" to the first last name that was usually proper name or I will begin by such, as well as the conjunctions "y" or "i" between the surnames.

Example: Victoria Castro = Victoria de Castro

c) accommodation of the surnames of the children of legal age or emancipated to the change of parents' surnames when those expressly consent.

d) Spelling regularization of the surnames to any of the official languages corresponding to the origin or address of the interested party and the graphic adaptation to these phonetics of surnames also foreigners also foreigners.

Example 1: Regularize the Basque surname Basque Velasco, replacing it with Belasco.

Example 2: Regularize the surname Gallego Villaméa replacing it with Vilaméa.

By file

Este cambio de apellidos está regularizado para aquellos casos que sin estar dentro de ninguno de los supuestos del artículo53, deseen cambiarse el apellido.

The following requirements must be given (Article 54 LRC 2011):

That the last name in the proposed form constitutes a factual situation, being commonly used by the interested party.

That the last name or surnames that are tried to unite or modify legitimately belong to the petitioner.

c) That the surnames that result from change do not come from the same line.

Consequently, with the entry into force of this new law, unlike with the previous, that a last name comes from the paternal line and another of the maternal).

This same article regulates some exceptions to compliance with these requirements:

• Just use the last name in a regular basis without the requirements B and C, when the surname that is used belongs to those who have welcomed the interested party, and this authorized it.

• It is enough that requirements B and C (that is a surname of your family and that a surname is of the paternal line and another of the maternal) are met when the surname that is intended to be modified is contrary to dignity or that causes serious inconvenience.

• It is not necessary that none of the requirements be met when the applicant is a victim of gender violence, or their descendants are or have been integrated into the family nucleus of coexistence.

That is to say, that if a victim of gender violence or their cohabiting children want to change the last name, for security or for personal reasons, they can do it immediately and attribute any surname (provided that just cause and does not harm third parties) throughThis procedure.

Thus, the identity of the victims and their cohabiting children is protected, allowing them to dispense, to them from some surnames by which the abusers can locate them, and to the children, of the surnames of a father convicted of mistreating his mother.

Finally, there is an exceptional way to change surnames, and even identity, when exceptional circumstances concur and we are not faced with any of the assumptions regulated in this law.

In short, it is clear that, although there are limitations, a person can change his name if no one identifies him for the one who is registered in his birth certificate and also can change his last names to the point of investing them, correcting them, translating them into other languagesof the Spanish State or even voluntarily promote a new last name if you did not accept those that at the time imposed on it.

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