How to change your last name after a divorce - step-by-step instructions

The legislation of the Russian Federation allows citizens to change their surname either at will or in the event of a number of circumstances. One of these circumstances is a divorce, during which the spouses have the right to change their last name or leave it the same. Most often, a change of surname is relevant for a former spouse who decides to return to her maiden name after a divorce from her husband. At the same time, many divorced spouses prefer to leave everything as it is in order to avoid lengthy bureaucratic procedures associated with changing their last name - after all, when making any changes to the full name, you will have to change almost all significant documents, which will waste money, time and nerves.

general information

According to the law, a citizen can change his last name in the following cases:

  • marriage;
  • citizen's desire;
  • if a person is recognized as having lost legal capacity, then his guardian can apply for a change of surname;
  • adoption of a child.

In accordance with Art. 32 of family law, each of the spouses after divorce also has the right to return to their premarital surname. This is permissible even in cases where the divorce procedure was carried out through a court and if the husband’s surname is indicated in the decision.

A surname can be changed:

  1. When submitting an application for termination of marriage to the registry office. The text of the document indicates a request to change personal data indicating a new surname. The application will be reviewed within 30 days, after which the ex-spouse will be issued a certificate of divorce with a certificate confirming that personal information has been corrected.
  2. After completion of the divorce procedure at any time.
  3. While married. In accordance with the law, an adult citizen can independently change his last name at any time. In this case, the consent of the spouse is not required. A change of surname by one of the spouses does not entail similar obligations for the other.

To change the surname to a maiden woman, you will need to contact the registry office. If family relationships were registered and terminated outside the country and the woman continues to live in a foreign country, then she should go to the consulate. If a woman returns to Russia after a divorce, then to change her personal data she must contact the registry office at her place of registration.

How to decide to change or keep your ex's last name?

Divorce entails not only property and financial disputes, but also costs regarding how to deal with the inheritance inherited from the husband (in some situations from the wife), in the form of a surname.

The decision about what to do with the “family inheritance” is made based on later life. For example, the wife is a media personality and fans know her under her husband’s last name, in which case, before returning her maiden name, you should think carefully about the possible risks to your career.

Another reason to think about whether changing a surname after separation is so important is the presence of a business registered in the husband’s surname (the business is owned by the wife). If the ex-wife succumbs to emotions and decides to radically change her new life, she will have to do a lot of running around with documents, since after changing her last name, all documents issued in the old name will be considered invalid and will require replacement.

Example: Rubleva S.V. in 2021, she owned an atelier, and after a divorce (which was quite painful), without studying the legislative framework, she decided to return her maiden name. After re-registration of Rublev S.V.’s passport. For 4 months I was busy re-registering all documents for the business, as difficulties arose with suppliers, renting space, and preparing tax reports.

Another point that you should pay attention to when deciding to change your last name is psychological. True, psychology should be the very last thing you should pay attention to when deciding to return your premarital surname or leave the old one.

You should turn to your feelings about which surname you are more comfortable with and make a decision.

Expert opinion

Elena Vladimirovna

Bailiff for the Petrogradsky district of St. Petersburg, work experience - 3 years

Important! You should not put the psychological aspect first. First, documentary and reputational difficulties, and only then feelings and psychology!

Obligations to change surname

A woman must independently decide on changing her last name after a divorce. This provision is enshrined in paragraph 2 of Art. 32 family law. The ex-husband cannot influence a woman's decision. The main reasons why a wife leaves her husband’s surname are:

  1. Lack of desire or time to replace documents. After receiving a certificate from the registry office, a large amount of documentation will need to be replaced.
  2. The desire to have the same surname with the child.
  3. The immateriality of the question. Women get used to their husband's last name and do not want to get rid of it after a divorce.

The main reason for changing personal data is a hostile relationship with your ex-spouse and the desire to get rid of everything that may remind you of him.

Changing a child's surname after divorce without the father's consent

It is possible to change a child's surname after a divorce without the father's consent. Since in most cases the baby’s father does not support the ex-wife’s desire to deprive the heir of his last name and refuses to sign an agreement for a change at the registry office, a woman can bypass his permission in the following cases:

  • if the father is deprived of parental rights;
  • if the man’s whereabouts cannot be determined;
  • if the child's father was declared legally incompetent by a court decision.

In cases where the divorce did not adversely affect the father’s relationship with the child, he regularly paid alimony, communicated with the child and took part in his upbringing, the court’s decision will most likely be made in favor of the man, not satisfying the woman’s request to deprive the child of his surname ex-husband.

This procedure is very serious and labor-intensive, because, in addition to all the documents in your name, you will also need to change all the documents for the child. If possible, consult with your child in advance, because otherwise, upon reaching adulthood, he will again need to go through the procedures of changing his last name in his passport.

Legal consequences

If a woman changes her last name, she will need to replace a large number of documents:

  • passport;
  • SNILS;
  • compulsory health insurance policy;
  • international passport;
  • driver's license;
  • pensioner's certificate;
  • TIN.

In addition, an employed woman will need to write a statement to the manager about making adjustments to the company’s internal documentation.

Is it necessary to do this?

The decision whether to leave the married name or change it in the passport to a “maiden name” is made by every citizen after a divorce completely independently, and the current legislation does not establish any obligations to carry out this operation, regardless of the circumstances.

In the vast majority of cases, it is women who ask such questions for the reason that when registering a marriage relationship, they take on their husband’s surname.

On the one hand, changing your surname always results in various additional hassles associated with replacing documents, but on the other hand, the surname of your ex-husband can constantly remind you of some unpleasant moments, and this is especially true in cases where the divorce was not easy. Regardless of the circumstances, it is best to immediately weigh all the pros and cons of such a procedure as changing your last name.

Sample birth certificate

Procedure for changing a surname

If a woman wants to change her last name directly when filing for divorce, then the sequence will be as follows:

  1. A divorcing couple fills out an application for divorce using Form No. 10. At the bottom of the form there is a block that indicates information that the spouse wants to change his last name. It is necessary to designate a new one.
  2. Next, the application with the documentation attached to it is transferred to the registry office.
  3. After 30 days, you can receive a divorce certificate with a certificate of change of personal data. It gives the right to replace the remaining documentation.

If a married couple divorced through the court, then after its completion the spouses can receive a court decision. It gains legal force 30 days after the last hearing in the case. The court independently forwards the extract to the registry office. A woman can submit an application to a government agency to change her surname. To do this, she will need the following actions:

  1. Send a completed application with the required package of documentation and a receipt for payment of the state fee to the registry office at the place of registration.
  2. Pick up a certificate confirming the change of personal data.
  3. Next, you should begin replacing the documentation with the same name.

Payment of state duty

And, a few years later, they get married again and happily take the name of their new husband. So is it worth doing these “paper” manipulations, spending not only a lot of free time on them, but also money? The issue of changing a surname should be 100% conscious and thought out to the smallest detail.

How to get your last name back a few years after a divorce

  • Current surname, first name and patronymic, as well as the surname that needs to be changed;
  • Date and place of birth, details of the birth registration act;
  • Citizenship, if desired - nationality;
  • Marital status, details of the act of registration of marriage or divorce;
  • Information about minor children (full name, date and place of birth, details of the birth registration act);
  • Details of the identity document;
  • Place of registration;
  • The reason for changing the surname (for example, the desire to change the surname to a maiden name after a divorce);
  • List of documents;
  • Date of;
  • Signature.

It is worth remembering that every woman has the right to save her husband’s data after a divorce. The other half has no right to interfere with such a decision. Often women try to get rid of past memories and change it to their previous one - their maiden name.

Returning a premarital surname requires replacing the passport and other personal documents. Documents on education and confirmation of ownership of property (apartment, land, etc.) cannot be replaced.

Legal grounds

The current legislation of Russia provides for the right of any citizen of the Russian Federation to change his last name. The grounds for such a legal procedure are: the citizen has reached the age of 14 and the existence of legal grounds for changing personal data. Entering into a legal marriage provides for the possibility of changing the surname of both husband and wife, according to their own choice. Upon divorce, former spouses can return to their premarital surname. The article describes step-by-step instructions on how to return your maiden name after a divorce this year.

  1. Passport. This is done at the passport office at the place of registration. You will need a certificate from the registry office, an application and photographs (4 pcs.). It is also necessary to pay the state fee and provide the corresponding receipt. Changing your last name to your previous one will take from 15 to 30 days.

There is no need to delay, since after 30 days the decision of the registry office will be considered cancelled. In some cases, based on good reason, the period may be extended by a maximum of another month. If it is not followed, a second attempt to change your surname can be made only after a year. In addition, you will have to pay a fine for an expired passport.


In order for a woman to change her ex-husband's surname to her maiden name, several mandatory conditions must be met. First of all, you will need a fully assembled package of documents. Also, the desire to change the last name must be expressed in writing. That is, you need to write an application and contact the relevant government agencies.

Divorce in the registry office is carried out by filing an application jointly by both spouses. They write one paper for two, filling out the columns according to the model. One of the points is the surname that will be assigned to each of the spouses after the termination of family relations. At this point, the woman can indicate her maiden name.

Application for change of surname

To change personal data, a citizen will need to send a completed application in form No. 20 to the registry office. It must contain the following information:

  • Full name and telephone number of the citizen changing his last name;
  • a request to change it, indicating the real surname and the one that the citizen wishes to have;
  • Date of Birth;
  • address data;
  • civic and national identity;
  • passport details;
  • Family status;
  • data on the presence of children under age;
  • reasons for changing the surname;
  • The document ends with the date of preparation and the signature of the applicant.

Download the application form for a name change through the registry office (form No. 20)

Information on form No. 20 is entered in blue or black ink.

Is it necessary for a wife to change her passport during a divorce?


  • I changed it, but first I changed my passport, and everything seemed to be fine. And then this running around to all sorts of authorities began. It turned out that I had a whole pile of documents. While I was changing everything, I regretted a thousand times that I went through with it. Svetlana.
  • I have a child: should I change my and his last names and how? However, not everyone wants to change their last name after a divorce, and cases vary. And in particular – common children. minors at the time of divorce, with the husband’s last name, which was your common name before the divorce. What to do in this case? Many people decide not to change their last name just because of their children, because then it will turn out that you have one last name, and they have another. And you’ve probably heard that children under 14 years of age change their last name, as a rule, at the joint request of both parents and taking into account the opinion of the child himself.

How long does it take to change your passport after a divorce?

To change your last name after a divorce, you need to use a simple algorithm of actions. It should be noted that a similar situation often happens when an ex-wife wants to change her surname to her maiden name. Table of contents

  • Features of the procedure Legislative justification
  • Changing your last name after divorce
      Algorithm of actions
  • Required documents
  • What documents need to be replaced?
  • Conclusion
  • Features of the procedure Often a woman wants to change her surname to her maiden name.

    This procedure is carried out quite often, but it has its own nuances that must be taken into account in order not to encounter various documentary problems.

    The situation becomes even more complicated if there are minor children in the family, because a change in passport data entails a change in other information.

    List of documentation

    In order for the application to be accepted, it will need to be supported by the following documentation:

    • civil passport;
    • certificate of divorce;
    • children's birth certificates;
    • personal birth certificate;
    • a check for payment of the state tax.

    If the need to change your last name arose some time after the registration of the divorce, you can contact the registry office at your place of registration. If personal data changes simultaneously with the official divorce, then it is better to contact the registry office that registered the marriage.

    How to change your last name in the registry office: at the time of divorce

    Any citizen over 18 years of age can freely change personal data - last name or first name. Changing a surname after a divorce is an accessible and simple procedure that can be carried out both along with a divorce and at any time after it.

    In what cases is a last name change required?

    • driver's license and car documents;
    • international passport;
    • bank cards;
    • individual personal accounts for utility services (some services change this data automatically, others continue to send receipts to the previous name).

    If there are young children in a broken family, and the mother decided to change their surnames at the same time (with the consent of the father), then birth certificates of the children will be required. The procedure should be started from the registry office, because the process can only start if there is a decision from this body.

    Exchange of documents when changing surname

    After receiving a certificate from the registry office confirming the legality of the change of personal data, the woman should immediately begin replacing her civil passport. It will serve as the basis for replacing the rest of the documentation.

    Within 30 days after receiving the certificate, you must contact the local office of the Federal Migration Service. You can also change your passport through the MFC. The 30-day period begins its reporting from the day following the day of official registration of the termination of the family relationship.

    You must have with you:

    • valid passport;
    • a certificate from the registry office about changing the surname;
    • 2 photographs;
    • personal birth certificate to confirm the surname that the woman had before marriage;
    • children's birth certificates (for children under 14 years of age).

    In case of delay, the citizen will have to pay a fine for using an invalid civil passport. A new citizen’s identity document can be obtained 10 days after submitting the corresponding application. This rule applies to persons applying to the Federal Migration Service at their place of permanent registration. If a passport must be obtained at the place of temporary registration, then the waiting period for a new document increases to several months.

    To replace your SNILS, you can contact the MFC, the local branch of the pension fund, or your employer. You must have a civil passport, a divorce certificate and a valid SNILS with you.

    To replace the TIN, you should visit the Federal Tax Service at your place of registration. The authorized employee must be provided with a valid TIN, divorce certificate and civil passport.

    Replacement of international passport

    Foreign passports and valid visas are changed at the Federal Migration Service office or through the MFC. To replace, you must present a new civil passport, international passport and an application for the issuance of a new document. Men additionally attach a military ID. If a citizen tries to leave the country using a foreign passport with an old surname, then legal difficulties cannot be avoided. Therefore, it is recommended to change the document immediately.

    Replacement of compulsory medical insurance policy

    To replace your medical policy, you should go to the insurance company where the current compulsory medical insurance policy was issued. After presenting it along with a new civil passport, divorce certificate and SNILS, the citizen can receive a new policy. At the legislative level, the terms for replacing the policy are not regulated, so this procedure can be started at any free time.

    Replacement of driver's license

    At the traffic police, a woman will be able to replace her driver’s license. To do this, you will need to provide the traffic police officer with a new civil passport, a divorce certificate with existing vehicle documents and a certificate of medical examination. If the validity period of the certificate issued in the previous name has not expired, then you can present it.

    In each case, the documentation package must be supplemented with a corresponding application and a receipt for payment of the state fee.

    New information is added to the vehicle passport. It is also recommended to update the STS within 30 days. But there is no liability for missing a deadline.

    An application for updating most documents can be sent through the State Services system. Users of the resource will be able to save not only time on visiting government agencies and banks, but also money. Submitting an electronic application will save 30% of the state fee. To obtain updated documentation, the applicant will have to personally visit the relevant government agency.

    How to replace a passport

    After a woman has officially divorced and received a certificate of this, she will need to change her passport. The updated document will contain information about her marital status and actual surname. This procedure is mandatory.

    There are 3 options for further action:

    • go to the MFC at your registered address;
    • contact the office of the Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
    • submit an application to change your passport through government services, remotely (you will first need to register an account on this web portal).

    Let's consider each of the options for changing a surname in more detail.

    Changing your passport by contacting the MFC

    To change a passport at the MFC, a woman will need to perform the following actions:

    • prepare the necessary documents and submit them along with the application to the center representative;
    • confirm the legal grounds for changing your last name and changing your personal data for issuing an updated passport.

    To change your passport you need to collect the following package of documentation:

    • previous passport;
    • application for change of document;
    • 4 photographs in color, size 35x45 mm;
    • birth and divorce certificates;
    • certificate of birth of children, if any;
    • a receipt confirming the fact of payment of the state duty.

    For each of the above documents you need to prepare a photocopy.

    As for the application, it is drawn up directly from the center employee.

    The processing time for the request and renewal of the passport will take about 10 days, excluding weekends and holidays.

    Attention! If a woman applies to the MFC at a location other than her registered address, the processing time for her application will increase significantly and can be up to 2 months.

    The state fee in case of changing a passport through the MFC ranges from 1000 to 1600 rubles . The final cost consists of several factors - the reason for changing the passport, the region of residence of the applicant, the region of registration. Additionally, you will need to spend money on photocopies of documents and photographs.

    Since the change of surname in this case occurs at the personal request of the woman, she may need to request a certificate of change of surname. This certificate can be issued not only at the MFC, but also at the Civil Registry Office, through the public services portal. You will need to write an application for a certificate using the sample provided by an employee of the institution, and also pay a state fee of 200 rubles.

    The certificate in the size of the surname will be valid for 3 years after its issuance.

    Changing your passport through the government services portal

    Despite the fact that the government services web portal appeared relatively recently, it has already gained popularity among citizens of the Russian Federation.

    First of all, a woman will need to register on the portal, for which she needs to confirm her identity. Confirmation can be done in two ways - using a universal e-card or an electronic signature.

    You can also confirm your identity by visiting your residential address or ordering this option via Russian Post. There is no charge for identity verification.

    The person will be provided with an individual activation code, which must be entered to gain access to the web portal. After entering the code, the user gets the opportunity to use government services remotely.

    The general procedure for changing a passport through this portal is as follows:

    • log into the user’s personal account by entering the first and last name, individual code and SNILS (or mobile phone number);
    • find the option to change your Russian passport in the list of available government services;
    • send an application to change the document;
    • upload the required documentation package.

    Once the user clicks on the passport change service, he will be provided with important information regarding this option:

    • rules for using the service;
    • list of required documentation;
    • an indication of who is entitled to receive a renewed passport;
    • amount of state duty;
    • information about the timing of consideration of the submitted application and the result.

    Finally, to submit your application you will need to follow the following procedure:

    • Select the basis for changing your passport;
    • Fill out the form with personal data: full name without abbreviations, date of birth, birth address, contact information (name of electronic mailbox, mobile phone number);
    • Indicate the presence or absence of permanent registration of the Russian Federation, the registration address;
    • Enter information about your current marital status and the reasons why the marital union was dissolved;
    • Enter information about your children, if you have them;
    • Indicate the data from the passport that will need to be replaced: series, number where it was issued;
    • Indicate whether the applicant has a foreign passport;
    • Enter information about which authority the user is applying to;
    • Get information about available branches where you can pick up your updated passport;
    • Upload a personal photo (the web portal has its own graphic editor with basic functionality);
    • Check the entered data and submit the application for processing.

    The user may also receive a refusal according to his application. In this situation, a representative of the portal will be required to explain exactly what violations the applicant committed.

    If the requirements in the application have been satisfied, then the person will need to prepare the necessary list of documents and deliver them to the selected department on time. It is also necessary to pay the state fee by attaching the receipt to the general list of documents.

    In a situation where the user has forgotten where to go to obtain an updated passport, there is no need to worry. After reviewing the application, a notification will be sent to his e-mail address about where and on what date he will need to go to collect the document. Employees can also contact the user by phone, providing this information in person.

    Change of passport through the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    In this situation, a person will need to visit the Ministry of Internal Affairs office twice: the first time in order to submit an application for a change of surname and all the necessary documents, and the second time to obtain an updated passport.

    If a woman applies at her registered address, the processing time for her application will be 10 working days; at her place of residence without registration - about 2 months.

    Domestic legislation imposes a certain fine on those who do not change their passport after changing their last name within 30 days. Its size is 2-3 thousand rubles .

    Difficulties may also arise with other documents if they are not replaced in a timely manner.

    Documentation that doesn't have to be changed

    After a family breakup, a woman can leave the following documents unchanged:

    1. Work book. After receiving the divorce certificate, a copy of it should be given to the employer, who will independently make the necessary adjustments.
    2. Automobile insurance policy. To make adjustments, you should submit a corresponding application to the insurer.
    3. Title documentation for property. It is not necessary to contact Rosreestr to update the database. But if a citizen is unable to present documents confirming the change of surname at the right time, difficulties will arise. Therefore, it is better to contact Rosreestr.
    4. Bank cards. To replace them, the woman will need to contact the bank with a new passport and divorce certificate.
    5. Certificates and diplomas of education. If desired, a woman can contact the registry office to obtain certificates confirming their authenticity.

    Certificate of change of personal data

    So, the main reason for change can be called resentment towards your ex-husband and the desire to break all ties with him. By the way, family members do not always disagree with each other’s claims. Often a woman refuses to change her last name as a sign of respect for her ex-spouse or simply because they remained good friends, and this is not necessary.

    Changing a surname on a general basis

    If in the second case it will be enough to present supporting documents, then in the first everything depends only on the employee of the FMS department. According to Art. 2.9 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, a representative of the migration service is given the opportunity not to issue a fine. However, this is not an obligation to make a loyal decision.

    May 24, 2021 uristgd 115

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