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Old 04.05.2020, 10:14
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Changing my Name

Hi, as a UK citizen living in Switzerland and I want to legally change my surname. I have initiated the process via Deed Poll in the UK and have the necessary paperwork already. Was just wondering if anyone knows if the local authorities in Switzerland require the Deed Poll to be legalised with an Apostille as this is one of the options available for a supplement. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 04.05.2020, 11:35
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Re: Changing my Name

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Hi, as a UK citizen living in Switzerland and I want to legally change my surname. I have initiated the process via Deed Poll in the UK and have the necessary paperwork already. Was just wondering if anyone knows if the local authorities in Switzerland require the Deed Poll to be legalised with an Apostille as this is one of the options available for a supplement. Thanks for any advice.
They don't have such a concept here. You can change your name here on marriage/divorce and if you have a very good reason to do so and that reason has been accepted by the authorities.

I would advise you to think long and hard about doing this in Switzerland, because it will be a bloody nightmare to have to deal with going forward....

I knew two people who did this - an Irishman and a French man. Since the concept is unknown here, every little thing to do with administration became an issue - why does this document not match up with the other, you must have stolen the documents, you are an imposter.... in the case of French man, he ended up getting a visit from the police because the credit card company decide he was attempting to commit fraud by applying for a card in someone else's name.
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Old 04.05.2020, 13:05
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Re: Changing my Name

In the UK it's perfectly legal to change your name by deed poll, and when changed that then becomes your new legal name. I also know someone who did this and I think it' was also advertised in several newspapers as part of the process. You will also have to have your new name recognised by the courts, and I believe this is the document that needs the apostille. As long as it's not done for nefarious purposes, it is all right and proper.

Once you have the deed, it is very important to have the document apostilled. This confirms the signatures being applied to the document are authorised and valid, and Switzerland is a part of the Hague Apostille Convention so the document is valid in Switzerland as well. I assume also you will have a new passport and driving license in your new name? Your old passport will then be cancelled and no longer valid.

The local commune has to accept this, as it is now your legal name, and you are a UK citizen. If speaking to credit card companies or banks you may need to show the document and explain what you have done.

Once you receive the original apostilled document it's a good idea to make several copies and have them certified as a true copy of the original by a Swiss notary. In this way if anyone asks you can send them a certified copy. However your commune will likely ask for and may keep the original, but they may also be happy with the certified copy and sight of the original. That will vary from one commune to the other. You could also ask for two originals from the deed poll office or the court in the UK.
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Old 04.05.2020, 13:59
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Re: Changing my Name

I do know someone who did this did this, but more than 20 years ago. He had a perfectly normal English surname (I'm not mentioning it) but the problem was that the name, corresponded with the German name for a part of the male anatomy. Fortunately, with a very small alteration, that is to one of the middle letters, he could make up a name which did not induce behind the hand titters here. He did it formally by deed pole in England. I don't know how he did it here, but he apparently did not encounter any insurmountable hurdles. A mechanism obviously exists because women often change their surnames on marriage.

Edit.
He almost would not have been a Swiss citizen at the time of that change. That could make it easier. The name on a UK birth certificate is unalterable so does not respect later changes.
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Last edited by me.anon; 04.05.2020 at 14:11.
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Old 04.05.2020, 14:17
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Re: Changing my Name

As with most things in Switzerland it is best to ask your commune.
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