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Old 03.11.2007, 06:53
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Am I allowed to change my name in Switzerland?

I know I could legally change my name in the UK via deed poll, or for that matter just use another name. What are my options here in Switzerland?

In case it matters, I wish to disassociate myself from my family in the UK, and do it legally.
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Old 03.11.2007, 09:06
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Re: Am I allowed to change my name in Switzerland?

To change your name in Switzerland, you have to have so-called "important reasons". If those reasons are given, then you have to send a request for a name change with the "Zivilstandsamt" of your canton of residents. The documentation needed for the request is (I'm assuming you don't have Swiss nationality):
  • A written explanation of why you want to change your name, including the advantages and disadvantages this would bring
  • Your birth certificate including a notarised translation thereof
  • Certificate of residence
  • Notarised copy of your passport and residence permit
  • The original of your "divorce certificate" if you are divorced.
The name change costs 300 Francs in the event of it being granted and 500 if it is rejected, whereby this includes the legal costs of you challenging their decision to a certain extent.

Document from the canton of Zurich

I picked Zurich because I am familiar with our proceedings but other cantons will probably have similar proceedings.

Just found the document for Aargau (saw you are from Baden)
The procedure is called Namensänderung, so if you look/ask for that, you'll find the info you need
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Old 03.11.2007, 10:35
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Re: Am I allowed to change my name in Switzerland?

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I know I could legally change my name in the UK via deed poll, or for that matter just use another name. What are my options here in Switzerland?

In case it matters, I wish to disassociate myself from my family in the UK, and do it legally.

Kittster has already given a very very good background info,but I wanted to add my tuppence

AFAIK
if you 'only' want to change your family name from Black to Brown then there might be troubles ahead,as I thought you need to have serious grounds for wanting the name change.For example if you suffer because your name leaves room for serious teasing or misinterpretation, you stand a better chance of succeding the process if your name is Pumuckl Tiddlywinks than John Black.

If you are divorced and want to get your maiden name back as your main family name, then it's also easier to succeed.

My sister changed her first name and had quite alot of trouble and paperwork when doing so and it cost quite alot,this was about 15 years ago and happened in Ct.Bern.
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Old 03.11.2007, 14:29
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Re: Am I allowed to change my name in Switzerland?

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Kittster has already given a very very good background info,but I wanted to add my tuppence
Many thanks to you and Kittster for your prompt and helpful replies.

Quote:
AFAIK
if you 'only' want to change your family name from Black to Brown then there might be troubles ahead,as I thought you need to have serious grounds for wanting the name change.For example if you suffer because your name leaves room for serious teasing or misinterpretation, you stand a better chance of succeding the process if your name is Pumuckl Tiddlywinks than John Black.
It's a family name thing, and I've always had a problem with it, whichever country I have lived in. It was just compounded again when I visited the Post this morning to pick up a package, and found my middle name used. Family matters apart, nobody wants to believe what my name is. It gets quite tiresome after so many years.

Quote:
If you are divorced and want to get your maiden name back as your main family name, then it's also easier to succeed.

My sister changed her first name and had quite alot of trouble and paperwork when doing so and it cost quite alot,this was about 15 years ago and happened in Ct.Bern.
Now you have hit a point I hadn't thought of (I'm a bloke BTW). I know a Swiss lady who had quite a long winded procedure to revert back to her maiden name. I'll ask when I see her what she had to do, and with her permission report back here. What she told me is that there's an awful lot of work involved. Driving licence, passport, utility bills, even the name on your letterbox...
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Old 24.08.2010, 16:27
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Re: Am I allowed to change my name in Switzerland?

Quote:
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To change your name in Switzerland, you have to have so-called "important reasons". If those reasons are given, then you have to send a request for a name change with the "Zivilstandsamt" of your canton of residents. The documentation needed for the request is (I'm assuming you don't have Swiss nationality):
  • A written explanation of why you want to change your name, including the advantages and disadvantages this would bring
  • Your birth certificate including a notarised translation thereof
  • Certificate of residence
  • Notarised copy of your passport and residence permit
  • The original of your "divorce certificate" if you are divorced.
The name change costs 300 Francs in the event of it being granted and 500 if it is rejected, whereby this includes the legal costs of you challenging their decision to a certain extent.

Document from the canton of Zurich

I picked Zurich because I am familiar with our proceedings but other cantons will probably have similar proceedings.

Just found the document for Aargau (saw you are from Baden)
The procedure is called Namensänderung, so if you look/ask for that, you'll find the info you need
Hello

I am seeking some more clarification on the above process. First some background on me.
I am British, divorced, still currently using my married name and have been for the past 4 years after getting divorced. However, I now want to return to my maiden name. This is not a problem for my documents in the UK and I am familiar with the procedure.
I will travel to UK with decree absolute, birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport application form and two passport photos and will spend 1 day in London getting my new passport in my maiden name. During the same trip I will change my bank accounts, driving license, etc.
Then when I come back to Switzerland, I will legally have my maiden name back according to UK law, but here in Switzerland I will still have my B permit in my married name (plus bills, bank accounts etc). So obviously my first stop will be the Gemeinde in Zug where I live.
I just assumed that I would hand over my new passport, my old B permit, my birth certificate, a large fee and hey presto I now officially have my maiden name here in Switzerland. Or do I have to fill in a form, write justifications etc as mentioned in the post above?
Obviously once I have my maiden name back, I will have to inform the rental people, make new name plates for the door, tell the bank, tell work, AHV etc.
Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can offer.

C
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Old 25.08.2010, 17:11
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Re: Am I allowed to change my name in Switzerland?

Hello all

As there was no biting on my last post, I thought I would let you know the outcome having spoken with Canton Zug.

If you are newly divorced the procedure is quick and painless, just take your divorce papers down to the Gemeinde and they will change your name back to your maiden name free of charge. This only works for 1 year.

After 1 year after your divorce, if you want to change your name, you need to write a petition explaining your reasons for wanting to change your name and supply divorce paperwork, residency papers to the Canton. The process takes 3-4 weeks and costs CHF 300.

So my reasons for changing my name in Switzerland will be, so that my permit matches my UK passport, and my birth certificate and all my school certificates. Hope that will be good enough reasons.
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