Changing names

Who can change their name

Citizens of Estonia and people without citizenship who are staying in the country on a residence permit can apply for a new given name, surname, or both.

Where can names be changed

NB! Starting from 2018, local governments of county seats will adopt the duties of vital statistics offices, as county governments will stop existing. New names can be applied for in Jõhvi, Pärnu, Tallinn, and Tartu.

Documents to be submitted

You need submit:

  • the application for a new given name, surname, or personal name (pdf, 57.5 kB) with a handwritten or digital signature
  • an identity document (except for when the application has a digital signature)
  • birth certificate
  • document confirming marital status
  • if the applicant wishes to have a family surname, then the document confirming marital status or other documents confirming this name.

Submitting these documents is not required if the necessary data can be found in the Population Register.

More information about applying for a new name, as well as the requirements and restrictions for given names and surnames can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

State fee

Generally, a state fee of 100 euros must be paid before submitting the application.

The state fee is not necessary if the person wishes to:

  • bear the given name or surname firmly established in actual usage which is different from the personal name entered in a document or the Population Register due to writing the name as one or several words or due to a mark which is not a letter (apostrophe, hyphen), or due to single characters, and which complies with the requirements set out in the Names Act
  • use, in the case of a given name or surname consisting of two names in brackets, one of these names without brackets
  • bear the given or surname in the form which is entered in the Population Register but which differs from the name entered in the document serving as the basis for assignment of the name to the person due to the application of transcription rules
  • give their minor child the surname which the person took after marrying the other parent of the child after registration of the birth of the child and which is the joint surname of the parents.

The decision to change a name

Depending on the cause of the application, the decision to change a name will be made by the deputy secretary general who is the head of the respective field in the Ministry of the Interior or the official of the county government (including the Tallinn Vital Statistics Department). The name change will be entered into the Population Register by the official of the county government or the Tallinn Vital Statistics Department, who will also issue the document of the name change (the decision or the extract of the decision) to the person. The document of the name change will be issued by the same authority to which the person submitted their application to change their name.

Last amended: 09-08-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of the Interior