If you are getting married, apply for a unique, newly coined surname separately from the examination of impediments to marriage
Are you considering taking a unique, newly coined surname when you get married, or do you want to use your grandmother’s maiden name, for example? Please note that you must apply for one separately. Instead, a couple who wishes to adopt the surname of one of them or a common compound surname may report their choice of surname in connection with the examination of impediments to marriage.
The popularity of newly coined surnames is increasing, which is also reflected in the applications submitted to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (DVV). An increasing number of couples to be married want to start their journey together with a completely new common surname or, for example, an old family name. They may be unpleasantly surprised by the fact that the matter cannot be handled conveniently in connection with the marriage ceremony.
Normally, the choice of surname is done as part of the examination of impediments to marriage. However, adopting a newly coined surname or an old family surname requires separate consideration, making it a process separate from the examination of impediments to marriage and the marriage ceremony.
“The processing of a newly coined surname or family surname takes several months, as it involves many stages. A statement on the newly coined surname is requested from the Names Board and the name is announced on a website. In order to apply for a family surname, you may need to obtain extracts from the population register, for instance,” explains Registrar Laura Mattila.
- For additional information on choosing a surname, visit our website: dvv.fi/en/changing-surname
- We are also happy to advice you by telephone: +358 295 539 080 (Mon 9–15, Tue–Fri 9–12).
Examining impediments to marriage is fastest with existing surnames
If your love is burning and you want to get married as soon as possible, you should adopt the surname of one of you or a common compound surname when you get married. A notification of the selected surname is submitted in connection with the examination of impediments to marriage, and no other application for a name change is required. In this case, the name change is free of charge.
“At this time, the investigation of impediments to marriage takes about two weeks. If foreign documents must be presented in the examination of impediments, we advise you to reserve several weeks for the examination. Therefore, the matter should be filed well in advance of the marriage ceremony,” reminds Chief Specialist Tanja Tams.
What is a newly coined surname?
- A newly coined surname is a surname that according to the Population Information System is currently not used by a living person. When you apply for such a name, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency requests an opinion from the Names Board.
- We publish newly coined names that people have applied for on our website. Applied for newly coined surnames The name is presented publicly for 30 days before it is approved, during which anyone can submit a reminder to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency if they consider that the name does not comply with the law or that it is offensive.
- In the end, we will decide on the matter, i.e., we will make a decision based on the documents you have submitted and the statement of the Names Board.
Selection of surname as part of the examination of impediments to marriage
- If a couple adopts the surname of one of them or a common compound surname as their surname, they do not need to submit a separate application. Instead, the matter is handled as part of the examination of impediments to marriage. Examples of combinations of existing surnames
• Changing surname upon marriage is free of charge, and the name is automatically changed in connection with the marriage ceremony if the reported surname has been found to comply with the law in the examination of impediments to marriage.
• Before the marriage ceremony, the couple must request an examination of the impediments to the marriage at the earliest 4 months before the date of the marriage ceremony. The examination ensures that no impediments referred to in the Finnish Marriage Act exist for the marriage. In the application, the couple must declare that there is no impediment to marriage. At the same time, the couple must report the surname they have selected when they get married .The couple cannot be wed without an examination of impediments.
• It is a good idea to submit the request for an examination well in advance of the planned date of marriage, as the examination is valid for four months. The examination of impediments to marriage takes at least seven days. If one of you is a foreigner, you should allow several weeks for the processing the matter.
Learn more: https://dvv.fi/en/examination-of-impediments-to-marriage