You must submit an application for name change if you want to change your surname. You must also submit the application if you want to take a compound surname or if you want to drop a surname included in your current compound surname. The application is also required if you want to add a hyphen to your existing compound surname or if you want to remove the hyphen from the name.
You can apply for a new surname if you live in Finland. You can also submit an application for name change if you live outside Finland (in a country other than Denmark, Norway or Sweden) and you are a Finnish citizen.
You do not need to submit an application for name change if you surname has been changed outside Finland by a decision made by the authorities of another country. In that case, you can request that your name details should be entered into the Population Information System free of charge.
You can take a surname that is already in use if
- you have used the surname in the past or the surname has been used in your family for the last five generations
- you want to change or shorten a foreign surname so that it would be easier to use
- the surname is used by your spouse or partner and your spouse or partner agrees to the name change
- the surname is used by any of your siblings or children and all persons using the name agree to the name change
- the surname is used by a foster parent
- there are particularly good grounds for changing the name (changes in family relations or other weighty reasons).
If you want to take a surname that is not in use, we will request an opinion from the Names Board. The Names Board will determine whether the proposed name meets the requirements for a surname, whether it is suited as a surname or whether it could be confused with the protected name of an association, company or other body.
Before accepting a name that is not yet used by anybody, we will post the name on our website for 30 days.
We will base our decision on the opinion of the Names Board and the documents that you have submitted.
Do the following
If you are an adult permanently residing in mainland Finland, you can submit an application for surname change in the electronic name change service (Nimenmuutospalvelu). You must pay the processing fee when logging into the service. The service is in Finnish and Swedish.
Please note that your application will be processed only after you have paid the processing fee. The fee will not be returned even if you cancel the application or your application is rejected.
The Digital and Population Data Services Agency may ask you to provide additional information (such as extracts from the population register or other documents) for processing the application. At the moment, you cannot attach any documents to an electronic application for name change. You can send the missing documents by post or by email.
We may also request an opinion from the Names Board, in which case the processing of the name change will usually take a few months.
We will notify you of the decision in writing. Your new surname will be entered into the Population Information System on the day when the decision is made. You will receive a new Kela card after the name change but you must obtain a new passport, personal identity card and driving licence yourself.
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to appeal against it to an Administrative Court.
If you are applying for a name change for a minor child, a family or both spouses or partners on a single application, you can submit the application on the online form given below. Logging into the service requires strong identification. The form may also be signed by the guardian, the spouse or the partner. If you submit the application on an online form, the invoice will be sent later to your home address by post. We may also ask you to submit the signature of the other guardian, minor child or spouse or partner, if it is missing from your application.
Applying for name change on online form (in Finnish)
You can also send the application by post or as encrypted email. In that case, too, you will receive the invoice later by post.
You can also complete the application at a service location of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.