Surname upon marriage 

When requesting an examination of impediments to marriage, you must indicate which surname you use after the marriage ceremony. 

Do you want the surname of one of you or compound surname? 

Changing the surname in connection with a marriage ceremony is free of charge when 

  • you take the other spouse's name as a common surname
  • one or both spouses take a compound surname. 

In this case, you do not need to apply for a name change separately. These cost-free options are described in more detail below. 

Note the following: 

  • You need your spouse’s permission if you would like to adopt their surname or part of their compound surname upon your marriage ceremony. The spouse may give consent while requesting an examination of impediments to marriage.
  • If your spouse has received their surname or the second part of their current surname or compound surname from their previous spouse, you cannot have it as your name. 

Do you want a newly coined surname or a surname in the family of one of the spouses? 

You must submit a separate application for a name change subject to a fee if 

  • You want a newly coined surname, which is a surname that is currently not used by a living person 
  • you want the surname of an ancestor of either of you 
  • one of you wishes to take back their surname before the first marriage. 

You should only submit your application after the marriage ceremony. Please indicate in the application that you are applying for a common surname as spouses. Hence, you cannot report it when you request an examination of impediments to marriage. You can read more about surname change on our website. 

Below are the different cost-free options briefly:

More information and examples of spouses’ surnames when getting married.

Do the following

1. Before requesting an examination of impediments to marriage, please familiarise yourself with the different options. If the name change requires a separate application, do so before or after the marriage ceremony. 

2. Request, according to instructions on our website, an examination of impediments and indicate which surname you will use after the marriage ceremony. 

3. If you change your minds about the surname during the examination, both of you must notify us of it by email to the following address: [email protected]. If you change your minds about the surname and the decision on the examination of impediments to marriage has already been issued, please apply for a new examination with the new surnames you propose. 

4. You will receive a certificate from the examination of impediments indicating whether the reported surname is legal. In connection with the marriage ceremony, the surnames change in accordance with the certificate, unless one or both spouses inform the officiator that they wish to retain their surname.

Frequently asked questions

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Telephone service number is +358 295 536 244

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Digital and Population Data Services Agency, P.O. Box 1003, FI-00531 Helsinki

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