I got married recently and decided to get a new passport to match my new name. Just thinking about the Nigerian passport renewal process alone almost discouraged me from doing so. However, Mark and I figured that it would do us a lot of good in the long run.

It took me about two months to complete the whole process. For many reasons, this time could be much longer or shorter. So if you are planning to change your name on your Nigerian international passport, I advise that you begin as early as you can.

Going through this article might put you off because of how cumbersome the process seems, so I have decided to put up a summary first. You can simply allocate blocks of time to each step so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

Overview…

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Nigerian Passport Renewal and Change of Name

This is a summary of the whole process to change your name after marriage. You’ll find a detailed breakdown of each step further down this post. If you’re looking only to renew your passport, see the Nigerian Passport Renewal Process section further down this post.

Total time will vary; For me, it took: 45 days

Get Married!

Changing your name after marriage Nigeria

Congratulations on your wedding! Obtain a marriage certificate from the registry or any institution authorized to provide it. Laminate, scan and make photocopies of it.

Make your New Name Official

Make your new name official

Get a court affidavit for the change of name and a newspaper publication for the same. I have highlighted the detailed steps further down this post. Laminate, scan and make photocopies.

Update your National Identity Card or Slip Details

Change of name on Nigerian Passport and NIN

Pay a modification fee online and go to your nearest NIMC office to update your records or register for a new one if you have not done so before.

Apply for a Change of Name

Ikoyi Passport Office Nigerian Passport name change after marriage

For change of name due to marriage, you do not have to travel to Abuja. You can apply at your nearest immigration centre.

Change of Name in Nigeria – The Process

Change of Name in Nigeria – The Process (2020)

There are a few documents you need to get out of the way before you begin. If you opt to adopt a new surname after marriage, you need to make it legal. The first step to setting this in motion is to obtain a marriage certificate. You will typically get this at the registry after your legal ceremony or at any institution authorized to issue one.

Once you have this, work on getting a sworn affidavit for a change of name and a Newspaper publication for the same. I found it easier and more convenient to employ the services of Lawpadi, a legal information platform to help handle this phase. I paid a sum of ₦10,000 for their service. (This service now costs ₦15,000 as at the time of this writing).

The fee covered the costs of obtaining the affidavit in court, publication in a national newspaper and the delivery of both documents to my home. The service was excellent and I felt it was good value for money.

Cost of Publishing a Name Change in Nigeria

If you prefer to take a ‘DIY’ approach, you can begin by contacting the national media house of your choice. The cost to have your name changed in a national newspaper could range from ₦3,000 to ₦5,000. Most newspapers charge the latter and a few of them, like The Guardian newspaper, offer online services. To use this service, you would need to upload your marriage certificate.

Next, you would need to get a court affidavit for a change of name. At the time of this writing, I am unable to confirm what the official cost of this is. I have seen prices ranging from ₦100 to ₦2,000.

Documents Needed for a Change of Name in Nigeria

To get the sworn affidavit and newspaper publication, I had to submit the following documents to the Lawpadi team;

  • Information about my current name, new name, gender, the reason for the change, and so on
  • A copy of my marriage certificate
  • A means of identification showing my current name
  • Passport photograph

Once you have the documents above, laminate and make photocopies because you’ll be needing these copies almost everywhere else.

The next document you would need is a National Identity Slip or Card. As of the time of writing this article, you cannot get a new Nigerian International passport without this. So, If you haven’t registered for one before, you should do so. But if you have, you would need to apply to modify your existing details.

Getting a National Identity Number (NIN) or Card in Nigeria

Getting a National Identity Number (NIN) or Card in Nigeria

To get a new national identity number (NIN) or card, follow the steps below;

  • Fill the pre-enrolment form online. This is optional, however, it could help speed up your actual enrolment.
  • After submitting your application, download and print the pre-enrolment slip.
  • Go to the nearest NIMC registration centre with the slip and other supporting documents. You can find all the available centres here. You can also make inquiries at your nearest local government office.
  • There, officials will enter the details of your application, take fingerprint biometrics and your photo. Be sure to crosscheck the details entered on your behalf. If it is entered wrongly, you would need to follow the process below to modify it.
  • It takes 1-5 working days to get your NIN slip. This slip (and not the card) is the most important thing as it has your NIN number written on it. You can laminate it and use it as a formal means of identification.
  • Read more about the process on the NIMC’s website

Documents Needed to Get a National Identity Card in Nigeria

These are the documents needed to enroll for a new National Identity Number or Card;

  • Filled enrolment form or pre-enrolment slip
  • A valid means of identification. This could be your international passport, driver’s license, voter’s card, etc. For a full list, see the NIMC’s website.

Cost of Getting a National Identity Card in Nigeria

The NIMC’s website says that enrolment is free. I have since found that this is not always the case. Officials in most centres will demand a fee from you. I had to pay ₦3,000 to get my first slip and ₦5,000 to get another one bearing my new name.

Having experienced crossing the Seme Border when it was full of shacks, I know there are ways to get out of paying this amount but you should know that this may result in the process becoming long and frustrating.

Changing your Name on your National Identity Slip or Card in Nigeria

To change your name on your national identity slip or card, you would need to pay a modification service fee. It costs 500 to change most fields, except the ‘Date of Birth’ field which costs 15,000. For a full list of fields that can be modified, see the NIMC’s website. For the payment process, follow the steps below;

Modification to your National Identity Slip or Card – Payment Process

  • Go to www.remita.net to pay the modification service fee.
  • Select ‘Pay FGN and State TSA’ and then choose ‘FGN: Federal Government of Nigeria’
  • In the field that says ‘Who do you want to pay?’, type in ‘National Identity Management Commission’
  • In the ‘Name of Serice/Purpose’ field, select ‘Modification of any Other Field Other than DOB – Per Transaction’
  • If you are updating multiple fields, you can choose ‘National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Fees‘.
  • Fill in the other fields and click on ‘Submit’.
  • Pay the fee with any of the available methods of payment. Keep your RRR code handy just in case you need it.
  • Print out a confirmation slip to take with you to the NIMC centre.

Modification to your National Identity Slip or Card – Documents Needed

What you would need;

  • Filled form – this would be given to you at the NIMC office. The NIMC says this form is free, however, officials in some centres charge 50 for it.
  • Letter of application for the change of name. For Lagos based citizens, this should be directed to the ‘National Identity Management Commission, Alausa, Ikeja.
  • Sworn affidavit
  • Newspaper publication
  • Marriage certificate
  • Confirmation of payment of modification service fee.

The process to effect the change is similar to the process of getting a new slip or card. Refer to the last 4 points in the ‘Getting a new National Identity Number or Card’ section above.

How to Change your Name on Your Nigerian International Passport

Change your Name on your Nigerian Passport after Marriage – Documents Needed

Finally, to change your name on your Nigerian International Passport, go to the Immigration office near you. If you are changing your name due to marriage, you do not have to go to Abuja to get it done. In Lagos, you can apply at the passport office in Ikoyi. These are the documents you would need;

  • Filled form for a change of name on passport
  • Letter of application for a change of name addressed to The Consular General
  • Sworn affidavit
  • Newspaper publication
  • Passport photograph
  • Photocopy of your husband’s passport data page.
  • 30,000 non-refundable administrative fee (according to the Nigerian Immigration Service’s website)
  • *25,000 for a 5-year 32-page passport booklet; 35,000 for a 10-year 32-page passport booklet; 70,000 for a 10-year 64-page passport booklet.

* *This price may not be accurate. As of the time of this writing, the NIS website presents multiple conflicting information. It may be best to contact your nearest Immigration office for more accurate information.

The Nigerian Name Change and Passport Renewal Process…

Once you have submitted the documents above, the next step is the biometrics capture. This may come a few days after the application for change of name has been approved. After the approval, you will be notified to go to the immigration office for the biometrics data capture.

Mentally prepare to spend a full day at the centre, however, this could be less. It will take another few days before you receive your passport as the name change request is processed in Abuja. Note that when you get your confirmation slip after the biometrics capture, it will still carry your old name.

You will be notified when your passport is ready to be picked up. You can also track the status of your application through the NIS’ website. The last step in this process is to ‘activate’ your new passport. This process will take an hour or so (for crowded centres).

The officials will run your new passport through a scanner and confirm your identity by taking your fingerprints. And with that, the long process of changing your name on your Nigerian International passport will come to an end!

Note that these final steps also apply if you are renewing your passport for reasons outside of marriage. For example, if you’ve exhausted the pages of your passport. You would need to go to the immigration office with your old one in order to apply for the new.

I hope you found this guide on the Nigerian Passport Renewal process useful. Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comment section below!

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I didn’t even read the full article. I got to the part that you and Mark got married and I squealed with joy! Congratulations!!!

  2. Avatar

    I like how you carefully outlined all the processes involved and I’m totally bookmarking this for my friends who plan on changing names soon.
    Thanks for sharing Amarachi!

  3. Avatar

    Congratulations, Amarachi.

  4. Avatar

    Love how detailed this is!

  5. Avatar

    This is was very detailed!!! Let me save this for the future

  6. Avatar

    This is the best article I have seen on this topic. Well explained steps. Thanks a lot. I am actually on the process. I was lucky to process and renew my NIMC and still got it today with my new married name!! To immigration office, i Will be submitting the documents for change of name due to marriage and renewal of Intl. passport (current one will expire in december) tomorrow.

    • Avatar

      Thanks Amaka! That’s wonderful that you got your NIMC in a day! It took several days for me to get mine. Best of luck with immigration tomorrow and if you visit again, please leave a comment on how it goes and how long it takes to get your new passport. Thank you!

  7. Avatar

    Thank you for this, please my husband doesn’t have passport, and I was told I have to bring his own too before I can process mine. Did you pass through this as well

    • Avatar

      Hi Adenike, thanks for highlighting this. Yes, I had to submit a photocopy of my husband’s passport data page. However, I wrongly assumed that they asked me to do this because he is not Nigerian. It seems it is a requirement.

      It is strange to learn that a marriage certificate and perhaps a valid ID from him would not suffice.

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