This article was first written in March,2020. I update it from time to time when I get new information.

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 | Nigerian Passport Renewal After Marriage…

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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 in 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 a 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

Highlighted Updates from the Comment Section…

Changing your name Nigerian Passport

Change of Name in Nigeria – The Process

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 an 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 at the time.

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.

(Lawpadi no longer offers this service. Thanks to Abiola for providing this update)

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 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 affidavit and newspaper publication, laminate and make photocopies of them 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 enrol 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 ‘Bills & Purchases’ and then choose ‘Pay Billers’
  • In the field that says ‘Who do you want to pay?’, type in ‘National Identity Management Commission’
  • In the ‘Name of Service/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. (A template will also be provided to you)
  • 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 offices in Ikoyi or Ikeja. 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.

* *These prices 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 Passport Renewal and Name Change 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 a 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 to apply for the new one.

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!

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116 Comments

  1. Thank you for this detailed info. I would love to ask if state of origin was changed to your husband’s? (For instance, wife from Ebonyi state, husband is from kogi state).

    • Hello, Mimmy, no, State of Origin was not changed (and ideally shouldn’t be). Just your name is updated in this scenario.

  2. Am not in Nigeria and I need to renew my passport and change my name, I’m a Male, can it be done in the country I stay ?

    • Hello Ezekiel, you will need to visit your nearest Embassy or consulate for advice. Using Kenya as a reference, they advice that you visit before any online payments.

  3. the nin i used on my passport as been suspended ..while i went for capturing i was told i have a nin before that only the previous one can be used and the suspended one can not be used again … i have used the suspended nin on my passport both carried my information except the nin number are different …please how can i used it on my passport

  4. Do i need to go to Abuja for change of date of Birth

    • From what I’m reading online, it seems you do not have to travel to Abuja for this, but please visit your nearest immigration office to confirm.

  5. Thanks for the update. I want to change my name and renew my expired passport. Do I have to pay for each or it’s just a payment, cos I have started the DIY, on the portal after the change of name page, I was redirected to renewal page. I hope my new name won’t have an expired passport.

  6. Thank you for this publication, the facilitator who is handling mine also told me I would have to visit Abuja for name re-arrangement. My first passport was issued before the NIN was introduced and has even expired but the first and middle names weren’t arrange properly while it was correctly arranged on NIN, do you think I will still have to travel to Abuja to sort this out.

  7. Thanks for the update on change of name on international passport, but as of today 14th February, 20024 the immigration officers in Lagos still insisted that one must go to the Abuja office to effects any either a of change or correction of name or date of birth on the passport. I am really frustrated here, don’t know what to do.
    Thanks and God bless

    • Thank you for sharing this update, Adeola. I believe if you’re changing or correcting details on your passport due to reasons other than marriage, then you need to go to Abuja.

  8. Good morning…. please to be able to change my name on my passport must I travel to abuja

  9. Hi Amara,
    Pls I did capturing in June 22 and up till now (October 6) , it is still not ready. We have been calling and be going to the centre and they keep saying it is not ready. How long does it take to get passport for change of name?

    • Hello, it should typically take a few days after biometrics and data capture to get your new passport. This has taken too long. I’m not sure there’s much you can do from your end, except to wait or speak with your contact at the immigration office.

      Maybe you could also try emailing/tweeting @ the Nigerian Immigration service to see if this can be expedited.

    • Hello, have you been able to sort it out? Because I’m having the same issue as well

  10. Hi Amara,
    This has really been helpful, thank you. Please, can I get a sample letter to the consular general for a change of name due to marriage. How do I go about it?

  11. Obilor Amara clare

    I apply for Chang of name due to marriage in my international passport since Feb, I capture on April since than is not yet out what should I do

    • Hi Obilor, if you have a contact at the immigration office, it’s best to follow up with them, otherwise it’s simply a waiting game.

  12. I want to renew my passport and change the name on it.. All my documents matches my new name, how do l go about it please.

    • Hello Shalom, if you’re not changing your name as a result of getting married, you might have to go to Abuja for the process. I have no information to this effect and it’s best to visit your nearest immigration office to confirm the requirements. If you’re doing so after getting married, I believe this post answers your question. Kindly go through it and let me know if you need specific clarifications.

  13. Onele chisom rita

    I did my passport not long ago an i noticed that the third name in my passport is not the same with the one in my waec how can i go in changing of name

    • Hello, it is best to contact your nearest immigration office as the process for changing your name that way may be different than what it highlighted here. But for sure, you will need to get a court affidavit for the change and probably change your NIN as well if it also has differences.

  14. I want to ask, must my wife change her name to mine once we get married.? What’s Re the benefits and disadvantages. I really don’t want to go through this process. Also, will this affect my traveling Ning plans?

    • No, she must not. It is entirely a personal decision. I am unsure if there are many cons travel-wise once you have all the proper documents, including your marriage certificate. The only place of concern I’ve heard of so far is when children are involved and one spouse is travelling alone. Sufficient documentation is needed if they have a different name from the accompanying spouse.

      I guess another advantage will be that changing your name after marriage shows commitment and presents a more united/trustworthy front. I won’t dwell on this point so much though, as I think choosing not to change your name is common these days, and there are other ways to present a united and trustworthy front.

      • Hi amarachi, I want to ask, is there any problem that I may face if I change my name and travel to a country where I’ve travel before?

      • I have travel to UAE before, and I now I want to change my name and travel to UAE again, please is there any problem I may face while travelling to UAE? the Change of name is bcoz the name on passport doesn’t tally with my qualifications and NIN

        • Hi Jamil, as long as you have proper documentation, including your affidavit, newspaper publication etc…I don’t think you should have a huge problem.

          It might raise a red flag though, if you’re completely changing your name, and not just making a correction but I am not an immigration officer, so I don’t know how they will process it.

      • Pls I want to know about changing of d.o.b

  15. Good afternoon Amarachi,do I need to travel down to Abuja for change of name.
    Can’t the process be done at one of the NIS state branch..
    They should consider the distance..