Change of personal name


According to the Croatian law, a personal name consists of a name and a surname, which may consist of several words. A person whose name or surname or first and last name consists of several words is obliged to use the same personal name in legal transactions.

Personal names are registered in the Birth Registry.

If a person has a personal name consisting of several words entered in the Birth Registry, he or she may specify in a statement which words in the personal name will be used in legal transactions e.g. ID, bank account, etc.

The law gives each person the opportunity to change their name (full name, only first name or only last name). The most common cases of name change occur due to marriage or civil partnership, due to divorce, adoption of a minor child, change of name in a foreign country when acquiring foreign citizenship and for other reasons.

It is important to note that every person has the right to change their personal name and that when submitting a request for a change of name, it is not necessary to explain the reasons for that change.
A change of personal name will be rejected only if:
• if the new name insults and endangers the rights and freedoms of other people, the legal order and public morals
• if the suggested personal name does not consist only of words
• if criminal proceedings are being conducted against the person for a criminal offense for which he is being prosecuted ex officio.

The request for a change of personal name is submitted (in person or by an attorney) to the competent Birth Registry office and the applicant is obliged to enclose a certificate issued by the court that no criminal proceedings have been instituted against him/her.

Changes of personal name that have been granted to Croatian citizens under the regulations of other countries, and which are no longer used because they have acquired a new personal name, are entered in the Birth Registry without the procedure of changing the personal name.

Croatian citizens who have changed their personal name abroad (regardless of the reason for the change) are obliged to record this change in Croatian registers. In the event of an unregistered change of name, the competent authorities may refuse to issue a Croatian passport or identity card, register a marriage or register children in the register of births, and refuse to grant a Croatian citizenship for minor children of Croatian citizens.