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Usage name: use of wife's or husband's name

Verified 24 novembre 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of the Interior

It is possible to use the name of your husband or wife regardless of gender. We talk about usage name. Use of a usage name is optional and not automatic. On the other hand, if the spouse indicates that he or she wants to use this name, the authorities must use it. This name can be entered on the identity card and passport.

Usage name and last name

Everyone has family name (also called birth name or patronymic name).

This name is on your birth certificate.

This could be the name of your father or mother.

However, it is possible to use another name in everyday life usage name.

This usage name does not replace the last name that remains the only name mentioned on the civil registration documents: birth certificate, marriage certificate, family book...

Freedom of choice

The ability to use a usage name is optional and not automatic.

If you are married, you can use your spouse's name or only your own surname.

This is a personal choice that cannot be imposed on you.

Whether you are a man or a woman, you can use as usage name the family name of the person you are married.

You can use as a usage:

  • or family name your spouse,
  • or your surname next to your spouse's surname in the order you wish.

The surname of the spouse(s) used as the surname is taken in its entirety, whether this name is a compound name (Durant-Martin) or a double name (Durant Martin).

Example :

If Ms. Dupont is married to Mr. Durant Martin, Ms. Dupont may choose as her name: Durant Martin, Dupont Durant Martin, Durant Martin Dupont.

  Warning : you cannot use the name of your partner or Civil partnership partner.

You can include your username following your surname on your ID: identity card and passport.

In this case, fill in the second of application form.

  FYI : if you no longer want to use a usage name, when renewing the credential, simply leave the line blank Second Name of the application form.

The documents to be provided depend on your situation.

You are married

For First Use

For First Use of the usage name, it is necessary to provide:

These documents are to be attached to your identity document application and to be provided at the same window.

Example :

If your name is Martin, the usage name of your spouse or husband (e.g. Dupond) can appear on the ID in one of the following ways:

  • Name Martin Spouse Dupond”
  • Name Martin usage Dupond”
  • Name Martin use Martin-Dupond”
  • Name Martin use Dupond-Martin”

To continue using the name

To continue using a usage name that is already on an identity document, you do not have any parts to supply.

Example :

If your name is Martin, the usage name of your spouse or husband (e.g. Dupond) can appear on the ID in one of the following ways:

  • Name Martin Spouse Dupond”
  • Name Martin usage Dupond”
  • Name Martin use Martin-Dupond”
  • Name Martin use Dupond-Martin”

You are divorced

If your former spouse allows you to do so, you can continue to use her name or your two names beside her as the name of use, just like at your wedding.

This name will be preceded by the mention use.

To continue using this name, you must provide:

  • the divorce judgement authorising you to bear the name of your former spouse, or
  • written permission from your former spouse.

You're a widow

You can continue to use your current name without additional steps, be it your spouse's name or your two names next to each other.

If you want the widower or widow appear before the usage name, you must select this choice on the form.

You must also provide a death certificate.

  Please note : there is no time limit for putting your name on your identification. You can do this whenever you want.

The chosen usage name can be used in all acts of your private, family, social or professional life.

Upon your request, this name should be used by the administration in the letters it sends you.

The various organisations must be informed of the name of use chosen.

To inform health insurance and the Family Allowance Fund (Caf) at the same time, you can use an online service:

Declaration of Change of Name (name of spouse)

Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Dila) - Prime Minister

Choosing a usage name does not affect the family name of your common child.

So your child can your name, that of your spouse or your 2 names.

This name may be the same or different from your usage name.

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On the identity card or passport

If you no longer want to use a username on your identity card or passport, this is done during the renewal of identity document.

Just leave the line blank Second Name of the application form.

On another official document

If you no longer wish to use the usage name on a document concerning your private, family, social or professional life, just inform your contacts.

For example, your employer or mutual.

You don't need to provide a proof.