Choosing or changing a first name and surname

Choosing a first name

After a child’s birth, the parents may choose a first name themselves.
The first name may only be rejected if it:

  • Is confusing
    For instance: a typical girl's name for a boy or vice versa
  • Harms the child
    For instance: a ridiculous, absurd or offensive name
  • May harm third parties
    For instance: an existing surname given to a child as a first name, if this is unusual

Choosing a surname

The surname is chosen in accordance with the legislation governing names of the child’s nationality.

When registering the birth of a Belgian child, you may choose one of the following surnames:

  • Surname of the father or co-mother
  • Surname of the mother
  • A combination of those 2 surnames, the parents choose the order

In case the parents disagree on the choice of name, the child will get the double surname of both parents in alphabetical order.

The surname chosen for the first child will also apply to the next children born from the same parents.

If the child has more than one nationality, the parents may opt for the legislation governing names of one of the child’s nationalities, instead of for the Belgian legislation, when registering the birth.

Changing your first name

How to request this?

You can change your first name at the municipality where your official residence is.
In Leuven, you need to go to the city office after making an appointment.

Make an appointment

What do you need to bring?

Your identity card.


Free of charge.

More information

You can find more information at FPS Justice.

Changing your surname

You can only change your surname if you have a serious reason to do so.
You must request this to FPS Justice.

Professor Van Overstraetenplein 1
3000 Leuven

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