How To Legally Change Your Name

If you wish to legally change your name, or your child’s name, you can use the Deed Poll process also known as the Deed of change of name.   By executing the Deed Poll (signing, dating and having it witnessed) you are committing yourself to:

Abandoning the use of your former name;

Using your new name at all times;

Requiring all persons to address you by your new name.

If you want to get all of your documents and records changed to show a new name e.g. your medical records, bank account, credit cards, passport, driving licence etc, you will be asked to produce documentary evidence of your change of name. A Deed Poll is a formal statement to prove that you have changed your name and it provides you with the necessary documentary evidence of the name by which you wish to be known.

By Deed Poll, you can officially change any part or your entire name. For example, you can change your forename, surname (or both), add names, remove names and change the spelling of your names or even add or remove hyphens.  You can change your name by Deed Poll as often as you want, at any time and for any reason provided it is not for deceptive or fraudulent purposes.

Who can apply for a deed poll?

You can apply for a Deed Poll if you:

  • are British, or
  • live in the United Kingdom.

If you are a foreign national living in the UK, you will have to check with your country’s high commission or Embassy in London to see if a Deed Poll issued in the UK will be accepted as documentary evidence.

You don’t need a deed poll to take your spouse’s or civil partner’s surname as a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate will suffice and your documents should be updated without a charge.

If you have got divorced or ended your civil partnership then you may be able to go back to your original name by showing record-holders either your marriage certificate and decree absolute or civil partnership certificate and final order.  However, there are some organisations who will not change your name back without a deed poll.

The process is different if you want to change a child’s name.

If a child is under the age of 16, their parents can change their child’s name by Deed Poll. You will need to get a deed of change of name, although to do this, everyone with Parental Responsibility for the child must consent to the change. Once you have the deed of change of name approved, you can start to use your child’s new name and arrange for it to be changed on official documents, such as their passport. You would need to show their birth certificate and the deed to do this.

You can make your own deed poll or instruct a solicitor who can make the deed poll for you for which there is a charge.

If you are thinking of changing your name and wish to instruct a Solicitor to draw up the document for you then please contact Nayyars Solicitors today and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Annie Rana


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