United Kingdom - Change Your Name (Deed Poll)
- 1 Procedure
- 2 Required Documents
- 3 Office Locations & Contacts
- 4 Eligibility
- 5 Fees
- 6 Validity
- 7 Documents to Use
- 8 Sample Documents
- 9 Processing Time
- 10 Related Videos
- 11 Instructions
- 12 Required Information
- 13 Need for the Document
- 14 Information which might help
- 15 Other uses of the Document/Certificate
- 16 External Links
- 17 Others
Marriage and civil partnership
You dont need a deed poll to take your partners surname.
Send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate to record-holders, eg benefits offices. Your documents will be updated for free.
If you divorce or end your civil partnership
You may be able to go back to your original name by showing record-holders either your:
- marriage certificate and decree absolute
- civil partnership certificate and final order
Some organisations wont change your name back without a deed poll.
Make an adult deed poll
Youll need to do one of the following:
- use the official forms - do this if you want the name put on the official register (sometimes called being enrolled)
- make your own deed poll
- use a specialist agency or a solicitor
Use the official forms
You can put your new name on public record by enrolling it at the Royal Courts of Justice. This costs 36.
Read the leaflet on enrolling a name change - it explains what youll need to do and the fees youll have to pay.
You must fill in these forms:
Change a childs name
To change the name of a child aged under 16 (sometimes called a minor) youll need either:
- the agreement of everyone with parental responsibility
- a court order
You must try to reach agreement before you seek a court order.
If the parents agree
Read the leaflet on enrolling a name - it explains what youll need to do, the forms you must fill in and the fees youll have to pay.
You must fill in these forms:
Make your own deed poll
If you dont want to register your deed poll, you can make your own instead, using the following wording:
I [old name] of [your address] have given up my name [old name] and have adopted for all purposes the name [new name].
Signed as a deed on [date] as [old name] and [new name] in the presence of [witness 1 name] of [witness 1 address], and [witness 2 name] of [witness 2 address].
[your new signature], [your old signature]
[witness 1 signature], [witness 2 signature]
- Certificate of Criminal Record
- Request Addressed to the Minister of Justice
- Application addressed to the Registrar
- Identity Card (original and photocopy)
Office Locations & Contacts
Send your forms and documents to:
Queens Bench Division
The Royal Courts of Justice
- You dont have to follow a legal process to start using a new name. But you might need a deed poll to apply for or to change official documents like your passport or driving licence.
- A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name. You can change any part, add or remove names and hyphens, or change spelling.
- It doesnt cost anything to make your own deed poll. Specialist agencies and solicitors may charge a fee to do it for you.
- You must be 16 or over to make a deed poll.
- There are extra rules about changing a childs name.
Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.
Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid. e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever
Documents to Use
- Change of name deed for a child
- Statutory declaration for a minor
- Change of name deed
- Statutory declaration for an adult
Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.
Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.
Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
By Deed Poll, you can officially change any part of your name, or even your entire name. You can alter both forenames and surnames, as well as being able to add and remove names. You can also rearrange current forenames or simply alter spellings.
The name change process can be carried out as and when you please, and as many times as you choose on the condition that it is not done with fraudulent or deceitful motives.
- Your name as listed on birth certificate or immigration or citizenship documents.
- The full name you are applying to change to (if you are changing your name).
- Date and place of birth
- Marital status and details
- Places of residence for last three months
- Address for Correspondence
Need for the Document
If you are using, or wish to use, a name other than your registered name, there is no legal requirement that you formally change your name. It is, however, recommended that you change your name officially, both for identification and as evidence of your name change.
Name change generally refers to the legal act by a person of adopting a name different from their name at birth, marriage or adoption. The procedures and ease of a name change vary between jurisdictions.
Information which might help
- Choose a new name for yourself. You can change your surname, forename, middle names, or all of the above. If you're under 16, you'll need to get a parent or guardian to change your name for you. You must have at least two names, and they must be pronounceable and not offensive or blasphemous, and you can't pick a first name that makes it look like you have a title that you don't actually have (e.g. Princess, Doctor).
- Formally document your change of name with a deed poll. You can get a deed poll in one of the following ways:
- Download and fill in the appropriate form from the Ministry of Justice website (note that that this form is for when you intend to enrol your deed poll in the Central Office of the Senior Courts of England and Wales)
- Search online for 'deed poll' and find a specialist agency - there are a range of DIY and professional services online.
- Find a solicitor
- Write out your own deed poll. At its simplest, this is just a document in which you promise to only use your new name (and not your old name) from now on.
- Send off your deed poll (or photocopies of them) to everybody who has your name in their records. Some organisations (such as the Identity & Passport Service, the DVLA, and the Inland Revenue) will need to see the original document, so make sure you have multiple "originals".
- You can start using your new name immediately, but it might take a while before everybody else does! Make a list of everybody who needs to know your new name; start with government bodies like the Identity & Passport Service and DVLA, because these will give you photographic ID in your new name, which will be useful for proving your identity to others.
Other uses of the Document/Certificate
You may want to change your name because:
- You have just gotten married
- You have divorced
- You just want a change
- In case of adoption
If you wish to legally change your name, or your children's names, you can use the Deed Poll process, which has been used by hundreds of thousands of people for over 150 years.
By Deed Poll, you can officially change any part or all of your name. For example, you can change your forenames, surname (or both), add names, remove names, change the spelling of your names or rearrange your existing names. 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.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no central register of name changes in the United Kingdom. Deed Polls are not registered anywhere unless they are "enrolled" i.e. lodged for safe keeping, in the Close Rolls of the Chancery (from 1851 to 1902) and from 1903, in the