A Deed Poll is a legal document and is a form of legal contract, however differs from legal contracts between two or more parties in that it only concerns one person and requires that person's signature in the presence of a witness. The Deed Poll legally binds the person who signs it to a course of action detailed within the Deed Poll document.
A Deed Poll for a change of name contains three declarations and by executing the Deed Poll (signing, dating and having your signing witnessed) you are legally committing yourself to:
Deed Polls correctly prepared and issued by UK Deed Poll provide documentary evidence that you have had your name legally changed. As a result of this the Deed Poll document then gives you the ability to change all records and official documents to your new name.
A child's name can be legally changed by Deed Poll whereby anyone who has parental responsibility (PR) for the child, consents to the child’s change of name. If your child is 16 or over they will need to apply for their own Deed Poll using the Adult Deed Poll application form.
Parental responsibility for a child means that you are responsible for, and have the right to be consulted about the child's health, education, religion and welfare. Therefore to change a child's name, those with parental responsibility must consent to the name change.
There are some instances where a child’s name can be changed without the consent of both parents.
Please Note: If you are the mother or father and the other parent with Parental Responsibility is absent or their whereabouts is unknown or you have good reason for not contacting them, you can apply for a Deed Poll but you need to submit a letter of consent along with your executed Deed Poll to organisations and government departments, which should include information about what reasonable measures you have taken to contact the absent parent - for example, writing to the their last known address or contacting relatives and friends of the absent parent etc.
Organisations and government departments will not allow a child to be known by another name without confirmation that everyone with parental responsibility has consented to the name change.