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Frequently Asked Questions

When changing your name you will need to update all your official records and documents to your new name, such as driving licence, passport, medical records etc. In order to achieve this you will need to prove that you have changed your name. The way in which you prove this is by presenting a Deed Poll, which is a legal contract made and executed especially to formalise a change of a person's name, which is the documented evidence that is required to amend your personal records to your new name.

When changing your name by Deed Poll, you will be required write to everyone, enclosing your evidence of name change in the form of a Deed Poll and request that all records are changed to the your new name as detailed on the Deed Poll document.

Once you have changed all of your records and documents to your new name, please store your Deed Poll in a safe placeas you may require it for future use, for example, you want to apply for a passport or get married in which case you will need to produce your Deed Poll together with your birth certificate.

Deed Polls can be executed by any British citizen aged 16 years or over regardless of which country they reside in. Where children are under 16 years of age, parents can apply on behalf of their children.

UK Deed Poll can provide a Deed Poll for any British citizen regardless of which country they reside in.

To order your own Deed Poll you must be a minimum of 16 years or older. A parent can order a Deed Poll on behalf of their child under 16, however will require consent from everyone that has parental responsibility for the child.

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. If you are the mother/father and the other parent with Parental Responsbility is absent or their whereabouts is unknown or you have good reason for not contacting them, you will be required to submit a letter of consent along with your executed Deed Poll document.

The letter of consent will need to be produced alongside the Deed Poll document as 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.

We do not currently offer Deed Poll services to Foreign Nationals & Asylum Seekers.

A child's name can be legally changed by Deed Poll whereby everyone 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.

If you are the mother/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 support your executed Deed Poll document with a letter of consent, 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.

While a Deed Poll may be issued for a child where the applicant does not have the consent of everyone with parental responsibility, there is no guarantee that it will be accepted by all organisations.

As long as you are a British Citizen and live within the United Kingdom, you can have your Deed Poll witnessed by any person that is at least 18 years of age and knows you whilst being independent of you, for example not your partner, relative or someone who shares the same address with you. Suitable witnesses may include friends, neighbours or work associates.

If you are British Citizen and live overseas, you will need to have the signing of your Deed Poll witnessed by a notary public or Solicitor, however we would strongly suggest that you check with the consular services section of your country of residence’s Embassy or High Commission to ascertain what protocol should be followed.

Once you have signed, dated and had your Deed Poll document witnessed, you must notify companies, organisations and government departments which hold your personal information on file. Some organisations will allow you to inform them by sending the deed poll to them by post while some (your bank, for example) may ask that you bring the original deed poll to them in person.

Companies, organisations and government departments you need to notify of your name change are entirely dependent each individual's personal circumstances however as a general guide we would suggest that you contact the following:

  • Employer
  • Bank or Building Society
  • Mortgage provider
  • Loan/credit card providers
  • Your doctor
  • DVLA (to update your license and vehicle registration document),
  • Identity and Passport Service
  • HMRC (for tax and national insurance records)
  • Mobile and landline phone service provider
  • Internet service provider
  • Local authority (for council tax and electoral roll)
  • Car insurance provider
  • Pension and or Life insurance provider
  • Local Police Force

Note: You will be required to inform your local police force of your legal name change if you have outstanding criminal cases against you or if you are required to be registered on the Violent and Sex Offender Register under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

There are very few incidences where a birth certificate can be amended. This is due to them being considered as historical documents which were drawn up correctly at the time they were issued. Therefore a Deed Poll will not result in your birth certificate being changed in any way to reflect the name change within the Deed Poll document.

Should you wish to have your child’s forename changed, this can be done directly with the Register Office where the birth certificate was originally issued. This can only be done in instances where the new name was given to the child either in baptism or by regular use within twelve months of the birth being registered. Information on the correct forms and procedures to follow can be found at the Registry Office concerned with the birth.

With regards to changing a child's surname on their original birth certificate this is more difficult to achieve however If both parents of the child were not married at the time, and the child's birth was registered without the father being present, you can apply directly to the registry office at any time to have the birth certificate updated to include the father's details and change the child's surname to that of the father.

If the natural parents of a child marry each other at any time after the registration of their child's birth, they can apply directly to the registry office to have the birth re-registeredand the names of both the mother's and child's surname to that of the father/husband.

Many people believe that deed polls are issued by an official government department or agency, however there is no official or government-approved deed poll service. Each and every website that offers deed polls is owned by a private company or individual, with whom have no affiliation with or endorsement from the UK government.

There is no official or Government issuer of deed polls in the UKas a Deed Poll is a specific type of legal document or contract and as such any suitably trained company is permitted to correctly prepare and issue them.As such Deed Poll documents provided by UK Deed Poll are accepted by all organisations within the UK.

Most companies and organisations will amend your records without charge upon presenting the executed Deed Poll document. However you will need to reapply for your passport and driving licence in your new name which entails additional expense.

You can change your surname and or title back to your maiden name or the name you were using before you were married at any time. This can be upon separation or whilst divorce proceedings are taking place, you do not have to wait for the divorce to be finalised, however in this instance a Deed Poll would be required and executed (signed and witnessed).

Once a divorce has been finalised and a decree absolute has been granted, it is sometimes possible for a divorced woman to revert to her maiden name without the need for a Deed Poll if her decree absolute certificate and marriage certificate (which shows her maiden name) are accepted as documentary evidence of her change of name.

In cases where your decree absolute and marriage certificate are not accepted as the necessary documentary evidence, then a Deed Poll will be required to change your name. By providing a Deed Poll, the change of name will be recognised and accepted without question.

UK Deed Poll will not accept anyDeed Poll applications for names that:

  • does not include at least one forename and one surname;
  • is impossible to pronounce;
  • includes numbers or symbols
  • includes punctuation marks that do not have a phonetic significance. However, you can have a hyphen to link forenames or surnames (for example, if you want a double-barrelled name) and an apostrophe in the case of surnames like O'Brien;
  • is vulgar, offensive or blasphemous;
  • promotes criminal activities;
  • promotes racial or religious hatred;
  • promotes the use of controlled drugs or includes the generic or slang name for them;
  • ridicules people, groups, government departments, companies or organisations;
  • may result in others believing you have a conferred or inherited honour, title, rank or academic award, for example, a change of first name to Sir, Lord, Laird, Lady, Prince, Princess, Viscount, Baron, Baroness, General, Captain, Professor or Doctor etc.
  • exceeds the maximum number of characters allowed in a name (250 characters, including spaces, for forenames (i.e. first name and middle names) and 50 characters, including spaces, for a surname).

With the exception of the above restrictions, you can change your forenames, surname (or both), add names, remove names or rearrange your existing names. You can change your name at any time and for any reason provided it is not for deceptive or fraudulent purposes or for the avoidance of an obligation.

We offer a standard service where by the Deed Poll document is despatched within 5 working days and a priority service where the Deed Poll document is dispatched the same day if ordered by 2.00pm.

Upon receipt of your Deed Poll document, you will need to execute the document (sign, date and having your signing witnessed). From that point the whole process of changing your name will may take you at least two weeks, as the process will be not complete until you have notified record holders (government departments, companies and organisations that hold your name records) of your name change by showing them your Deed Poll document.

Changing your name (or your child's name) by Deed Poll is a three-step process and the time it takes will vary according to the following:

  • How you apply (and the delivery service you request)
  • How long you take to execute the Deed Poll
  • How long you take to notify record holders of your name change

People can draw up their own Deed Poll documents, however a Deed Poll must contain certain declarations, without the correct content your Deed Poll document will not be accepted by organisations and government bodies. We would always suggest that a Deed Poll document is drawn up by suitably trained person or company.

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 Enrolment Books of the Supreme Court of Judicature, which is located within the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London.

Enrolling a Deed Poll provides a public record of a person's name change and since 1914 the details of the name change are published in either the London Gazette or Belfast Gazette.

There is no real advantage to enrolling your deed poll other than to provide a public record of your name change as there is no difference in the effectiveness of the Deed Polls that we issue and Enrolled Deed Polls (both will get all official documents and records changed to a new name).

For further information regarding enrolling your Deed Poll, please visit:

Or call the Royal Courts of Justice on 0207 947 6000

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