Advice for women upon marriage

It's a common misconception that a woman’s surname automatically changes to her spouse's surname upon marriage. The fact is that, unless you specifically ask government departments, organisations and companies to change your name on your official documents and records, they will continue to refer to you by your maiden name even though you are now married.

If you do decide to make some changes to your name upon marriage, in order to get the new name put on all your official documents and records, you will simply need to write a letter to each of the organisations that hold records about you (click on this link to view a sample letter) and enclose with your letter 'documentary evidence' of the name change.

Documentary evidence is simply the term used to describe a legal document that can be used as evidence of your intention to use a name that is different to the one you are currently using.

Whilst you only need to enclose one form of documentary evidence of your name change, there are two different types of documentary evidence that the relevant organisations can accept from you. These are -

  1. Your marriage certificate (if you are just changing your surname to your spouse's surname)

    If you're simply taking your spouse’s surname without making any other changes to your name, a Deed Poll is not required. To change your name on all your official documents and records, you simply need to send your marriage certificate to each of the organisations that holds your records (e.g. bank, doctor, HMRC, Passport Office, DVLA, etc).

  2. A Deed Poll (if you are changing your name to anything other than just your spouse's surname, or if you are making any other changes to your name)

    A Deed Poll is only required if you want to do anything other than just take the surname of your spouse, for instance if you want to -

    • Add your maiden name / former name as a middle name

    • Double-barrel your surname with your spouse's surname

    • Combine (mesh) your surname with your spouse's surname to create an entirely new surname

If you do want to make some changes to your name other than simply taking your spouse's surname upon marriage, or if you have specific questions about changing your name upon marriage, click on this link to go to our FAQs section to read more about your name change rights and options.

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Sections in this article
Click on the links below to view each section of this article:


1.         Advice for women upon marriage (Viewing)
2.         FAQs about changing a woman's name upon marriage.

Page accuracy last checked today by Ellen Marshall, Snr. Deed Poll Officer. Status: Passed.

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