- May 2013. I have found this service to be very beneficial and convenient to use, and with it being online it is much more useful and avoids calling queues. I found all the information I needed online and am very pleased with the amount of time my order has taken to complete. I look fo...
Nanette, Watford, Hertfordshire.
Introduction to changing your name by Deed Poll
Changing your name used to be even easier than it is today. You could simply choose a new name and start using it without needing a Deed Poll to make the change of name official. This was known as changing your name by ‘usage’.
These days, and especially since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the recent increase in identity theft, government departments, companies and organisations have started to take personal identity issues much more seriously.
Now, with a few exceptions (listed below), if you want to change your name on official documents and records (for example your passport, driving licence, bank accounts, medical, tax and National Insurance records, etc) UK Government departments, companies and organisations will ask for ‘documentary evidence’ of the name change.
The term ‘documentary evidence’ simply refers to a document that outlines a person’s intention to use a new name – and having a Deed Poll will enable you to get your name changed on all your official documents and records.
In fact a Deed Poll is the most commonly used form of ‘documentary evidence’ for a change of name in the UK. However there are a number of other documents that can be used as official evidence of a name change. These are:
Marriage CertificateAllows women to change their surname to their husband's surname. Please note: that if you intend to add your maiden name as a middle name, or double-barrel or mesh your surnames, a Deed Poll will be required.
Civil Partnership CertificateAllows one partner's surname to be changed to his/her partner's surname. Please note: that if you intend to double-barrel or mesh your surnames, a Deed Poll will be required.
Decree Absolute CertificateSometimes allows a divorcee to change her surname to the surname she used before marriage. Please note: that most record holders will not accept a decree absolute, but will accept a Deed Poll.
Dissolution OrderAllows a person's surname to be changed to the surname used before entering into a civil partnership.
Death CertificateUsually allows a widow to change their surname to the surname used before marriage or civil partnership.
Adoption CertificateAllows an adopted child’s surname to be changed to that of the adopted parents' surname.
Note: Not all official documents can be changed. These are referred to as ‘matter of fact’ documents i.e. they are historical records of the facts when issued.
‘Matter of fact’ documents include birth certificates (although there are some exceptions to this rule – click here to read our article ‘How do you change your birth certificate?’), marriage certificates, adoption certificates, civil partnership certificates and decree absolute certificates.
Also, it’s unlikely you would be able to change your new name featured on documents like educational certificates because they show the name that was correct when they were issued. However if you need to produce educational certificates for job interviews, etc, then you simply include your Deed Poll as proof that you have changed your name.
This page was last checked today by Miranda O'Hara, Senior Deed Poll Officer.