Complete Guide to Changing Your Name by Deed Poll in the UK


Changing your name by deed poll in the UK is a significant decision that involves a legal process recognized by various organizations and government bodies. The procedure allows individuals to officially adopt a new name for all personal, professional, and legal purposes.

What is a Deed Poll?

A deed poll is a legal document that signifies an individual's commitment to changing their name. It is a unilateral declaration, meaning it is a pledge by one person to themselves, indicating they will abandon their old name and adopt a new one across all aspects of their life.

Reasons People Choose to Change Their Names

Many people opt to change their names for various reasons, including personal preference, religious reasons, marriage, divorce, or even to reflect a change in their gender identity. Whatever the motivation, the process remains the same and starts with the creation of a deed poll.

Legal Requirements and Considerations

Before you proceed with a deed poll, there are several legal requirements and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Age Requirement: You must be 18 or over to change your name by deed poll on your own. If under 18, the process must be carried out by a parent or guardian.
  • Consent: If you are changing a child's name and you are not the only person with parental responsibility, you must get consent from all others with parental responsibility.
  • Public Records: Changing your name by deed poll will not alter your name on public records such as your birth certificate.

The Deed Poll Process

The process to change your name by deed poll involves a few critical steps:

  1. Draft the Deed Poll: Start by drafting the deed poll document, which includes stating your current name, your desired new name, and your intent to abandon the old name.
  2. Witnessing: Once the deed poll is drafted, it needs to be signed in the presence of two witnesses who are not related to you.
  3. Notification: After your deed poll is signed and witnessed, you need to notify relevant bodies of your new name. This includes updating your passport, driving license, bank accounts, and informing your employer.

Updating Your Documents

After successfully changing your name, you need to update several documents to reflect your new name:

  • Passport
  • Driving License
  • Bank Accounts
  • Utility Bills

Special Considerations

Certain situations require additional attention:

  • Dual Nationality: Individuals with dual nationality should check the legal implications in their other country of nationality.
  • Witness Requirements: Witnesses must be over 18 and not directly related to you by blood or marriage.

Common Questions About Changing Your Name

  • What is the cost of changing your name by deed poll?
  • How long does the process take?
  • Can I revert to my old name after changing it by deed poll?

These questions are essential for anyone considering changing their name and seeking to understand the full scope of what the process entails.

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