Did you know that after you marry or join in a civil partnership, you may need a Deed Poll before you can officially use the name of your choice? No? Well you’re not alone.

It’s one of those subjects that people don’t seem to know too much about until they find themselves making an appointment with the local solicitor, but in order that our readers can be better informed about Deed Poll name change, what it is, why you might need it and how it all works, Wedding Ideas Magazine has worked with UK name change experts The Name Change Company to enlighten you.

We are also pleased to offer a change of name by Deed Poll service via The Name Change Company, so see the end of this section for details of how to apply.

What is a Deed Poll?

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A Deed Poll is an official document that enables you to legally change your first names or surname or both, add or remove names, change the order or spelling of names, or hyphenate names.

In fact you can change your name in any way you wish (so long as the change is not for fraudulent purposes), and you do not need to give a reason for the change.

A properly executed Deed Poll is accepted by UK organisations and government departments as documentary evidence of your change of legal name.

So why might I need a Deed Poll?

Maybe you have considered all of your name change options (see the article Will you change your name when you marry? for more info), and you have decided to take your husband’s surname when you marry. If this is the case then you will not need a Deed Poll as you are legally entitled to take your husband’s surname in place of your own, and you can show your marriage certificate as documentary evidence when asking organisations to amend their records to show your new name.

However, if you decide to change your name in any other way you will require a Deed Poll document as evidence that you have legally changed your name. Without a Deed Poll, most organisations will refuse to amend their records to show your new name, including passport, driving licence, banks, savings, credit cards etc

Why can’t I just use a new name without a Deed Poll?

You can call yourself whatever you like in your day to day life and you don’t need a Deed Poll. However, you will not be able to have your new name shown on your personal records such as passport, driving licence, savings accounts, bank, credit cards etc, unless you can provide a Deed Poll to show documentary evidence of your change of legal name.

Read through the following options to see if you need a Deed Poll:

You and your partner want to hyphenate (double-barrel) your surnames. Is a Deed Poll Required – Yes

You may choose a hyphenated (double-barrelled) last name, joining your maiden name with your husband’s last name. In this case both you and your husband will each require a Deed Poll if adopting the new hyphenated name after marriage.

You can save the cost of one Deed Poll if your husband-to-be adopts the new hyphenated name by Deed Poll in advance of the wedding and takes his Deed Poll with him when giving notice to marry. His new name can then be included on the marriage certificate, which will usually show both of his surnames – his new surname and the surname he was ‘formerly known as’.

You will then be entitled to use the new hyphenated name after the wedding without requiring a Deed Poll of your own.

Note: the Identity and Passport Service will accept a marriage certificate showing your two separate surnames and will produce new passports to show the names hyphenated together if required, but most other government departments and official UK organisations such as banks, credit cards, mortgage providers etc will not. They will want documentary evidence of the intention to use a hyphenated name, so a Deed Poll will be required.

You want to hyphenate your surname with your partner’s surname, but he doesn’t want to hyphenate his name. Is a Deed Poll required – Yes

In this case you would just apply for a Deed Poll for yourself, usually after the wedding.

You are a woman and you want to use your surname as a middle name after marriage. Is a Deed Poll required – Yes

To ensure that this new form of your name is accepted by all organisations, a Deed Poll is required.

You are a woman and you want to change your surname to something other than your husband’s surname. Is a Deed Poll required – Yes

If you want to change your name in any way other than taking your husband’s surname in place of your own, you will need a Deed Poll

You want to change your child’s name. Is a Deed Poll required – Usually, yes.

There are all sorts of reasons why you may want to change your child’s name in some way, and most of these require a change of name by Deed Poll.

For example, maybe you will be taking on a new surname yourself when you marry and you want your child to also share the same family name. For more information on changing a child’s name and to apply for your child’s Deed Poll, please click here to find out.

It is usually the child’s mother that applies for a child’s change of name by Deed Poll, and if you have sole parental responsibility for your child you do not need anyone else to give permission for you to go ahead.

When using your child’s Deed Poll to have his or her name changed on various records you will simply accompany the Deed Poll with a letter signed by you, confirming that you have sole parental responsibility for the child. This letter is called a ‘letter of consent’.

However, if any other adult also has parental responsibility for the child, for example the child’s father or a legal guardian, this is called ‘joint parental responsibility’ and they must also sign the letter of consent.

If your child is 16 or 17 years old they must also give their written consent to their change of name, by means of a signed declaration.

The Name Change Company provides example wording for the letter of consent and if required, the declaration, when you order a Deed Poll for your child.

For a full range of FAQ’s including ‘Who has parental responsibility?’, or to order your child’s Deed Poll, please click here to find out more

You are a man and you want to change your name in any way at all. Is a Deed Poll required – Yes, except following civil partnership.

A man is not entitled to change his name following marriage, or for any other reason other than to take his partners surname in place of his own following civil partnership. Any change apart from this circumstance will require a Deed Poll.

You simply want to change something about your name. Maybe there is something about your name that you just don’t like. Deed Poll enables you to change your first, middle or surname in almost any way you wish.

Can anyone apply for a change of name by Deed Poll?

If you are over 18 and a British Citizen living in the UK or abroad you can apply for a Deed Poll.

If you are a foreign national aged over 18 and living in the UK you can also apply for a Deed Poll, but a Deed Poll is not suitable for a foreign national living outside the UK.

You can apply to change the name of a child aged 17 or under so long as you have parental responsibility for the child and you also have the consent of any other person with parental responsibility for the child.

How do I apply to change my name by Deed Poll?

Wedding Ideas Magazine is pleased to offer a change of name by Deed Poll service via our selected partner The Name Change Company. You can quickly and easily apply for your Deed Poll online by visiting The Name Change Company website and you will also find lots of information and answers to frequently asked questions.

How much does it cost?

If you buy one Deed Poll, for either an adult or a child, the cost is £33.00. If you buy more Deed Polls in the same transaction the additional ones will cost you £23 each. Buying direct from the Name Change Company means that you don’t usually need to visit a solicitor at all, saving you money and time.

How long does it take to apply for a change of name by Deed Poll?

The application is online, and is very quick and straightforward. You can complete it in just a few minutes by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Your Deed Poll will usually be with you within 3 working days of your application.

Do I have to notify lots of people that I have changed my name by Deed Poll?

Yes, you need to notify all the government departments and organisations that hold records of you, such as passport, driving licence, banks, savings, insurance etc.

To make the process as quick and easy as possible, Wedding Ideas Magazine is pleased to introduce the New Name Kit™, an online system from The Name Change Company that enables you to quickly and easily notify UK organisations about your change of name. The New Name Kit includes an on-line database of thousands of UK organisations for you to choose from, detailed advice, downloadable forms and if a letter is needed it is automatically generated and personalised with your change of personal details, ready for you to just print, sign and send. The New Name Kit even tells you whether to send an original copy of your Deed Poll or marriage certificate, or if a certified copy or photocopy will do.

For full information and to apply for your change of name by Deed Poll, or to purchase the New Name Kit, please visit The Name Change Company website

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