You can change your name (or your child’s name) on deed poll at any time in the United Kingdom.
Changing your name is a legal process, so there is no “official” location where you can register your new name. You can simply adopt a new name and begin using it in law.
You do not have to follow a legal process to start using a new name. But you might need a ‘deed poll’ to apply for or to change official documents like your passport or driving licence.
Get a deed poll
A deed poll is a legal document that establishes a legal name change. You can change the spelling of your name, as well as add or remove names and hyphens.
Your deed poll can be used to apply for a new passport and driver’s license, as well as to update all of your other documents and records.
You are responsible for informing all organizations of your new name. We won’t be able to help you with this, but we’ll send you a list of organizations to contact.
There are 2 ways to get a deed poll. You can either:
- make an ‘unenrolled’ deed poll yourself
- apply for an ‘enrolled’ deed poll
Ask the organisation you’re dealing with (for example your bank) which type of deed poll they’ll accept as proof of your new name.
If you’re a permanent resident overseas, you cannot change your name by deed poll.
Make an ‘unenrolled’ deed poll
You can change your name yourself if you’re 16 or over.
Marriage and civil partnership
You do not need a deed poll to take your spouse’s or civil partner’s surname. Send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate to record-holders, such as benefits offices. Your documents will be updated for free.
If you divorce or end your civil partnership
You may be able to go back to your original name by showing record-holders either your:
- marriage certificate and decree absolute
- civil partnership certificate and final order
Some organisations will not change your name back without a deed poll.
Make your own deed poll
You need to be 16 or over to make your own deed poll.
How to make your own deed poll
Use the following wording:
“I [old name] of [your address] have given up my name [old name] and have adopted for all purposes the name [new name].
“Signed as a deed on [date] as [old name] and [new name] in the presence of [witness 1 name] of [witness 1 address], and [witness 2 name] of [witness 2 address].
“[your new signature], [your old signature]
“[witness 1 signature], [witness 2 signature]”
A specialist agency or a solicitor can make the deed poll for you instead – they may charge a fee.
After you’ve made it, you can use your deed poll as proof of your new name.