There could be a lot of reasons why you may want to change your name. Perhaps you got married or just because you don’t like your original name. Whatever the reason, changing your name is not as complicated as you might think. You do not need to go through a legal process to begin using a new name. However, a “deed poll” may be required to apply for or change official documents such as a passport or driver’s license.
Who has the power to change their name?
You can legally change your name if you are over the age of 18. You can change any part of your name, whether it’s your first name or surname, and you can go by any name you want as long as it’s not for criminal purposes. You must complete a deed poll or a Statutory declaration of the name change as part of changing your name.
What is a deed poll?
A deed poll is a legal document that establishes the legal change of a person’s name. You can alter your name’s spelling and add or remove names and hyphens.
Because it can be enrolled in court, a deed poll is a more formal document than a statutory declaration of the name change. In some circumstances, such as having your name changed by official government departments like HM Passport Office, you may need to change your name by deed poll.
A deed poll can be conducted in one of the following ways:
- Make your own ‘unenrolled’ deed poll.
- Fill out an application for an “enrolled” deed poll.
- An unenrolled deed poll is a simple legal statement that you can make yourself as proof of your new name if you are 16 or older. Some organisations may require an enrolled deed poll instead of an unenrolled deed poll to prove your new name.
- An enrolled deed poll means you’re officially registering your new name with the Royal Courts of Justice in London on the public record. Changing your name by enrolled deed poll costs £42.44 at the moment. If you are 18 or older, you can create an enrolled deed poll for yourself.
Inquire with the company you’re dealing with (for example, your bank) about the deed polls that will suffice as proof of your new name. You can’t change your name by deed poll if you’re a permanent resident.
Make a deed poll for people who aren’t registered.
If you’re 18 or older, you can enrol in your name change (as mentioned above). Changing a child’s name under 18 is a different process.
Who should I inform once I’ve changed my name?
Most organisations, including HM Passport Office and the DVLA, will require your original deed poll to prove your identity, enrolled or unenrolled. You must notify everyone who records your information that your name has changed. You could be charged with fraud if you don’t comply. Instead of using your deed poll, it is recommended that you renew your passport first and use that as proof of your name change. You should also double-check that you’re registered to vote in the electoral register under the correct name.
Is it possible for me to revert to my last name?
In most cases, if your current name differs from the name on your birth certificate, you must apply for a Deed Poll to change your name back to your previous name. Using your birth certificate to update your name with relevant organisations will be insufficient.
There are various reasons for changing your name, including marriage, civil union, divorce, or the desire to be known by a nickname. Regardless of the reason, the procedure for changing your name must be carried out correctly. As a result, you won’t have to deal with any legal issues in the future.