What Are the Requirements to Change My Own Name?

Changing one’s name is an important decision. A name gives nuances to how we and others perceive our personalities. As a result, for many people who do it, it can be the beginning of a new life. But how can you do it? Is it worth the effort? Well, let’s see.

One of the most common reasons for a name change is a marriage or the opposite, a divorce. If you want to change your name after a marriage, you just need to provide a copy of the marriage certificate to the relevant institutions — for example: your bank, the passport office, DVLA, and benefits agencies. After a divorce, you will need the marriage and divorce certificates together.

Notice that if you change your name after a marriage this way, you will only be changing your surname to your partner’s surname, but not your first name or any other. With the divorce, you will only be changing your former partner’s surname to your original surname.

So this option is easier, but also very limited. If you want to change your name, surname, or both for something else, then you need a deed poll.

A deed poll is a document that shows that the name change was done. In other words, it is the ultimate proof any institution will need to accept you with your new name…. well, almost. The truth is that some of them will ask you for an enrolled deed poll. Let’s see the difference.

A deed poll is a private document that you can do yourself. Basically, you need to create a document stating your old name and your address, your change to the new name, and that you do so before two witnesses. You and the two witnesses have to sign the document. Also, remember to include the address of each of your witnesses and your old and new signature.

Now this is a valid document, in theory, but some institutions may need something else. In other words, they need you to make this private document public. For that, you need to enrol the deed poll with the courts. At the time we wrote this article, the price was very reasonable: 36 pounds, so we think it is well-worth the effort.

Remember to think about the new name you want to use. Do not just choose something fashionable, but choose something that goes with your personality. Although you could change it again, in principle, the idea is to choose a definitive name. Keep in mind that it will appear on all of your documents and that you will need to repeat it many times from now on.

If you are thinking of changing your name, we can help you to achieve it. Read about our deed poll services here.