What is a Deed Poll?
A Deed Poll or Change of Name Deed is a form of contract or Deed which can be used in the United Kingdom as evidence of a change in the legal name of an adult or child.
Why you may need a Change of Name Deed.
Legally you have the right to call yourself by whatever name you wish and the change of name can take place by usage of the new name, provided the change is not for a deceptive or fraudulent purpose.
However, you will need evidence of your new name if you wish to change your name on your official documentation such as passport, driving licence, tax records, bank accounts etc.. The easiest way of obtaining the necessary evidence is to execute a Deed Poll which is accepted by all UK Government Agencies, organisations and individuals.
You may wish to change your or your children's name for various reasons including:
- Following a separation or divorce;
- Changing a forename;
- Changing or removing a middle name;
- Changing a surname you are unhappy with or no longer wish to be associated with;
- Changing a spelling of one of your names;
- adopting a surname of a new partner / step parent;
- Formalising the use of a different name.
I'm getting married, do I need a Deed Poll to change name?
If you have recently got married or entered into a civil partnership there is no legal requirement for you to enter into a Deed Poll as your marriage / civil partnership certificate is sufficient evidence of your new surname for the purpose of changing your official documentation.
What is involved?
A Deed Poll involves:
- abandoning the use of your old name;
- commits you to using your new name at all times; and
- require all other persons to call you by your new name.
Entering into a Deed Poll involves you signing (executing the Deed) and having your signature independently witnessed. We will do this for you as part of our service to ensure it is completed correctly.
Are there any other legal requirements?
You do not need an official reason for changing your name and do not need to provide any justification for changes to your name.
Furthermore, under the Enrollment of Deeds (Change of Name) Regulations 1994, Statutory Instrument 1994 No. 604 there is no legal requirement to register a Deed Poll, although if you wish it can be registered voluntarily in the Central Office of the High Court. It is highly unusual to do so and is unnecessary in the vast majority of cases.
Does it change my birth certificate?
A Deed Poll does not change your birth certificate which is a historic record of fact of your birth name. Therefore, you should retain your birth certificate as it will still be required by Government Agencies as evidence of your identity.