Changing your name by deed poll – the real legal position in the uk

Posted by legaldeedpolls

In what circumstances does someone normally decide to choose their name?

There are many reasons why someone would choose to change their name or names. Besides the most obvious reasons such as personal wishes or dislike of their current name, a person may wish to change their name if they:

Get divorced
Wish to use a double-barrelled surname after marrying such as Longridge-Jones
Adopt a religion such as Islam and take an arabic name
Change gender
Live with a partner for a long time and wish to have the same name as their children
Can I change my name without following official or formal legal procedure?

Yes you can, so long as your intention is to not deceive or defraud somebody.

Should I follow any specific legal procedures to change my name?

If you want to apply for a new passport, you may need to follow certain legal procedures to prove that you have decided to change your name. Evidence of a name change can include a deed poll, a public announcement, a statutory declaration or a letter from a responsible person. Most people to have a deed poll or change of name deed drawn up.

What does deed poll mean and who can use a deed poll?

A deed poll is a formal legal declaration stating that your name has changed. A deed poll can be used by anyone over the age of 16 and a British citizen living in the United Kingdom. They are also called “change of name deeds”.

Does a deed poll need to be witnessed?

Yes, a deed poll needs to be witnessed to be legally effective

Who can act as a witness?

Anyone over the age of 18 with sufficient mental capacity (i.e. understanding of why they are acting as a witness) can witness a deed poll, so long as they are not related to you. Most people will choose a friend or work mate to witness their deed.

Do deed polls need to be registered?

No, it is a myth that deed polls need to be registered anywhere officially.

Can deed polls be stored and registered somewhere official?

Yes, they can be “enrolled” at the Enrolment Books of the Supreme Court of Judicature. However most people do not do this and there is no requirement to do so.

Can a child change their name?

Whilst children under the age of 16 cannot change their name via deed poll, anyone with parental responsibility for the child may do so. Persons with parental responsibility can include the biological mother, the biological father if married to the mother at the time of birth, step-parents or other persons if they have been given parental responsibility by those who previously held it (the biological mother, for example).

Can I do more than one deed poll?

yes, you can change your name as many times as you like, as the deed renounces any previosuly used name instructs everyone to use your new name.