Change your name by Deed Poll
To change your name was once much easier than it is now. You simply chose a new name you liked and started using it without needing either a Deed Poll or a Statutory Declaration to make changing your name official. This was known as change your name by ‘usage’.
Today, even more so since the terrorist attacks on New York in 2011 and the rise in identity theft, governments, companies and organisations are taking personal identity security much more seriously.
With all but a few exceptions, should you wish to change your name on any official paperwork and records (e.g passport, driving licence, bank accounts, medical records, tax or National Insurance) UK Government departments, companies and organisations will require ‘documentary proof’ of the change of name.
Documentary evidence is a document outlining a persons plan to use a new name and having a Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration will permit you to have your name changed on all official accounts and documents
Deed Poll and Statutory Declaration are the recognised form of ‘documentary proof’ for a change of name in Great Britain. Nevertheless there remain a number of supplementary documents that can be used as evidence of a name change.
• Marriage Certificate
This will allow a woman to change her surname to that of her husband’s.
NB: if you intend on adding additional names such as your maiden name as a middle name, or double-barrel, you will require Deed Poll.
• Certificate of Civil Partnership
This allows for a partner’s surname to be changed to that of the other partner’s surname.
NB: that if you intend to double-barrel or merge surnames, a Deed Poll will be required.
• Certificate Decree Absolute
This sometimes allows a divorced woman to change her surname to the name she used before her marriage.
NB: not all record holders will accept a decree absolute, but will accept a Deed Poll.
• Dissolution Order
This will allow a persons surname to be changed to a surname that was used prior to entering into the civil partnership.
• Death Certificate
This will allow a widow to change her surname to the surname used before her marriage.
• Adoption Certificate
This allows an adopted childs name to be changed to that of the adopted parents name.
NB: Not all official documents can be changed. These are known as ‘matter of fact’ documents i.e. they are a historical recording of the facts at the time of issue.
‘Matter of fact’ documents include birth certificates (although there are a few exceptions to this rule), marriage certificates, adoption certificates, civil partnership certificates and decree absolute certificates.
It is also unlikely you will be able to change your new name found on documents like educational certificates as they will show the name when they were issued. Though if you are required to show educational certificates for job interviews for example, etc, then you include a copy of your Deed Poll as proof you have changed your name.