If you are considering changing your name and would like some advice on making your new name legal, you can speak to our team of family law solicitors who have decades of experience with handling deed poll changes. Call 0161 665 350 or leave us a message via our contact form.
What does it mean to change your name by deed poll?
In England, changing your name by deed poll means it becomes legal and that any official documentation acknowledges your new name.
How to legally change your name
You may change your name as you please, i.e. you may change the full name, add hyphens, amend its spelling or remove any unwanted names.
You will have two options to get a deed poll; you can apply for an ‘unenrolled’ or an ‘enrolled’ deed poll.
- With an unenrolled deed poll, your new name will not go on the public record, and you can make the name change yourself, provided you are over 16.
- If you opt for an enrolled deed poll, you will need to be over 18 and apply to the Royal Court of Justice for your public records to be officially changed.
You may wish to have a solicitor help you draft the change of name deed alongside all other required paperwork. To speak to Garratts’ expert team of family law solicitors, call 0161 665 350 or request a callback via our contact form.
Do I need to change my name by deed poll if I get married or enter a civil partnership?
In the case of marriages and civil partnerships, you will only need to send copies of your marriage certificate to the relevant authorities to have your name updated. You do not require a deed poll change in this instance.
What if I divorce or end my civil partnership and want to change my name?
To change your name back to your original name following a divorce or ending a civil partnership, you may be able to show your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate alongside the decree absolute or final order. However, some authorities or organisations may require you to prove your name change with an official deed poll.
How to change your child’s name
If you wish to change your child’s name and have parental responsibility, you may do so in agreement with your child’s other parent. We strongly advise consulting a solicitor for advice as this process will require all parties with parental responsibility to permit the name change alongside completing the required paperwork, which will need to be sent to the Queen’s Bench Division.
If your co-parent does not agree to the name change, you will need to apply for a specific issue order from the court.
Can I make my own deed poll?
Under English law, you can make your own unenrolled deed poll using the following wording suggested by the UK government (Gov.uk).
“I [old name] of [your address] have given up my name [old name] and have adopted for all purposes the name [new name].
“Signed as a deed on [date] as [old name] and [new name] in the presence of [witness 1 name] of [witness 1 address], and [witness 2 name] of [witness 2 address].
“[your new signature], [your old signature]
“[witness 1 signature], [witness 2 signature]”
It is important to note that this will not be a legal name change.