You don’t have to follow a legal procedure if you want to start using a new name. However, you might need a ‘deed poll’ to apply for or change official documents, like a passport or driving licence.
A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name.
To change your name by deed poll you can:
- download the appropriate form from the Ministry of Justice website
- create your own deed poll
- find a specialist agency or a solicitor
You may have to pay a fee to change your name by deed poll.
Changing your name after marriage or civil partnership
You don’t need a deed poll if you want to take your partner’s surname after getting married or entering into a civil partnership.
Send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate to record holders, with a covering letter, and your documents and records will be changed for free to show your new surname.
You’ll need a deed poll if you get married or enter into a civil partnership and want to double-barrel your surname.
Changing your name after divorce or end a civil partnership
After getting divorced or ending a civil partnership, you may be able to go back to your original name by presenting either:
- your marriage certificate and your decree absolute
- your civil partnership certificate and your final order
Some organisations may not agree to change your name back without a deed poll.