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Change of Name Deed Poll

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Last revision 17/03/2019
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Last revision: 17/03/2019

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Change of Name Deed Poll

A Change of Name Deed Poll (commonly referred to as a Deed Poll) is a document used to change a person's name. It can be used to change a full name, forename(s), surname, add names, remove names, change the spelling of a name or rearrange existing names.

This Change of Name Deed Poll can be used to change any of the following:

  • Name of an Individual adult
  • Name of an Individual child
  • Surname of a Family with children
  • Surname of a Married Couple (no children)
  • Surname of a Couple in a Civil Partnership (no children)

See below for more detailed information on each type of Change of Name Deed Poll as the rules vary according to the type of change of name required.

This Change of Name Deed Poll can ONLY be used for British Citizens, Commonwealth Citizens, British Overseas Citizens (BOCs) and British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTCs).

Foreign persons may wish to use this Change of Name Deed Poll but the person would need to check with their local embassy or consulate to see if the document is acceptable in their own country.

There is a system of "enrolment" whereby a Change of Name Deed Poll and supporting documentation are sent to the Royal Courts of Justice and the change of name is put on public record and advertised in the London Gazette. Enrolment costs £36 per adult/child and cheques are payable to HMCTS. Enrolment provides absolute proof that a person's name was changed which is necessary to update a name on some documents (e.g. a child's passport).

 

I) CHANGE OF NAME DEED POLL FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ADULT

Any individual over the age of 18 has the right to change their own name in the United Kingdom. A signed and witnessed Change of Name Deed Poll enables a person to get official documents and records changed to the new name including a passport, driving licence, bank and building society accounts, credit cards, medical records, HMRC records etc.

Enrolment of a Change of Name Deed Poll for an adult

There is no legal requirement to enrol a Change of Name Deed Poll and this Change of Name Deed Poll will be sufficient to change a person's name.

In order for a Change of Name Deed Poll to be enrolled, a Statutory Declaration (included in this document) with supporting documentation (detailed below) and a Notice to the London Gazette (included in this document) must be sent with the Change of Name Deed Poll in order to enrol the change of name.

The Statutory Declaration must be signed under oath by a person who owns a home in the United Kingdom and who has known the person who is changing their name for at least 10 years (a "Declarant"). The Statutory Declaration must exhibit the following supporting documentation:

  • Exhibit A : Copy of the signed and witnessed Change of Name Deed Poll;
  • Exhibit B : Copy of Proof of Citizenship of the adult (e.g. a birth certificate);
  • (If applicable) Exhibit C: Copy of the Marriage Certificate (if married) or Copy of the Civil Partnership Licence (if a civil partner) or Copy of the Decree Nisi (if divorced) or Copy of the Order of Dissolution of the Civil Partnership (if a civil partnership was dissolved).

The following wording must be written on each Exhibit:

"This is the Exhibit marked "A" (or "B" or "C") referred to in the Declaration of

(Declarant's name)

declared before me

(name of solicitor, notary public, etc.)

this (day) day of (month) in the year (year)."

The Statutory Declaration must be SIGNED AND SWORN UNDER OATH in the presence of either a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, a notary public or an officer of the Senior Court. A fee will be chargeable for this service. Separate arrangements must therefore be made for the Statutory Declaration to be sworn under oath.

If the person changing their name is married or is in a civil partnership then the spouse or civil partner must give their consent to the change of name. If the spouse or civil partner is not available to sign this document, then the person changing their name can simply send a written notice (letter by registered mail) to their spouse or civil partner notifying them of the change of name. This written notice to the spouse or civil partner must then be included in the application to enrol the change of name.

There may be circumstances where the person cannot send a written notice to their spouse or civil partner, such circumstances may be:

  • The person is separated from their spouse or civil partner and does not have their contact details;
  • The person's spouse or civil partner has a 'no contact'/restraining court order issued against them;
  • The person has no contact with their spouse or civil partner due to domestic violence and/or abuse.

In such circumstances, the person must seek the services of a solicitor to prepare an affidavit confirming the reasons why the notice of change of name cannot be given to the spouse or civil partner. This affidavit must then be included in the application to enrol the change of name.

 

II) CHANGE OF NAME DEED POLL FOR AN INDIVIDUAL CHILD

If a child under 18 is changing their name, then the Change of Name Deed Poll must made by at least one of the child's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) on behalf of the child. All other persons with parental responsibility for the child must give their consent to the child's change of name.

Enrolment of Change of Name Deed Poll for a child

Enrolment is necessary if a child's passport needs to be updated to the new name. In order for a Change of Name Deed Poll to be enrolled for a child, a Statutory Declaration (included in this document) with supporting documentation (detailed below), an Affidavit of Best Interest (included in this document) and a Notice to the London Gazette (included in this document) must be sent with the Change of Name Deed Poll in order to enrol the change of name.

If a person with parental responsibility is unavailable to give consent, then the services of a solicitor must be used to prepare an affidavit attesting why a person with parental responsibility is unable to give consent. This affidavit must then be included in the application to enrol the change of name.

The Statutory Declaration must be signed under oath by a person who owns a home in the United Kingdom and who has known the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) who have applied for the change of name of the child for at least 10 years. The Statutory Declaration must exhibit the following documents:

  • Exhibit A : Copy of the signed and witnessed Change of Name Deed Poll;
  • Exhibit B : Copy of the Proof of Citizenship of the child (e.g. birth certificate).

The following wording must be written on each Exhibit:

"This is the Exhibit marked "A" (or "B") referred to in the Declaration of

(Declarant's name)

declared before me

(name of solicitor, commissioner for oath etc)

this (day) day of (month) in the year (year)."

The Statutory Declaration AND Affidavit of Best Interest must be SIGNED AND SWORN UNDER OATH in the presence of a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, a notary public, or an officer of the Senior Court. A fee will be chargeable for this service. Separate arrangements must therefore be made for the Statutory Declaration and Affidavit of Best Interest to be sworn under oath.

 

III) CHANGE OF NAME DEED POLL TO CHANGE THE SURNAME OF A FAMILY WITH A CHILD or CHILDREN

In situations where a family is seeking to change their surname then this Change of Name Deed Poll can be used to change each family member's surname at the same time.

Enrolment of a Change of Name Deed Poll for a family

In order for a family Change of Name Deed Poll to be enrolled, a Statutory Declaration for a family (included in this document) with supporting documentation (detailed below), an Affidavit of Best Interest (included in this document) and Notices to the London Gazette (included in this document) must be sent with the Change of Name Deed Poll in order to enrol the change of name.

The Statutory Declaration must be signed under oath by a person who owns a home in the United Kingdom and who has known the adult family members for at least 10 years (a "Declarant"). The Declarant should also know the child/children whose surname is also being changed. The Statutory Declaration must exhibit the following supporting documentation:

  • Exhibit "A" : Copy of the signed and witnessed Change of Name Deed Poll;
  • Exhibit "#" : Copies of Proof of Citizenship for ALL adults and ALL children (e.g. birth certificates). Each certificate must be exhibited separately with its own identifying letter. Check the Statutory Declaration as this states the Exhibit letter for each certificate.
  • (If applicable) Exhibit "#" : Copy of the Marriage Certificate (if married) or Copy of the Civil Partnership Licence (if a civil partner) or Copy of the Decree Nisi (if divorced) or Copy of the Order of Dissolution of the Civil Partnership (if a civil partnership was dissolved). Check the Statutory Declaration as this states the Exhibit letter for the document.

The following wording must be written on each Exhibit:

"This is the Exhibit marked "A" (or "B" or "C" or "D" etc.) referred to in the Declaration of

(Declarant's name)

declared before me

(name of solicitor, notary public, etc.)

this (day) day of (month) in the year (year)."

The Statutory Declaration AND Affidavit of Best Interest must be SIGNED AND SWORN UNDER OATH in the presence of a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, a notary public or an officer of the Senior Court. A fee will be chargeable for this service. Separate arrangements must therefore be made for the Statutory Declaration and Affidavit of Best Interest to be sworn under oath.

 

IV) CHANGE OF NAME DEED POLL FOR A MARRIED COUPLE OR COUPLE IN A CIVIL PARTNERSHIP

In a case where a couple is seeking to change their surname then this Change of Name Deed Poll can be used to change both surnames at the same time.

Enrolment of a Change of Name Deed Poll for a couple

There is no legal requirement for couples to enrol a Change of Name Deed Poll and this Change of Name Deed Poll will be sufficient to change a couple's surname.

In order for a Change of Name Deed Poll to be enrolled, the Statutory Declarations (one per person and included in this document) with supporting documentation (detailed below) and the Notices to the London Gazette (one per person and included in this document) must be sent with the Change of Name Deed Poll in order to enrol the change of name.

Each Statutory Declaration must be signed under oath by a person who owns a home in the United Kingdom and who has known the adult who is changing their surname for at least 10 years (a "Declarant"). Each Statutory Declaration must exhibit the following supporting documentation:

  • Exhibit A : Copy of the signed and witnessed Change of Name Deed Poll;
  • Exhibit B : Copy of Proof of Citizenship of the adult e.g. a birth certificate;
  • Exhibit C : Copy of the Marriage Certificate (if married) or Copy of the Civil Partnership Licence (if in a civil partnership).

The following wording must be written on each Exhibit:

"This is the Exhibit marked "A" (or "B" or "C") referred to in the Declaration of

(Declarant's name)

declared before me

(name of solicitor, notary public, etc.)

this (day) day of (month) in the year (year)."

Each Statutory Declaration must be SIGNED AND SWORN UNDER OATH in the presence of a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, a notary public, or an officer of the Senior Court. Such persons will charge a fee for this service. Separate arrangements must therefore be made for each Statutory Declaration to be sworn under oath.


How to use this document

Select the type of document that is required at the beginning i.e. name of an individual adult, name of an individual child, surname of a family, surname of a married couple or surname of couple in a civil partnership.

If the Change of Name Deed Poll is NOT being enrolled

The Change of Name Deed Poll should be completed in full, printed and signed where indicated in the signature section. As this document is a deed, the signature(s) need to be witnessed by one independent person. The witness should sign and complete the information as indicated in the witness signature section of the Change of Name Deed Poll.

The applicant(s) may now proceed to change their name on their passport, driving licence, bank and building society accounts, credit cards, medical records, HMRC records etc.

If the Change of Name Deed Poll is being enrolled

The applicant(s) must find a person who has known them for at least 10 years and who owns a home in the United Kingdom (the "Declarant") and who is available to sign the Statutory Declaration(s) that accompany the Change of Name Deed Poll.

The Change of Name Deed Poll should then be completed in full, printed and signed by the adult applicant(s). As the document is being enrolled, the signature(s) need to be witnessed by TWO independent people. Such witnesses should sign and complete the information as indicated in each witness signature section of the Change of Name Deed Poll.

If the applicant is married or in a civil partnership, a Change of Name Deed Poll for an adult must be signed by the applicant's spouse or civil partner. The spouse or civil partner should sign where indicated in the signature section of the Change of Name Deed Poll. If the spouse or civil partner is unavailable, a letter of notification of the change of name to the spouse/civil partner or an Affidavit stating why notice cannot be given can be included in the application.

A Change of Name Deed Poll for a family or child should also be signed by any child who is aged over 16 whose signature(s) must also be witnessed by TWO independent people. The document must also be signed by any person who has parental responsibility who is not named at the beginning of the document. Such persons should sign where indicated in the signature section of the Change of Name Deed Poll.

This Statutory Declaration should be prepared with the Exhibits as set out above. The applicant(s) then need to arrange for the Statutory Declaration(s) and any Affidavit of Best Interest (if children's names are being changed) to be sworn in front of a solicitor, commissioner for oaths, a notary public or an officer of the Senior Court. Such persons will charge a fee for this service.

The signed and witnessed Change of Name Deed Poll, the sworn Statutory Declaration(s) with marked Exhibits; the Notice(s) to the London Gazette; if applicable, the sworn Affidavit of Best Interest and a cheque should be sent by registered mail to the address stated on the UK Government's website.

The applicant(s) will then receive confirmation of the enrolled change of name and a copy (or copies if more than one person) of the London Gazette evidencing that the change of name was advertised. The applicant(s) may now proceed to change their name on their passport, driving licence, bank and building society accounts, credit cards, medical records, HMRC records etc.

There is no time limit within which an applicant for a change of name needs to apply for enrolment, this can be done at any time following execution of the change of name documentation.


Applicable law

Human Rights Act 1998

British Nationalities Act 1981

Enrolment of Deeds (Change of Name) Regulations 1994

Statutory Declarations Act 1835

Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 s 1(2), (3)


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