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How To Change Your Name By Deed Poll – What Do You Need To Know?

Last updated May 15 2024 | Legal

by Alex Grist

by Alex Grist

Trainee Solicitor

In this article

people used a deed poll in the last 10 years

How do you change your name via deed poll?

When it comes to changing your name by deed poll, there are two options which are:

1. Enrolled deed poll.

If you’re 18 or over, you can enrol your deed poll. While there is no legal requirement to enrol it, there are several benefits, which include:

  • Your new name will be put on public record.
  • An original copy of the deed poll will be kept by a government body.
  • Acts as evidence of your name change to present to government departments, for example, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
  • All organisations will accept the deed poll.

Our solicitors will always advise you to get your deed poll officially enrolled.

2. Unenrolled deed poll.

If you’re 16 or over, you can change your name through an unenrolled deed poll. However, an unenrolled deed poll won’t be put on public record, and although U.K. government organisations accept an unenrolled deed poll, not all organisations will.

How can I ensure my deed poll application is valid?

There are numerous steps you must get through to ensure that your deed poll application is valid. You must:

1. Prove citizenship. In the U.K., the deed poll for your new name must include proof that you’re a British or Commonwealth citizen. You can prove your citizenship by producing one of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate.
  • Certificate of citizenship by registration.
  • Any other document that proves your citizenship.

2. Specify marital status. Your deed poll must specify your marital status, describing yourself as single, married, divorced, widowed, a civil partner or a former civil partner. Suppose you’re no longer a civil partner, it’s essential to specify whether this partnership ended on death or dissolution.

In a circumstance where you’re married or in a civil partnership, your poll must include your spouse’s or civil partner’s consent. Consent can be evidenced by:

  • Notice of your intention to apply for enrolment of the deed poll has been given to your spouse or civil partner; and
  • Consent to the change of name has been received from your spouse or civil partner.

3. Get a witnessing. Finally, you will need to include a statutory declaration in the deed poll. The declaration needs to meet specific requirements. The declaration must be made by a Commonwealth citizen who is a householder in the U.K. and state that they’re a qualifying citizen and that they are a U.K. householder.

Furthermore, the declarant must also declare the length of time they have known the applicant for the name change. The declarant must also identify the applicant as the person referred to in the attached documents.

Remember...

The applicant must complete a deed poll with a signature of both their old and new name.

Who can witness a deed poll?

When you sign to change your name, you will need a witness who meets specific requirements. These requirements include:

  • Aged 18 years or more and is resident in the U.K.
  • Someone who knows who you are.
  • Not a relative, partner, or someone you live with.
  • Has sound mental capacity. The witness must have the ability to make decisions for themselves, without being affected by any impairment or disturbance of the mind, whether permanent or temporary.

On top of this, the witness must be physically present when you sign to change your name.

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Like it, share it.

If you found the contents of this blog useful, please feel free to share it on social media. Sharing our article helps others in need find the same information.