To Deed Poll or not to Deed Poll | Name Change Made Easy How To Change Your Name

To Deed Poll or not to Deed Poll

A Helpful Guide to Determine When a Deed Poll is Needed to Legally Change your Name


A Helpful Guide to Determine When a Deed Poll is Needed to Legally Change your Name

There are many reasons why people assume a different first, middle or last name. Most name changes happen after a life event such as marriage, divorce or gender change.

Changing your name is a big step and the start of new beginnings. But, the process of going about changing names can be very confusing and somewhat daunting. One of the most commonly asked questions is, “do I need a deed poll or not?” We’ve even created the UK’s only deed poll and name change package. Learn more here.

At NameSwitch, we help thousands of people switch names every year and so we’ve constructed this guide which is based on our extensive experience in this field.

What types of name change require a deed poll? To begin with, let’s look at the situations which are relatively straight forward.

DOES NOT Require a Deed Poll

DOES Require a Deed Poll

The grey areas

There are a couple of scenarios which are not so black-and-white.

Reverting to your Maiden Name Before Your Divorce is Final

As covered in our divorce guide , you only need a decree absolute and not a deed poll if you want to revert to your maiden name after divorce.

However, if you reclaim your maiden name before your divorced is issued you may run into difficulties. Although the law allows you to reassume your maiden name at any time without providing a reason, the vast majority of companies such as The Passport Office, DVLA and banks are unable to process your name change request without a legally recognised document as supporting evidence.

While it may be frustrating, we suggest that you wait until your divorce is final before changing names. If you’re determined to revert to your maiden name before your divorce comes through, get a deed poll so that you can state divorce as your reason for the change - you’ll then have your deed poll as documentary evidence.

If you choose the latter, we recommend that you seek qualified legal advice if you own an account that is considered a shared asset or has financial implications (e.g. loans, credit cards, bank accounts, mortgage and property).

Removing a given first, middle or part of a double-barrelled surname

Having this accepted by Government bodies without a deed poll is a bit hit and miss. If you wish to go down this route, we recommend that you prioritise your official ID first (Drivers Licence and Passport) so that if anyone questions you dropping one of your given names you have additional evidence to show that this has been accepted by key government bodies.

However, please do not apply for a new passport without proof of use - the Passport office will need to see either your driver’s licence, a bank statement, council tax statement or utility bill in your new name.

If you would prefer to have 100% reassurance that your name change requests will be accepted without any bumps or questions, we would recommend that you apply for a deed poll if you find yourself in a grey area scenario.

NameSwitch’s Pro Tips

Pro Tip 1: For couples who are planning a combined name change (ie meshing names to create a brand new team name), having one party change their name before the marriage will save the time and cost of a second deed poll. The other spouse can then assume their new name after the marriage. Timing and sequence is key here as you should have your deed poll well in advance of giving notice as well as having at least one official form of ID changed into your new name. This would also be the ideal time to let your wedding guests know what you will be called from this day forth.

Pro Tip 2: Get copies! Always request several official original copies (we recommend between 2-4 copies) of your marriage certificate or deed poll. This will allow you to notify multiple companies simultaneously.

Pro Tip 3: The Passport Office need to see your original deed poll as well as ‘proof of use’ – ie either your driver’s licence, a bank statement, council tax statement or utility bill in your new name. Tackle one of those before applying for a new passport.

How can NameSwitch help with Deed Poll?

Legally change your name without the cost of a solicitor, and with no hidden fees at checkout.

We offer the UK’s only Deed Poll Bundle that includes a name-change toolkit. Our Premium Print Package comes with 4 x high quality original deed polls and all the letters, forms, and personalised instructions you’ll need to inform a vast array of UK-based companies and government bodies of your name change. All securely delivered to your home via Royal Mail tracked service. Find out more.

We also offer a stand-alone Adult Deed Poll package, which will supply you with 2 x high quality original deed polls, a free name change checklist and a personalised name change request letter template. There are also number of optional add-ons. Find out more.

How can NameSwitch help?

The average name changer notifies approximately 24 different government bodies, local authorities, and companies. Figuring out who needs what can be daunting and takes 14 hours on average! Most name changers find this process tedious and overly complicated.

NameSwitch has created a UK first and only award-winning namechange toolkit to help simplify this process. Change your name with speed and ease saving you so much time and with peace of mind that you’ll get it right first time.

In just 3 easy steps you can select who you need to notify from 700 government bodies, local authorities, and companies. You only need to enter your details once. You’ll have instant access to download your pre-populated name change letters, forms and personalised instructions ready for you to print and sign.

Need our expert advice? Why not check out our FAQs or Get in touch with our UK-based support team for a human response - we are here to help.

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Looking for our guides?

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Learn how to change your name on your drivers licence, on your Facebook account and how to handle updating your COVID pass along with your passport


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