Changing your name – Deed Poll 

 

In order to change your name on your passport or driving licence etc you need to apply for a Deed Poll. A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name and you can change any part of your name, add or remove names and hyphens, or change the spelling of your name.

Changing your name if you’re 18 or over

If you are over 18 years of age there are two ways in which you can change your name:

  1. Make an unenrolled deed poll, a simple legal statement that you have changed your name.
  2. Apply for an enrolled deed poll, this means that you’re putting your new name on public record.

All government bodies, including HM Passport Office and DVLA, accept either an unenrolled or enrolled deed poll as evidence of your name change.

Unenrolled Deed Poll – General Register Office

You can apply for a change of name(s) or surname through an unenrolled deed poll by filling out the application form at this link: Change of name application form for anyone 18 or over

When signing this form you will need to have this witnessed by one of the following:

  • Justice of the Peace
  • Lay magistrate
  • Practising solicitor

If you are 18 or over you can change your name once and your surname up to three times, but there must be a gap of five years between each change of surname. In order to have the request to change your name processed you will need to bring, or send, the following to the General Register Office for Northern Ireland:

  • Payment of Fee: £35 for name change only, £50 for certificate and name change
  • Completed and witnessed forms
  • A copy of your certified birth certificate

The address and phone number of the General Register Officer for Northern Ireland are below along with opening hours:

NISRA, Colby House
Stranmillis Court
Belfast
BT9 5RR
United Kingdom
Phone 0300 200 7890

Open Mon-Fri 9.30am – 4.00pm

Enrolled Deed Poll – Royal Courts of Justice

To apply for what is known as an enrolled deed poll, you can put your name on public record by enrolling it at the Royal Courts of Justice if you’re 18 or over. Guidance and forms can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-to-change-your-name-forms-loc020-loc021-and-loc025

By Deed Poll, you can officially change any part or your entire name. You can change your forenames, surname (or both), add names, remove names and change the spelling of your names. You can change your name s by Deed Poll as often as you want, at any time and for any reason provided it is not for deceptive or fraudulent purposes. Enrolling a Deed Poll provides a public record of a person’s name as the details of the name change are published in the London Gazette.

To change your name by Deed Poll you will need the following:

  • Change of Name Deed for an Adult Form witnessed by two separate witnesses
  • Statutory Declaration for an adult completed by someone who is not a near relative, spouse or partner; is a British or Commonwealth Citizen; has known you for less no less than 10 years, and is a homeowner; and witnessed by a Solicitor, Commissioner of Oaths or a Senior Court Officer.
  • Notice for the London Gazette for an adult.
  • Copy of Birth Certificate/ Passport/ Certificate of Naturalisation.
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Decree Nisi (if applicable)
  • Payment of fees (£42.44)

Additional information is available at this link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-to-change-your-name-forms-loc020-loc021-and-loc025

Changing your name if you’re under 18

To change the name of a person under 18 there are two options:

  1. Make an unenrolled deed poll by using a specialist deed poll agency or a solicitor. If you are 16 or over you can make this application yourself.
  2. Apply for an enrolled deed poll from the Royal Courts of Justice, this means that you’re putting your new name on public record. This will require the agreement of everyone with parental responsibility.

Some organisations will only accept an enrolled deed poll as proof of a name change. Ask the organisation you’re dealing with which type of deed poll they’ll need.

Unenrolled Deed Poll – General Register Office

If you are 16 or over you can choose to change your name yourself. If you are under 16 this application will have to be made by those with parental responsibility for you. You should speak to a solicitor about making this application. If you require any support or advice on this please contact us.

Enrolled Deed Poll – Royal Courts of Justice

To apply for an enrolled deed poll you will need the agreement of everyone with parental responsibility towards you/the child. The forms required to complete this application can be found here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/change-your-childs-name-forms-loc022-loc023-loc024-and-loc026

To change your name by Deed Poll you will need the following:

  • Change of Name Deed for a Minor form (Deed Poll) completed by the applicant and signed by two separate witnesses.
  • Suggested form of Affidavit of Best Interest completed by those who have parental responsibility and sworn before a Solicitor, commissioner of Oaths or an Officer of the Senior Courts.
  • Statutory Declaration for a Minor completed by the applicant and also how long they have known the child and sworn before a Solicitor, commissioner of Oaths or an Officer of the Senior Courts.
  • Notice for the London Gazette for a Minor
  • Payment of fees (£42.44)

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