|Information and advice about how to officially change your legal name by Deed Poll|
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About Deed Polls
General name change information
About Deed Polls
Answers to other frequently asked questions (FAQs)
This page contains the answers to 32 frequently asked questions. We suggest you spend a few minutes browsing the questions to see if any are helpful or relevant to you. Certainly, some will be.
Q1: Do I need to send my Deed Poll back to you after I have signed it?
A: You only need to send your Deed Poll back to us if you also order our Legal Copy and Archive Service™. For further information about this recommended service, please click on this link (open pop-up window). If you do not also order our Legal Copy and Archive Service, after you have signed your Deed Poll, you can start using it to get your documents and records changed to your new name.
Q2: Do I need to get a solicitor to witness me sign my Deed Poll?
A: You do not need a solicitor to witness you sign your Deed Poll. Your witness can be anyone so long as they are at least 18 years of age; know you and are independent of you i.e. not a relative or partner or someone living at the same address. A suitable witness would be, for example, a friend, neighbour or work colleague.
If you are not British and live in the United Kingdom, you should check with your Embassy (the passport section in consular services) to ask if your Deed Poll needs to be witnessed by either a solicitor or notary public.
If you are told your Deed Poll needs to be legalised with an Apostille, it will need to be witnessed by a practicing UK solicitor or notary public. See the answer to Q31 below for further information about legalising your Deed Poll.
Q3: Are your Deed Polls accepted by HM Passport Office?
A: Our Deed Polls are accepted by all official UK record holders, including HM Passport Office. In fact, if you call the passport office they will probably give you our details. If you wish to confirm this, you can telephone the passport office's 24 hour Adviceline on 0300 222 0000.
Q4: Are there any other fees payable after I have paid for my Deed Poll?
A: The only other expense we are aware of is the cost of getting your British passport reissued in your new name. Current passport fees are available on the passport office's website or by calling their 24 hour Adviceline on 0300 222 0000.
Q5: Will my new passport and new driving licence mention my previous name?
A: You will receive a brand new passport and driving licence without any mention or reference on them to your previous name.
Q6: I bought a cheap Deed Poll from the Internet and am having problems getting it accepted. If I order a Deed Poll from you, will I have any problems with it?
A: You will not experience any problems with a Deed Poll issued by us. We are by far the main issuer of Deed Poll documentation in the United Kingdom (we have issued over 650,000 Deed Polls during the past 15 years) and our Deed Polls are accepted by everyone. Our Deed Polls are printed on security paper and carry our official seal so there is no question about its authenticity. Unfortunately, we issue many Deed Polls to people who have wasted their money buying from cheap Internet sites.
Q7: Can I use photocopies of my Deed Poll so I don't need to keep sending out the original?
A: All major record holders such as the passport office, DVLA and the financial institutions will need to see either your original Deed Poll or what we call a "legal copy" of it. A legal copy is where we, or a professionally qualified person, certifies that a copy of your Deed Poll is a true copy of the original. Unless you know someone personally who can certify a copy, you will probably be charged for this service. When you apply for your Deed Poll, you can also order our Legal Copy and Archive Service™. The legal copies you will receive from us can be used in lieu of your original Deed Poll document. Furthermore, should you ever lose or mislay your original Deed Poll, you can obtain further legal copies from our archives, which will hold a copy of your original, signed Deed Poll. For further information about our Legal Copy and Archive Service™, please click on this link (open pop-up window).<
Q8: How many legal copies should I order?
A: It is difficult for us to say how many legal copies you should order because we do not know how many major record holders you need to notify of your name change and how quickly you want to get your documents and records changed to your new name. Most clients order just two legal copies (the minimum number) and are happy to wait until they are returned before they use them again to notify other companies and organisations. However, many clients order as many as 25 legal copies because they have a large number of companies and organisations to notify and they want to notify everyone at the same time. The average number of legal copies ordered is five.
I've lost my Deed Poll, where can I get a copy from?
I am trying to find a record of a relative's name change. Can you tell me if
they have changed their name by Deed Poll?
Q11: Will my credit rating be affected if I change my name by Deed Poll?
I am an undischarged bankrupt. Can I change my name by Deed Poll?
I have a criminal record. Can I change my name by Deed Poll?
A: You do not need to notify the Disclosure and Barring Service of your name change. However, if you are required to apply again for a check, you will apply in your new name and enclose your Deed Poll (or legal copy of it) as evidence of your name change.
Please note, the above advice also apples to Disclosure Scotland and AccessNI, which are equivalent government agencies in Scotland and Northern Ireland to the DBS in England and Wales.
My name was changed when I was a child and I now want to revert to my birth
name. Do I need to do this by Deed Poll?
I want to change my name now but I have a holiday booked in my current name. Can I keep my
passport in my old name and change it when I get back?
I was born and live in Scotland and have been told that I cannot change my name by Deed
Poll because the name change procedure is different in Scotland. Is this
Q18: I was married to the father of my daughter when she was born but I do not
know his whereabouts. Can I change my daughter's name without the father's
Q19: I am separated and in the process of divorcing my husband and I now wish to
change my name by Deed Poll to my maiden name. Can I also change my title to Miss or
Q20: I am changing my surname to my boyfriend's
surname. Can I use the title Mrs?
Q21: I am a male-to-female transsexual and wish to change my name by Deed Poll. Will I be able to use the title Miss or Ms?
Q22: Can I have Lord or Sir as my first name?
Q23: Do I need to inform everyone
who knows me that my name has changed?
Q24: Can I get my educational certificates changed after I have changed my name?
Q25: I want to change my name but I want to continue
using my existing name at
work because I have built up a good reputation over the years with my
clients. Can I do this?
I want to change my name but I am a sole trader and my current name is my
business name. Do I need to change my business name after changing my
name by Deed Poll?
A: Yes, you can change your name by Deed Poll and then use it to obtain a new British passport in your new name from the UK Passport Processing Centre that covers the country in which you live. You will then be able to use your new British passport to get your local documents and records changed to your new name. Please note, before you submit your passport application, we suggest you check the website of the UK Passport Processing Centre that covers the country in which you live (a link can be found on the website of your local British Embassy) to check for any special requirements that must be met before you will be issued with a new passport. For example, you may be required to produce two or three documents in your new name to demonstrate you are using your new name for all purposes.
Q28: I live in the UK but I am not a British citizen. Can I use a Deed Poll to change my name?
A: Maybe. Your Deed Poll will get your documents and records changed that have been issued or are held by UK government departments, companies and organisations so long as you can get your passport changed to your new name. This is because you may need to demonstrate to UK record holders that you are changing your name for "all purposes". If you do not get your passport changed, clearly you are not changing your name for all purposes.
Many countries allow their nationals who live in the UK to change their passport using their Deed Poll but we suggest you check with the consular services section of your country's embassy or high commission in London before you apply for your Deed Poll to check if there are any special requirements. For example, the Pakistani High Commission requires its nationals to have their Deed Poll witnessed by a solicitor (cost between £5 and £10). For further information about who can apply for a Deed Poll, please click on this link (opens new window).
Q29: I live in the UK but have dual nationality. Will a Deed Poll get both passports I hold reissued in my new name?
A: Maybe. A Deed Poll issued by us is guaranteed to get your British passport reissued in your new name. However, you need to investigate the procedure for getting your other passport changed by calling the consular services section of the issuing country's embassy or high commission in London.
Many countries, particularly British Commonwealth countries, will accept your Deed Poll as documentary evidence of your name change and will issue you with a passport in your new name. Some countries, Italy for example, will ask you to apply to a court local to where you lived for permission to change your name. The court order issued can be used to obtain a passport in your new name from your embassy.
Q30: I live in the UK but I am a US citizen. Will a Deed Poll get my US passport changed to my new name?
A: The US Embassy in London will accept your original deed poll document so long as a UK solicitor has acted as your witness. Full instructions will be enclosed with your Deed Poll documentation.
Q31: I am getting married abroad and have been told that my Deed Poll and birth certificate must be legalised. What is legalising and what do I need to do?
A: Legalisation is a process whereby the UK government confirms the authenticity of legal documents and certificates issued in the UK. Legalisation enables foreign countries (or their embassies in London) to accept documents such as UK birth certificates and our Deed Poll documents because their authenticity has been confirmed by the UK government. Legalisation overcomes the problem of foreign countries not knowing whether a Deed Poll issued by us is genuine. The legalisation of documents is handled by the Legalisation Office at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. When a document is legalised, an Apostille (certificate) is permanently attached to the document.
When you receive your Deed Poll, you should not sign it immediately but take it to a UK registered and practicing solicitor or a UK registered and practicing notary public who must witness you sign and date your Deed Poll document. You should expect to pay a solicitor about £10 for this but do ask first (a notary public will charge much more). If you have already signed your Deed Poll and had it witnessed by someone other than a solicitor or notary public, you need to take your Deed Poll to a UK registered solicitor or notary public for authenticating. The solicitor or notary public must write (anywhere) on your Deed Poll document "I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of this document." It is important that the solicitor or notary public signs and prints his or her full name under this statement because the FCO will check the solicitor or notary public is registered in the UK. You can then arrange to have your Deed Poll legalised at the Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes.
If you wish us to handle the legalisation of your Deed Poll, please request this in the comments box on your application form. Our fee is shown on our Services available and fees page.
Q32: What is the difference between a Statutory Declaration and a Deed Poll?
A: A Statutory Declaration is a similar document to a Deed Poll but because a Statutory Declaration is a much less known and less used method of changing a person's name, there are sometimes problems with its acceptability. We often issue Deed Polls to people who have been unable to get their Statutory Declaration accepted by everyone. Furthermore, a Statutory Declaration must be sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths or a Justice of the Peace. Therefore, not only can a Statutory Declaration work out more expensive than a Deed Poll prepared by us but you must make an appointment with a local firm of solicitors to swear the document. Our Deed Poll service is more conveniently conducted either entirely online, by post or over the telephone.
Not found the answer you're looking for?
If you have any unanswered questions about changing your name by Deed Poll, please e-mail us. Alternatively, you can call our Helpline (see top of page for our Helpline's phone numbers and hours).
Last updated: 24 October 2018