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    Information and advice about how to officially change your legal name by Deed Poll
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About Deed Polls
What is a Deed Poll?
Why is it called a Deed Poll?
What is the purpose of a Deed Poll?
Who can apply for a Deed Poll?
How long does the process take?
Can I change my child's name?
Can a birth certificate be changed?
Are there any restrictions on names?
Is a Deed Poll registered anywhere?
Why do people change their name?
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Applying for a Deed Poll
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General name change information
A woman's rights upon marriage
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A woman's rights upon divorce
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A child's rights upon adoption
Adding a middle name
Advice for transsexuals
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Changing your name on your passport
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About Deed Polls
How long does the process take?

Although it is possible to be in possession of your Deed Poll documentation within the hour (using our Premium one-hour while-you-wait service), the whole process of changing your name will probably take you at least two weeks to accomplish.  This is because the process is not complete until you have notified record holders (government departments, companies and organisations that hold your name records) of your name change by showing them your Deed Poll document.

Changing your name (or your child's name) by Deed Poll is a two-step process and the time it takes varies according to two principal factors:

  • How you apply (and the delivery service you request).
  • How long you take to notify record holders of your name change.
How you apply
The first step is to apply for your Deed Poll documentation, which you can do online, by post, by telephone or in person.  When you complete your application form, you can select one of several postal delivery options ranging from guaranteed next morning delivery (our Express services using Royal Mail's Special Delivery service) to about four working days (our Standard service).  If you apply in person at our offices, you can choose our Premium one-hour while-you-wait service.  If you live outside the United Kingdom, we have three overseas delivery options, the quickest uses FedEx's International Priority service (usually next day delivery to the US and Canada).  For more information about the various ways you can apply for your Deed Poll, please click on this link.

For an application to change a child's name, if you do not have sole parental responsibility, we need to receive a letter of consent signed by everyone with parental responsibility, which can be posted, faxed or scanned and emailed to us.  For further information about changing a child's name, please click on this link.

How long you take to notify record holders of your name change
Secondly, when you receive your Deed Poll documentation, you need to execute it (sign and date your Deed Poll document before an independent witness such as a friend, neighbour or work colleague).  Don't worry, full instructions will be enclosed with your Deed Poll documentation.  You can then use your Deed Poll document to get all your official documents and records changed to your new name, including your passport, driving licence, bank accounts, tax, national insurance and medical records etc.  The time taken to do this will depend on how many record holders you need to notify and how long you take to notify them.  Although the whole process can be accomplished in three weeks, most people take between four and eight weeks.  To see a list of the record holders you may need to notify of your name change, please click on this link.

Please note, your name is not considered to be legally changed until you have used your Deed Poll document to get the majority of your documents and records changed to your new name.  The mere possession of a Deed Poll document does not change your name.

Your passport
Your passport is the only expense you should incur when you change your documents and records to your new name.  Because of the fee for a new passport (currently 72.50 for a 10 year adult passport and 46 for a five year child passport), most people wait until they next need to use their passport before getting it changed.  When you apply, the passport office will give you nine months additional time on your new passport towards any unused time (in excess of nine months) on your current passport.  Therefore, if your current passport has two years remaining when you apply, your new passport will be valid for 10 years and nine months.

Last updated: 20 August 2014

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