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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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General name change information
A woman's rights upon marriage
A man's rights upon marriage
A couple's rights upon a civil partnership
A woman's rights upon separation
A woman's rights upon divorce
A woman's rights upon being widowed
A child's rights upon adoption
Adding a middle name
Advice for transsexuals
An alternative to marriage
A unique gift
Changing your name on your passport
Obtaining a copy of your lost Deed Poll
Who to advise after changing your name

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About Deed Polls
Why do people change their name by Deed Poll?

Here are the most popular reasons for people changing their name by Deed Poll:

Upon separation, women who wish to be known by their maiden name.
Upon divorce, women who find they cannot get all their documents and records changed back to their maiden name without a Deed Poll.
Upon divorce, women with children who want to double-barrel their married surname with their maiden name (thus retaining a name link to their children).
People who have been using a different name to their birth name who want to formalise their name change so that all their official documents and records show the name they have been using.
Unmarried mothers, whose children were registered with the father's surname, wish their children to have their surname following the breakdown of the relationship with the father.
Upon marriage or a civil partnership, the couple choose to have a double-barrelled surname.
Women who change their surname to their partner's and their title to Mrs as an alternative to marriage.
Upon marriage, mothers who already have children from a former relationship want to have the surname of their children changed to the new family surname.
Upon marriage, brides who take their husband's surname want to make their maiden name a middle name.
Upon marriage, couples who wish to "mesh" their surnames to make a new surname (in preference to having a long, double-barrelled surname).
People who have fallen out with their family and no longer wish to be associated by name with their family.
People who don't like their name because it is embarrassing.
Young people, when reaching the age of 16, who wish to change their surname to their mother and step-father's surname (because their father would not consent to their name change when their mother remarried).
People who anglo-cise their name to avoid discrimination, particularly when seeking employment.
People who anglicise their name to make it easier for others to pronounce.
People who wish to add a middle name, usually in recognition or in memory of a respected family member, while others want to include the name of a celebrity or sporting idol in their name.
People who want to make their username on social networking websites their legal name.
People who have researched their family tree and wish to change their surname back to their original family surname.
People who have changed their religion and wish to have a name more appropriate for their religion.
Transsexuals who wish to change their name and title when they decide to live in their new gender.
Entertainers who want to formally use their stage name.
People who wish to have an unusual or a "fun name".

So long as you are not changing your name for fraudulent purposes, it doesn't matter what the reason is - it's your right to be known by whatever name you wish (subject to certain restrictions that are explained on our page Are there any restrictions on names?).

Last updated: 1 February 2010

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