How to Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK)

One Methods:People to Inform

If you're a British citizen, you have the right to be known by almost any name you want. You can get a deed poll from a solicitor, a specialist agency, or you can draw it up yourself.


  1. Image titled Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK) Step 1
    Choose a new name for yourself. You can change your surname, forename, middle names, or all of the above. If you're under 16, you'll need to get a parent or guardian to change your name for you. You must have at least two names, and they must be pronounceable and not offensive or blasphemous, and you can't pick a first name that makes it look like you have a title that you don't actually have (e.g. Princess, Doctor).
  2. 2
    Formally document your change of name with a deed poll. You can get a deed poll in one of the following ways[1]:
    • Download and fill in the appropriate form from the Ministry of Justice website (note that that this form is for when you intend to enroll your deed poll in the Central Office of the Senior Courts of England and Wales)
      Image titled Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK) Step 2Bullet1
    • Search online for 'deed poll' and find a specialist agency - there are a range of DIY and professional services online.
      Image titled Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK) Step 2Bullet2
    • Find a solicitor
      Image titled Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK) Step 2Bullet3
    • Write out your own deed poll. At its simplest, this is just a document in which you promise to only use your new name (and not your old name) from now on.
      Image titled Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK) Step 2Bullet4
      • The following wording is sufficient:[2]
        Change of name deed by [former name] of [address]
        I have given up my name [former name] and have adopted for all purposes the name [new name].
        Signed as a deed on [date] as [former name] and [new name] in the presence of [witness's name, signature and address].
      • Print your deed poll onto nice, heavy paper or parchment. Government bodies will reject deed polls that have been written on the back of napkins. Make a few copies - this way you will have multiple "originals" which will help with a later step.
      • Sign your deed poll using your new and old names, and get two witnesses to countersign. The witnesses should be people who know you well, but who aren't related to you.
  3. Image titled Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK) Step 3
    Send off your deed poll (or photocopies of them) to everybody who has your name in their records. Some organisations (such as the Identity & Passport Service, the DVLA, and the Inland Revenue) will need to see the original document, so make sure you have multiple "originals".
  4. Image titled Change Your Name by Deed Poll (UK) Step 4
    You can start using your new name immediately, but it might take a while before everybody else does! Make a list of everybody who needs to know your new name; start with government bodies like the Identity & Passport Service and DVLA, because these will give you photographic ID in your new name, which will be useful for proving your identity to others.

People to Inform

  • Identity & Passport Service
  • DVLA
  • Any other photo ID
  • Your employer, school, college, or university
  • Banks, building societies, credit cards, and mortgage providers
  • Insurance companies
  • Finance and loan companies
  • Utility companies (gas, water, sewerage, electricity, telephone, mobile telephone, Internet, etc.)
  • Inland Revenue (ensure that they update your National Insurance records, too)
  • GP & dentist. They will update your NHS record on your behalf.
  • Professional bodies, memberships, clubs and societies
  • TV Licensing
  • HM Land Registry (if you own land or property)
  • Your local authority (for council tax payment, electoral roll, etc.)
  • Investment companies, premium bonds, pension funds, etc.
  • Store cards and reward schemes
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Online accounts and social networking profiles, if appropriate
  • Police (if you have outstanding criminal convictions or are on the Sex Offenders' Register)


  • Don't forget to practise your new signature!
  • It might take you a while to get used to people calling you by your new name - and for others to recognise it


  • For the rest of your life, you'll always have to fill in the box that asks "Have you ever been known by any previous names?"
  • There's no official "deed poll agency" in the UK - don't be fooled by people who pretend that they are!
  • It's illegal to change your name in an attempt to commit fraud (e.g. to pretend to be somebody else, or to avoid a creditor)

Sources and Citations

  1. Change your name (by deed poll) - GOV.UK
  2. Adler, Mark. Clarity for lawyers. 2nd edition. London: Law Society, 2007, pages 185-186. via Wikipedia

Article Info

Categories: Wills and Testaments