Deed Poll (2 Options, Free Expert Advice)

What is a Deed Poll?

As stated on the UK Government website, “a deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name.

You can change any part of your name, add or remove names and hyphens, or change spelling.”

Changing Your Name by Deed Poll

Obtaining a legally recognised title is extremely difficult and requires very deep pockets, marriage into a noble family, or recognition of outstanding service to the nation.


In any country that recognises a deed poll as a valid legal document, typically those who have inherited the English common law, you can use a deed poll to change your name.

Subject to good faith, you can change your name to anything you want. Changing your legal name to include “Lord”, “Lady”, or “Laird” as part of your name is easy!

How to Change Name by Deed Poll

Changing your name is easy. There are two options.

  1. Create your own document at home, using the required wording, or
  2. Use a deed poll service

You should use copies of your deed poll document to have your name changed on all your official documents, including your driving licence, passport, and bank cards.

Note that you cannot change birth certificates and certificates from educational institutions.

The Process

You must create a document detailing your current name and address, your choice of new name, and the details of two witnesses. The document must show the date.

This page includes an example.

Note that this document does not on its own count as evidence of your identity.

Unenrolled Deed Poll

You can make an unenrolled deed poll if you’re 16 or older. It may not be accepted by some organisations.

Enrolled Deed Poll

If you wish your new name to be a matter of public record, you must “enrol” it at the Royal Courts of Justice. You may only enrol your own name change if you’re 18 or older.

You must pay by cheque to His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service; enquire with this service regarding the current amount payable.

Enrolling your deed poll application is a much more complicated procedure than using an unenrolled one. It is also a more costly and slow process.

Do I Need a Solicitor?

You do not need a solicitor or a professional service, but they can help you get it right for a fee.

Are Deed Polls Free?

You can create your own change of name document for free, but if it doesn’t look like a proper certificate then some organisations may not accept it. This is why so many people choose a professional supplier. We offer a professionally designed certificate with the required wording, printed on high quality paper.

Do You Need an Enrolled Deed Poll for Official Documents?

Most organisations and all government departments accept unenrolled deed polls, so you do not need an enrolled one for official documents.

Will the Passport Office Accept Unenrolled Deed Polls?

Yes, these are accepted by all government departments. You will be issued a passport as you would any other official document.

Your deed poll can be used with a passport in your new name as evidence of your identity.

Who Can Witness a Deed Poll?

You must have two witnesses sign your document; they must both be over 18.

Although not required by the UK government, some organisations won’t accept family members or people who live at the same address as you as witnesses.

Which Is the Official Deed Poll Service in the UK?

There is no official service because the process is legal rather than official.

This UK government page gives you the information you need about how to change your name, including a downloadable form.

Changing Names on a Marriage Certificate by Deed Poll

Following a marriage, many women wish to take their husband’s surname.

If you enter a marriage or civil partnership, you can use a deed poll to change your name or send a copy of your civil partnership or marriage certificate to record-holders, who should update your documents free of charge.

What Happens in the Case of Divorce?

In the case of divorce, it is generally possible to revert to your maiden name by sending copies of both your marriage certificate and decree absolute to record holders.

Should you end your civil partnership, you can usually reverse your name change by sending a copy of your civil partnership certificate and final order to record holders.

However, whether you were in a marriage or civil partnership, some organisations do not recognise a decree absolute of divorce or a final order as evidence and thus require a deed poll to reverse your change of name.

Can Children Change Their Name by Deed Poll?

Children under the age of 16 can legally change their name by deed poll, provided that everyone who has parental responsibility has given their approval, including legal guardians.

If someone under 18 wishes to enrol their name change, they require the consent of everyone with parental responsibility.

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Restrictions on Changing a Name

You can change your name for various reasons. Some people even do it for fun! Even if you only wish to rearrange current forenames or remove names, you must use a deed poll.

However, you may only use a deed poll to change your name if you have adequate mental capacity.

You are assumed to be mentally capable unless you demonstrably cannot understand or retain information conveyed to you regarding your decision and communicate your decision verbally or in writing.

If you wish to change your child’s name to that of a different culture or religion, the courts or other official bodies may prohibit this, for example, because it cuts your child off from their roots.

If you are a UK resident, you can use a deed poll to change your name; UK citizens abroad cannot. If you are still determining whether you qualify, please seek further information.

Who Do I Need to Inform After a Name Change?

Once you officially change your name, you must inform all government departments, organisations, and companies who hold your records and thus act as your record holders.

Most record-holders will accept a photocopy; HM Passport Office and financial institutions require a legal copy of your deed poll, as does the DVLA to issue you a driving licence in your new name.

You should inform HM Revenue and Customs regarding your national insurance records and the financial service providers in charge of your retirement accounts.

If you have any criminal actions against you or are on the Violent and Sex Offenders Register, you must inform the police. Failure to do so constitutes a crime.