General FAQs | Changing Your Driving Licence Name | Changing Your Passport Name
Once you receive the documents from us, you need to sign your Deed Poll along with a witness and then notify all relevant bodies and record holders like HM Passport Office, DVLA, employers, utility companies, doctors, banks, etc. about your change of name. These bodies will update their records and the whole process should take approximately 1 week. We will send you a list of all record holders that you may wish to notify with your Deed Poll.
You should first update those records that are most important to you. Most people update their passport first because they view this as being a quasi-identity document. This may be a good start, as HM Passport Office are renowned for carefully checking that you have all necessary documents in place before they issue a passport. As a result, some other organisations often accept a new passport as strong evidence of your change of name, and in some instances will not insist on seeing your passport or Deed Poll if you give permission that they check directly with HM Passport Office.
However, in some instances, HM Passport Office (and/or the Foreign Office) will insist that you send them some other evidence of your name change before they will update your passport. This would be the case if they did not believe that you really intended to change your name for all purposes. This might, for instance, be the case if your new name is very unusual, or if you are changing the gender in your passport.
Most record-holders will require you to send them the original Deed Poll – a photocopy will often not be sufficient. As a result, we provide you with “duplicate copies” for an extra £3.75 each and most of our customers order at least 10-15 duplicate copies when they apply for a Deed Poll. As long as these duplicate copies are signed and witnessed, or “executed” in the same way, they will be treated like the original. When we send your Deed Poll to you, we will also enclose further documents to help you to notify everyone of your change of name. These documents will include a page of information, describing exactly how you should sign your Deed Poll, date it and have it witnessed. These documents will also include a list of organisations that you should consider notifying, and a sample cover letter that you can copy and adapt for each organisation that you decide to notify.
If your employer, or future employer, asks you directly or through their application form if you have ever been known by another name, you must tell the truth, or it may affect your employment. However, in general you will not have to disclose a previous name, unless there is an intention to defraud someone.
It is likely that potential employers will ask if you had a different name in the past. This is because they are likely to want to do checks on you. They may well need to know your previous names, for instance, in order to verify your references, past employment history, education and qualifications. You should always be truthful when replying to any such questions from your employer or potential employer, or it may adversely affect your employment.
Your CRB check is now called a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service). You will not need to update your CRB/DBS check. However, if you subsequently apply for a new DBS check, you will be asked to provide details of any previous names.
You may change details on a birth certificate only in very limited circumstances, and different rules apply in different areas of the UK. In England and Wales, Birth Certificates are considered to be “matter of fact” - it was correct at the time it was provided - so the details can only usually be changed if a mistake was made upon registration. The same typically applies to certificates of education and professional qualifications.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, you may have the option to change the name on a Birth Certificate. For instance, for adults, it is possible once you have been using your new name for at least 2 years. However, there are some disadvantages to doing so. For example, you may still want to prove that in the past your name was different and your unchanged Birth Certificate would more easily allow you to do so. If your birth was registered in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can still change your name by Deed Poll.
No, like your Birth Certificate, school and other certificates are usually considered to be a “matter of fact”; as long as they were correct at the time they were issued, they will not generally be updated with your new name. If you need to show your certificates to someone and the name is different, you simply show your Birth Certificate, or some other evidence of your previous name, at the same time. However, you may want to notify your school or university of your change of name, as you may still be receiving correspondence from them or other associations connected with them.
No, you cannot change your National Insurance number, but you should notify the HMRC of your change of name, and ask them to update their records, especially in relation to your NI number. You can do this by going online to www.hmrc.gov.uk/individuals/change-of-circs.htm and clicking on “Report a change of name or address” that appears about half-way down the page, or by telephoning the helpline at 0300 200 3500, between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday, except on bank holidays.
You should fill in the change of name details on section 6 of your V5C registration certificate for your car and sign at section 8. Then send this V5C to the DVLA at the address, Swansea, SA99 1BA.
Your new log book should arrive within 4 weeks.
No. Once you have your Deed Poll, you must apply for a new passport from HM Passport Office if you intend to travel abroad. Then you have to send your Deed Poll, along with an application form, the fee, and all of the other necessary documents, to HM Passport Office.
Your new passport will not usually mention your previous name, except in some very limited situations. For instance, if you have gotten married and continued to use your maiden name professionally, or if your new name would not normally be considered by HM Passport Office to be a name, then your previous name will be noted as an observation in your new passport.
Some visas will automatically expire when your passport is renewed. You should check with the relevant Embassy to learn what happens to their visas, and if they still require you to have a visa before they will allow you to travel there. If your visa expires and you are still required to have one, you will have to apply for a new one before you travel to that country.
A deed poll issued by our office can be used to obtain a new British passport. However, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to obtain the passport of the other country as well. You will want to check the procedures accepted by the respective countries. Few countries, like British Commonwealth, may accept the deed poll issued by us. However, countries like Italy have a different procedure and will require you to follow a different process.
If you are a UK national, you are living in the UK, and:
If you are not a UK national, but you are living in the UK and you get married in the UK, you can still use a Deed Poll, but this will only potentially be effective for updating your documents and records in the UK. Even updating your documents in the UK may be dependent on whether or not you can update your passport whilst in the UK. This is because, to update your documents in the UK, you must be changing your name “for all purposes” and if you cannot update your passport, you may not be able to show that you have changed your name “for all purposes”.
In order to update your passport, documents and records in your country of origin, you will have to follow the procedure in your country of origin. We recommend that you check with your Embassy or High Commission in the UK to learn what the procedure for you would be. You should ask if your country of origin would accept your change of name by Deed Poll, if they will issue a new passport and if they have any special requirements for your Deed Poll to be recognised. For instance, they may require your Deed Poll to be witnessed by a solicitor, or “legalised.” For further information, please visit our “Certified, Legalised, and Duplicate Deed Poll Copies” page.
If your marriage was not in the UK and your certificate is not in English, you may need to have it officially translated by an accredited translator, or you can change your name by Deed Poll and use the Deed Poll to change the name on your documents in the UK. As you are the national of another country, you will also have to follow the procedure for changing your name on your documents and passport in that other country (see above).
Whatever the requirements are in your country of origin, you should always ensure that your passport, travel bookings and tickets are all in the same name before you travel, or you may be denied entry into a country, or refused passage on an aircraft. Also, if your travel between countries involves use of a visa, some visas may automatically expire when a passport is renewed. You should bear this in mind when updating your passport, if, for instance, your return to the UK depends upon the inclusion of a valid visa.
If you are a UK national, but you are living abroad, how you change the name on your passport will depend upon what your new name will be. You will be subject to the rules set out above that relate to your proposed change of name.
As you are living abroad, you should consider carefully how best to change the name on your passport, as your passport, travel bookings and tickets must always be in the same name. If they are not, you may be denied entry into another country or refused passage by an airline or other transport provider. If you want to update your passport whilst visiting the UK, you will need to have an address in the UK for long enough for the passport to reach you there. Alternatively, you could use the premium one-day service at HM Passport Office and apply in person and make an appointment in advance for a specific day and time. If you are not visiting the UK, you can apply for a new passport through the Foreign Office, British Embassy or High Commission. Any such bodies will accept a Deed Poll, but generally advise that it must be witnessed by a solicitor or notary public, which will increase your costs. You will also have to provide other documentary evidence and should check first with the relevant office which documents you will need.
If your marriage takes place abroad and your certificate is not in English, you will have to have it officially translated by an accredited translator, or you can change your name by Deed Poll and use the Deed Poll to change the name on your passport. If you are also the national of another country, you will also have to follow the procedure for changing your name in that other country.
No, you only need to have a passport if you are traveling abroad. However, some organisations or bodies that hold records about you may insist on seeing your updated passport, as evidence of your name change.
Yes, you can use your Deed Poll abroad to provide proof of your change of name, however, you may need to have it witnessed by a solicitor or Notary Public, and you may also need to have it legalised; it will depend on the requirements of the body/organisation abroad that you wish to provide your Deed Poll to.
Please remember that a Deed Poll does not replace a passport for the purposes of crossing over into another country, and you must always ensure that your passport, travel tickets, insurance, visas and other travel documents are in the same name. If they are not all in the same name, you may be refused entry onto your aeroplane or have difficulties with border control authorities and customs.