AFTER OBTAINING A DEED POLL
After you have signed and witnessed your Deed Poll, you will have to notify all relevant record-holders of your change of name. When we send you your Deed Poll we will also send you a list of such potential record-holders, which is as follows:
- HM Passport Office, if you need a new passport
- DVLA, to change the name on your driving licence
- DVLA, to change the name on your vehicle registration document
- Building Societies
- Credit Card providers
- Store Card providers
- Your employer/s, current and former, if you still have a pension with them
- HM Revenue & Customs, for tax and National Insurance details
- HM Land Registry, if you own any land or property
- The Department for Work & Pensions
- Insurance companies (such as house building, contents, car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, critical illness insurance)
- Finance companies
- Private pension providers
- Utility companies (such as gas, electricity, water)
- Service providers (such as telephone, cable TV, broadband)
- Mobile phone network providers
- TV licensing
- Your local authority, in respect of council tax and the electoral register
- Your solicitor
- Your doctor and dentist
- Your or your child’s school, college or other education provider
- Any professional bodies or associations that you are a member of
- Any clubs or societies that you belong to
- Your Probation Officer, if you have a criminal record and are on probation
- Your social worker
- The police, if you are on the Violent and Sex Offender Register. In these circumstances you must notify the police within 3 days of your change of name, or you may be committing a criminal offence
It is your responsibility to identify all relevant record-holders and notify them in writing of your change of name after obtaining your Deed Poll. If you do not, your change of name may not be effective. You should update those records first 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, especially if you give permission for them to check directly with HM Passport Office.
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 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 be the case if your new name is very unusual, or if you are changing the gender in your passport.
There are some further issues you should consider when it comes to notification of record-holders:
- You can change your name if you have a criminal record. However, if you have any existing or pending criminal proceedings against you, you must notify the relevant police station immediately after changing your name. If you are on probation, you have to notify your Probation Officer. If you are on the Sex Offenders Register, you have to notify the police within 3 days of your name change.
- 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 associations connected with them.
- You can use your change of name to prevent someone finding you, provided you are not attempting to avoid payment of a debt, or using your change of name for fraudulent purposes.
- If you have had a CRB check in the past (now called a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service)) you will not need to update it. However, if you subsequently apply for a new DBS check, you will be asked to provide details of any previous names.
- If you are the Director of a limited company, you should contact Companies House and fill in the appropriate form to update your details. Please visit our “Companies” page for more information.
- 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.
- 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, other than in respect of your employer or future employer, in general you will not have to disclose a previous name, unless there is an intention to defraud someone.
- Your Birth Certificate can only be amended to reflect your change of name in very limited circumstances, and different rules apply in different areas of the UK. In England and Wales, Birth Certificates are considered to be matters of fact, so the details can only usually be changed if a mistake was made upon registration. In Scotland, you may have the option to change the name on a Birth Certificate. However, there are some disadvantages to doing so. For instance, 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, you can still change your name by Deed Poll.