In order to make your change of name effective, after receipt of your Deed Poll you will have to sign it and have your signature witnessed by someone you choose to be your witness. In addition, you will have to send your Deed Poll to all record holders and ask them to amend their records so as to reflect your change of name. Many record holders will want to see your original Deed Poll. For instance the DVLA, HM Passport Office, banks and building societies will not accept a photocopy. It will take a long time for you to send your original Deed Poll to all relevant record-holders, if you have to wait each time for them to send it back to you. As a result, we suggest that you also order duplicate copies of your Deed Poll from us. This will allow you to send your Deed Poll to many different record-holders at the same time, and this will speed up the process.
You can order your duplicate copies from us upon application for your Deed Poll. Each duplicate copy costs an additional £1.00 and we would advise that you order at least 10 duplicate copies. When we send you your Deed Poll, we will also send you a list of organisations you will need to consider notifying of your new name. This list is also available for you to see on the website at the FAQ entitled “Who Do I Tell? – Who do I need to tell about my change of name?” We recommend that you take a look at this list before you order your Deed Poll as this will give you an idea of how many duplicate copies you will need. The Deed Poll and each duplicate copy must be signed and witnessed in exactly the same way and at the same time in order to be effective.
If you need a further copy of your Deed Poll after your application has been processed, we will not be able to provide it, unless you make a new application in full for a Deed Poll. Alternatively, “certified” copies will be satisfactory to most record-holders, however this may be more expensive and take more time. A “certified” copy is a photocopy of an original (or duplicate, if you order from us) that has been “certified” as a true copy of the original by a solicitor, notary public, Commissioner for Oaths or Justice of the Peace. These will all charge a fee for “certifying” a Deed Poll, but the fees vary. A solicitor will generally charge between £5 and £15 to “certify” a document like a Deed Poll; a notary public will generally charge more.
Documents generally have to be “legalised” when they have to be used and recognised abroad. This is most likely to apply to a Deed Poll when people are getting married abroad, or when foreign nationals who are living in the UK want subsequently to change the name in their foreign passport. “Legalisation” has to be carried out by the Foreign Office and they will only do so if the document has either been witnessed by a solicitor or notary public, or “certified”.