Deed Poll FAQ Section

What is the Difference Between a Statutory Declaration and a Deed Poll?

The purpose behind a Statutory Declaration and a Deed Poll are the same. However, a Statutory Declaration is more difficult to obtain as it requires the person to take an oath in front of a solicitor or magistrate (Justice of the Peace). Compared to a Deed Poll, the process to obtain a statutory declaration is complicated and expensive. With the UK Deed Poll Office, there is no need for you to go to any office; everything can be done in a few minutes online.

If I changed my name by Deed Poll in the past, can I just go back to my old name?

If your current name is different from the name on your birth certificate, in most circumstances it is necessary to apply for a Deed Poll to change your name back to your previous name. It will not be sufficient for you to use your birth certificate to update your name with relevant organisations.

I previously changed my name by Deed Poll, but have lost my documents. What do I do?

If you have lost your original Deed Poll, please contact us so we may assist in replacing your Deed Poll.

Can you give me information about other people who have changed their name?

No, we are not allowed to reveal any details about people who have changed their name with us; we are bound by Data Protection legislation and also by our own Terms & Conditions, not to reveal any of our customers’ details. As a result, you can be completely confident that your confidentiality will be preserved by us.

Is there anywhere where I can search for past name changes?

Some name changes are registered, or “enroled,” with the Supreme Court of Judicature.  Five years after a Deed Poll has been enrolled, it is transferred to The National Archives in Kew, Richmond, Surrey.  The National Archives are open to the public, and you can search through the Archives for previous name changes.

However, enrolment is fairly costly, in particular because a solicitor needs to be involved in drafting a Deed Poll that is to be enrolled.  Also, enrolment involves publication in the London Gazette of the change of name; as many people who change their name do so precisely because they do not want to be found, this is a factor that causes many people to decide against enrolment. As a result of the extra costs and publication, many people do not enrol their Deed Polls and searching the Archives will have only limited success.

Will my credit rating be affected if I change my name by Deed Poll?

There is no effect on your credit history if you change your name by deed poll. Whenever you fill out an application form for a loan, etc, it may ask you to fill out a former name if any. This is usually done to be able to track your past records, which might have been under a different name. In addition, when you change your name with the bank using a Deed Poll, it will notify all credit agencies.

Do I have to register my Deed Poll?

You do not need to register your Deed Poll.

However, you should always keep the original safe, and we suggest you keep it with your Birth Certificate. This is because you will probably have to show it to organisations and/or people in the future in order to provide evidence that you are who you say you are. Once you have changed your name, you will not be able to use your Birth Certificate alone to provide the necessary evidence, as you will be known by a different name from the one that appears on your Birth Certificate.

It is possible to “enrol” a Deed Poll at the Supreme Court of Judicature.  This would make a public record of your name change, but would not make it more legally effective.  We would not recommend enrolment of your Deed Poll, for the following reasons:

  • To enrol your Deed Poll, you would have to ask a solicitor to draft the Deed Poll for you. This is because the Deed Poll would then need some special clauses which a solicitor would advise you about.  As a result, the process of changing your name would be more expensive and much slower.
  • If you are married or in a civil partnership, you would have to get the written consent of your spouse or partner.
  • The court fees of an enrolment are substantial, currently £102.  This would be in addition to any solicitor’s fees for preparing the Deed Poll.
  • Upon enrolment, the details of your name change and your address would be published in the London Gazette and would be open to public inspection.  This is something you may want to avoid, especially if you are changing your name in order to prevent someone finding you.
  • Five years after a Deed Poll has been enrolled, it is transferred to The National Archives in Kew, Richmond, Surrey. The National Archives are open to the public, and the public can therefore search through the Archives for previous name changes.

When does a Deed Poll have to be “legalised”?

Documents generally have to be “legalised” when they are 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 to subsequently 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. For further information, please visit our Certified, Legalised, and Duplicate Deed Poll Copies page.

Can I use my name change to stop someone finding me?

Yes, provided you do not use it for fraudulent purposes, for instance to avoid payment of a debt, you may be able to use your name change to avoid someone finding you.

Is there an official government Deed Poll office where I can get a Deed Poll?

No, there is not an official Deed Poll office in the UK where you can get a Deed Poll to change your name. You can either go to a solicitor to have a Deed Poll prepared for you, or you can apply online at this website by clicking on the “Apply Now” tab.

I have some queries about changing my name. How do I contact you?

You can contact us by email at [email protected] or post to UK Deed Poll Online Office Ltd, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AX.

DEED POLL APPLICATION FAQs

Do I have to send an ID to you?

No, we do not need to see your ID. Your Deed Poll will only be effective once you have executed (signed, dated and witnessed) it, and updated all of your records; it will not be registered with an official authority. Your Deed Poll will not be a proof of your identity on its own; it will be evidence of your identity, and, only if produced together with your birth certificate or passport, will it typically constitute proof of your identity.

How do I sign my Deed Poll?

If you have applied for an Adult Deed Poll, you should sign your Deed with both your old signature and your new signature in the places indicated near the bottom of the page.  Your witness should also sign your Deed in the place indicated, and add their address and occupation. Full instructions on execution (signing, dating and witnessing) of your Deed will be sent to you with your Deed.

Do I need to return the signed Deed Poll to you?

No, you do not need to return the signed Deed Poll to us. As soon as your Deed Poll has been signed and witnessed in accordance with our Terms & Conditions, it is a valid change of name deed. You will need to contact all relevant record holders to inform them of your change of name. We will, along with your Deed Poll, send you a list of all record holders that you may wish to notify.

You should always keep your original Deed Poll safe, to provide evidence of your change of name. We suggest that you keep your Deed Poll with your Birth Certificate.

Do you emboss your seal on the deed poll?

Yes, our deed poll is printed on high quality special parchment paper and the legal wafer affixed on the deed poll certificate contains our embossed company seal.

What sort of paper do you use for the Deed Polls?

We use thick gold parchment paper, and our Deed Polls are stamped with our official seal.

Do I have to take my Deed Poll with me when I go abroad?

No, as long as your passport has been issued in your new name, you do not need to take your Deed Poll with you, unless for any reason, you have to provide evidence of your change of name. You may need to provide such evidence if, for instance, you are traveling abroad to get married. Please visit our “Marriage and Civil Partnerships” page for more information.

NAME CHANGE ELIGIBILITY FAQs

If I am an immigrant living in the UK, can I apply for a Deed Poll?

Yes, you can apply for a Deed Poll, but you must ensure that you notify all relevant organisations in the UK of your change of name. If, for instance, you have applied for asylum or made any other such applications, you must notify all relevant government departments that you have changed your name.

Also, you should be aware that changing your name by Deed Poll will only be effective as regards your documents and records in the UK and you should also follow the procedure that applies in your country of origin. We recommend that you check with your Embassy or High Commission in the UK, what procedure applies in your country of origin, especially in respect to your passport. You should ask if your country of origin would accept your name change 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”. 

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 I am a foreign national living in the UK, can I apply for a Deed Poll?

Yes, you can apply for a Deed Poll. However, this will only be effective for organisations, documents, and records in the UK. Even updating only your documents in the UK may be dependent on whether or not you can also 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”.

You will have to find out what the requirements are in your country of origin, as you will have to follow that procedure for updating your passport, documents, and other records in your country of origin. We recommend that you check with your Embassy or High Commission in the UK to learn what procedure applies in your country of origin, especially in respect to your passport.  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.”

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 I am in debt, can I change my name?

Yes, you can change your name by Deed Poll if you are in debt, but it does not mean that you no longer have to pay your debts. In fact, under the law you must notify every creditor of your change of name. It is a criminal offence to change your name with the intention of avoiding paying your debts.

I want to give a friend a present of a Deed Poll. Can I apply on behalf of another adult, and can the Deed Poll come to their address and be a complete surprise?

Yes, you can apply for a Deed Poll for a friend, if you think that they want to change their name. If you want us to send the Deed Poll and documents directly to them, we would advise that you discuss with them what they must do to make their name change effective. The Deed Poll documents will include a page of instructions on how to execute (sign, date and witness) the Deed Poll, and also a draft letter and list of organisations that your friend should consider notifying of their change of name. However, you should be aware that, if your friend requires any changes to be made to the proposed new name, they will have to make an entirely new application with us.

If I have a mental impairment or incapacity, can I change my name by Deed Poll?

You can only change your name by Deed Poll if you have the mental capacity to understand what the implications are. If you do not have such mental capacity, any name change will be deemed void. For further information about mental capacity and help in deciding if you will be deemed to have capacity for the purposes of changing your name by Deed Poll, please go to: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/Pages/mental-capacity.aspx

If I am an undischarged bankrupt or subject to a Debt Relief Order, can I change my name by Deed Poll?

Yes, you can change your name by Deed Poll. However, you must ensure that you notify the Official Receiver that you have done so. Also, if you are self-employed and you want to continue to be in the same trade, but using your new name, you must ensure that all people you do business with, know what your previous name was. All suppliers and customers must be notified of your previous name.

I am in prison. Can I change my name by Deed Poll?

Yes, you can change your name by Deed Poll, however, it may be prudent to notify your prison governor of your intention to change your name, as you will need to be able to sign, date and witness your Deed Poll once it arrives, and you may need further assistance in notifying all relevant record-holders once your Deed Poll has been signed and witnessed. If you do apply for a Deed Poll, you should ensure that your delivery address gives your prisoner number and the full address of your prison.

Can I change my name if I have a criminal record?

Yes, 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. Also, if you are on probation, you have to notify your Probation Officer, and if you are on the Sex Offenders Register, you have to notify the police within 3 days of your name change.

Can I change my surname to my boyfriend’s surname? How do I do it?

Yes, you can do that by changing your name by Deed Poll with us.  You can also change your title to “Mrs,” if you want to, as this is only what is called a “social” title in the UK. However, if you are ever asked to give your marital status, in certain circumstances there may be penalties if you do not state that you are single. For instance, if you are purchasing a product or service and you are asked for your marital status, you must state that you are single. This is because it may be considered fraud – and this is a criminal offence – to say you are married when you are not, if your marital status affects the price of the product or service that you are purchasing.

You could also use your Deed Poll to change your surname to your boyfriend’s surname, as well as changing your title, but again, you would in certain circumstances have to tell organisations and people that you are not married.

I don’t want to marry my boyfriend, but I would like to change my name to Mrs, so that it looks as if we are married. Can I do that?

Yes, when applying for a Deed Poll with us, it is possible to change your name to Mrs, as this is only what is called a “social” title in the UK.  However, if you are ever asked to give your marital status, in certain circumstances there may be penalties if you do not state that you are single.  For instance, if you are purchasing a product or service and you are asked for your marital status, you must state that you are single. This is because it may be considered fraud – and this is a criminal offence – to say you are married when you are not, if your marital status affects the price of the product or service that you are purchasing.

You could also use your Deed Poll to change your surname to your boyfriend’s surname, as well as changing your title, but again, you would in certain circumstances have to tell organisations and people that you are not married.

I want to change my name but I want to continue using my existing name at work because I have built up a good reputation over the years with my clients. Can I do this?

Yes, you may use your former name. You just need to make sure that your employer is aware and agrees to this. Mostly, employers do not have any issues with this as far as it is in their benefit. In any case, this will not affect your company’s legal documents since you are most likely to sign on behalf of your employer.

DEED POLL COPIES FAQs

Can I order copies of my Deed Poll?

Yes, you can order duplicate copies of your Deed Poll upon application. These cost £3.75 each and we would advise that you order at least 10-15 duplicate copies. They must all 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 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.

How many copies of my Deed Poll will I need?

Many record-holders will want to see your original Deed Poll. Examples include the DVLA, HM Passport Office, banks, and building societies. 

We will, along with your Deed Poll, send you a list of organisations you should consider notifying. 

Most people will need at least 10 duplicate copies, making it possible to notify many record-holders at the same time and speed up the process. You can choose how many duplicate copies you need when you order; each duplicate copy costs an additional £3.75 when you order your Deed Poll. After we have processed your Deed Poll we will not be able to produce any copies for you.

Upon receipt of your Deed Poll, you should execute (sign, date and witness) the original Deed Poll and ALL of the duplicate copies at the same time. If, at a later date, you find that you need a “certified copy”, you will have to take the original (or a duplicate copy if you applied for your Deed Poll from us) to a solicitor, notary public, Commissioner for Oaths, or Justice of the Peace, and pay them a fee to provide you with a certified copy.

What is a certified copy and when might I need one?

We cannot provide further copies of your Deed Poll after you have applied. If you did not order any duplicate copies at the time you submitted your Deed Poll form online, and you need further copies to speed up the process of notifying all relevant record-holders, you should get certified copies of your original Deed Poll. Alternatively, you may not want to send your original or last remaining Deed Poll through the post.  Certified copies will be a satisfactory alternative for most record-holders.

A “certified copy”, is a photocopy of an original (or duplicate) 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.

We recommend ordering at least 10 duplicate copies at the time you submit your Deed Poll order form.

Can I use a photocopy of my Deed Poll to notify banks and other organisations of my name change?

It is unlikely that your bank or building society will accept a photocopy of your Deed Poll. This is why we advise that you order at least 10 duplicate copies of your Deed Poll when you apply. Otherwise, updating your records with all relevant record-holders will take much longer, as you will always have to wait for your Deed Poll to be returned before you can send it to the next record-holder.

MISTAKES & CANCELLATIONS FAQs

If I make a mistake on my Deed Poll, or my witness makes a mistake, what should I do?

You should not use Tippex or a correction fluid to try to correct any mistake made by either you or your witness, as this will invalidate your Deed Poll. However, if you ordered duplicate copies from us, you can use these as originals, provided that there is no mistake on these copies. If you have made the same mistake on your Deed Poll and all of the duplicate copies, you will have to make a new application with us.

Can I use Tippex/correction fluid to correct a mistake I made on my Deed Poll?

No, you cannot use Tippex/correction fluid on your Deed Poll without invalidating it. This is because the organisations that you need to notify of your change of name may not accept that a Deed Poll in such a condition is acceptable evidence of your change of name. If there is a mistake in the way that you have executed (this means signed, dated and witnessed) your Deed Poll, then you should destroy it.  However, if you ordered duplicate copies from us, you can use these as originals, provided that there is no mistake on these copies. If you have made the same mistake on your Deed Poll and all of the duplicate copies, you will have to destroy them and apply for a new Deed Poll from us.

Can I destroy my Deed Poll to make it invalid?

If you have already changed your name with an organization with our deed poll, you would need to order a deed poll again to reverse the changes. If you have not changed the name anywhere with the deed poll, you can just destroy it.

Can I cancel my order and get a refund?

We can only cancel and refund your order if we have not yet started working on your order. If we have already sent your order, we can issue a refund only in the case when the deed poll issued by us is rejected by any office in the UK. You will be required to send evidence of rejection to us in that case.

The UK Deed Poll Office is not a government agency. Our function is purely as a document provider for the self-declaration of an unenrolled deed poll. We are here to assist in your name change journey, as we have done for over 100,000 UK residents.

READY TO CHANGE YOUR NAME?

Join the thousands who have trusted the UK Deed Poll Office to help change their name. Fill out our fast, simple, and affordable online application to receive your Deed Poll in no time!
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