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Deed Poll Guidance Pack

November 11, 2021

There are tons of reasons why people change their names. And as long as the motive isn't fraudulent, you are legally allowed to do it at any time. There are two ways you can go about this: the hard way (through statutory declaration) or the much easier and less expensive way—through a deed poll.

In this article, we'll guide you through the deed poll process, from what it is to what you'll need to fulfil the requirements. Let's get right to it.

What Is a Deed Poll?

A deed poll is a legally binding document that proves a change of name. The deed poll process allows you to change any part of your name or your child's name, add or remove names, and change the spelling.

The main purpose of the deed poll is to demonstrate that you've taken on a new name and given up your old name and to confirm the date you started going by a new name.

What Forms Do I Need to Change My Name?

There is no government agency in the UK responsible for registering identification. This means that you can change your name freely and use the deed poll as proof that you've chosen to be identified by a different name.

That being said, by enrolling in a deed poll, you are essentially making your name change a matter of public record. In that sense, there are a couple of forms you need to sign before that happens. These forms are different for adults and children under 18 years.

As an Adult

As an adult, you'll be required to sign the following forms:

·         l LOC020 – Change of Name Deed for an Adult (DEED POLL)

·         l LOC021 – Statutory Declaration for an Adult

·         l LOC025 – Notice for The London Gazette for an Adult

As a Minor

If you are under 18 years, you're required to have permission from your parents/guardians. You'll also need to sign these forms:

·         l LOC022 – Change of Name Deed for a Minor (DEED POLL)

·         l LOC023 – A suggested form of Affidavit of Best Interest

·         l LOC024 – Statutory Declaration for a Minor

·         l LOC026 – Notice for The London Gazette for a Minor

The Cost to Change a Name in the UK

If you want to change your name in the UK, you should be prepared to part with the following fees to complete the deed poll process.

· Court enrollment fee: £10.00

· Advertisement charge: £28.44 (incl. VAT)

· Copy of local Gazette: £4.00

These fees amount to £42.44. When paying them, you should keep in mind that postal orders, checks, and bankers drafts should be made payable to “HMCTS.”

How Do I Change My Name Back to My Maiden Name After a Divorce?

If you want to revert to your maiden name after a divorce, you don't really need a deed poll. All you have to do is take your divorce papers to your place of work, bank, passport office, and any other relevant body you associate with. However, if your divorce is not yet finalized, then you will need a deed poll to change your name.

What If I'm Adopted and I Want to Change My Name?

If you want to take on the last name of your adopted parents, then on top of the forms above, you'll also need to provide your adoption papers as proof that you're adopted.

For parents who want to change their adopted child's name, you'll need to apply for a deed poll, then notify all relevant parties for the name change to be effective. You'll also need to seek consent from the parents named in the adoption certificate.

If I'm Not a Minor, Do I Still Need Consent?

If you are a married person looking to change your name, you'll need written consent from your husband or wife. The consent should be in the form of a letter and should clearly state that your partner has no problem with you switching from one name to another.

If you are a minor, you need consent from everybody who has parental responsibility for you. This includes all parents or legal guardians. Likewise, parents who want to change the name of their children ages 16-18 years must have written consent from the minor.

Applying for a Deed Poll: The Process

When it comes to applying for a deed poll, you have two choices; you can either hire a solicitor or do it yourself. A solicitor will handle everything for you, but they charge a lot. For the purposes of this guide, we'll go with the latter: doing it yourself.

Step 1: Complete the Online Application

You'll need to fill out a secure online application. You'll also have to pay the deed poll fee, which amounts to £42.44.

Step 2: Receive Both Your Deed Poll and Certified Copies

If you order your deed poll on a weekday before 3 PM, your request will be processed on the same day. But you'll still have to wait at least two working days to receive your deed poll, along with any other certified copies you requested.

Step 3: Get Witnesses to Sign Your Deed Poll

As the final part of your name-changing process, you'll need a witness to sign your deed poll. A witness shouldn't be that hard to find. That being said, there are some criteria that your witness has to meet to be eligible.

Who Can Act as a Witness?

To be eligible, your witness must meet the following criteria:

·         They must be a UK resident and over the age of 18 years

·         They must know you in person

·         The witness shouldn't have any dependent relationship with you, I.e., they shouldn't be your relative, partner, or roommate

·         They must be of sound mind

·         They have to witness you literally signing the deed poll

According to the requirements above, a deed poll witness could be your neighbour, friend, or even a coworker.

What Restrictions Are There to Changing Your Name via Deed Poll?

Although the government doesn't restrict you from changing your name, you can't just choose any name out there. Some people tend to get too crazy with it, which could lead to unintended consequences.

To avoid any future repercussions that could arise from your new name, here are a few factors to consider when changing your name via deed poll:

·         Your new name shouldn't be vulgar or offensive

·         You can't change your name for fraudulent purposes

·         You can't choose a racial slur or anything that mocks certain institutions or groups as your new name

·         If you're picking a title, it has to be a British accepted title like Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss, and Mx.

·         Your new name can't have any symbols, numbers, or any made-up punctuations

How Long Does It Take to Change Your Name?

After making your order, you will receive your deed poll document, along with any other certified copies you requested within two business days. After that, you'll need to find a witness and sign the document.

Finally, you'll have to list all the official documents and institutions you want to update with your new name. This process takes about three to eight weeks but may vary from person to person.

Contact Information

England

If you're seeking deed poll inquiries in England, you can visit:

·         Enforcement Section Manager Room E15

·         Queen's Bench Division Action Department

·         The Royal Courts of Justice

·         STRAND WCA 2LL LONDON

Phone: 020 3936 8957

Email: [email protected]

Scotland

If you live in Scotland, you can make your deed poll inquiries at the:

·         Change of Name Unit

·         General Register Office

·         New Register House, Edinburgh

Phone: 0131 535 1314

Change Your Name Effortlessly

Contrary to what most people believe, changing your name is pretty easy. The deed poll process is pretty straightforward, and it doesn't cost that much. We hope this guide has set you on the right path to getting your new name.

How Do I Change My Name?

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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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