The Ultimate Deed Poll Guide

Ordering a deed poll is a fast and easy way to legally change your name.

In this article we are going to break down the process for changing your name with a deed poll and answer some of the most common questions about the name change process. 

If you don't have any questions and you want to get started on your deed poll order, click on the button below. 

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However, if you do have some questions about the deed poll process, we have put together this informative guide to help you. 


What is a deed poll?

A deed poll is kind of an official legal document that acts as evidence that you’ve started using a new name. You can use a deed poll to update your name on important documents like your passport, drivers license, with your employer for payroll, etc.

A deed poll demonstrates the following:

  • That you’ve started using a new name
  • That you’ve given up your old name
  • The date you started using your new name


Is a Deed Poll needed to change your name?

Depending on the reason and circumstances of your name change, you may or may not need a deed poll.

For example, If you’ve recently gotten married, and your marriage was finalized in the UK, then your marriage certificate will work as sufficient proof of your new name.

But let’s say you’ve separated from your partner, and your divorce isn’t yet finalized, but you want to switch back to your maiden name. In this case, you’ll need a deed poll.

Let’s take a look at some of the common name change scenarios that require a deed poll, and some that don’t.

When you don’t need a deed poll

You don’t need a deed poll when there’s another official document that works as evidence of your new name.

Typically, that’s after a marriage or a divorce.

After getting married, you won’t need a deed poll to change your name if:

  • Your marriage was finalized in the UK, and you have your marriage certificate.
  • The marriage certificate states both your maiden name and your partner’s last name that you’re changing to.

If you’ve lost your marriage certificate, or you want to change your name to something other than your partner’s last name, you will need a deed poll.

Now, if you’re getting divorced, and you want to switch back to your maiden name, you may also not need a deed poll, assuming the following are true.

  • Your divorce is finalized 
  • Both your marriage and divorce took place in the UK
  • You have your decree absolute

If you’re separated and waiting for the divorce to be finalized, or one of your certificates are not in English, you may need a deed poll.

When you would need a deed poll 

Generally, you’ll need a deed poll in almost every case when you want to change your name unless it’s after a marriage or divorce.

Therefore, if you want to change your name because:

  • You don’t like your current name
  • You want to identify with a different culture or religion
  • You have been through a gender change

In these cases, you will need to order a deed poll.

But there are also times after a marriage/divorce when a deed poll could come in handy.

Let’s say you’ve lost your marriage certificate. Or you were living in France when you got married, and your certificate is in French. 

You could go through the complicated procedure to replace or translate your marriage certificate. Or, you could get a deed poll, which would be considerably easier and cheaper.

So now that you know what a deed poll is and when you would need one, let’s learn about the simple application process.

Applying for a Deed Poll

You have a couple of options when it comes to applying for a deed poll.

The first option is to hire a solicitor and have them apply on your behalf. You’d have to pay for the solicitor’s time along with any fees for the deed poll. And a solicitor’s time isn’t cheap.

The second option, which is easier and cheaper, is to order a deed poll online, through a government-registered deed poll service like us, UK Deed Poll Office.

Ordering a deed poll is an easy 3 step process:

1. Complete the online application

Fill out our easy and secure online application form here. You can pay using our secure payment system with your debit card, credit card, or Paypal.

2. Receive your deed poll and certified copies

If you order before 3 PM (Mon-Fri), we will process your application the same day, and dispatch your Deed Poll within two working days, along with any certified copies you’ve ordered. 

3. Witness your deed poll and certified copies

Finally,you will need two witnesses to sign your deed poll.  

We will send a document along with your Deed Poll that will show you how to execute (have the witnesses sign) your Deed Poll so that your change of name becomes fully valid.

It is a simple process, and it shouldn’t be difficult to find someone who can qualify to be a witness, as we’ll explain further below.

And that’s all it takes. You now have all you need to officially change your name with any official organization. 

Now that you know how to apply for a deed poll you should be aware of some restrictions when it comes to changing your name. 

Restrictions on changing a name via deed poll

Sometimes, people tend to get a bit too creative or funny when choosing their new names, which could lead to unintended consequences. 

There are a few restrictions on the names you can choose. Here are some things to consider when selecting a new name via deed poll.

  • You can't pick an offensive or vulgar name
  • You can’t pick a new name for fraudulent purposes
  • Your new name can't promote any criminal activities 
  • You can't choose a racial slur as your new name, or anything that mocks certain groups or institutions
  • Your name can't have any numbers, symbols, or made-up punctuations in your name
  • Your name can only contain Latin characters
  • If you're picking a title, it has to be a British accepted title (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, and Mx)

You should also avoid making any political statements, or use a group of words that aren't usually considered to be a name, to avoid complications when updating your passport, driving license, etc.

 

Who can act as a witness when I sign my deed poll? 

Here are the criteria for a witness (the instructions will be included when you receive the deed poll):

  • Must be a UK resident above the age of 18
  • They must know who you are
  • The witness must be independent of you (not your partner, relative, roommate, etc.)
  • They must have the adequate mental capacity to make their own decisions
  • Witness has to be present to....well, witness you signing the deed poll

So, it could be someone like your friend, neighbor, or coworker, as long as they meet the criteria above. 

How long does it take to change your name? 

As long as you order your deed poll before 3 PM on a working day (Mon-Fri), we will send you the deed poll document and any certified copies within two business days by First Class Post.

Then you’ll have to get together with your witness and execute the deed poll.

Finally, you’ll have to make a list of all the official documents and institutions that you have to update with your new name. This is typically the most time-consuming part of the process.

Of course, it varies from person to person. On average, it takes anywhere between 3-8 weeks to complete the entire process before you are a hundred percent operational under your new name.

Who do I need to inform after a name change?

We will send you a thorough list of the organizations who you will need to send a deed poll to.  

For now here’s a list of the most common:

  • HM Passport Office
  • HM Land Registry (if you own property)
  • DVLA for driving license
  • The local council for taxes and benefits
  • Department of work and pensions – for benefits
  • HM Customs and Revenue – for tax matters
  • Your employer
  • Banks
  • Pension providers and retirement accounts
  • Your mortgage company
  • Credit card providers

How old do I have to be to change my name by deed poll?

You can change your name with a deed poll if you’re 16 years of age or older.

If you’re over the age of 16, but not yet 18, your legal guardians can override your decision for a name change under special circumstances (not just because they don’t like your name).

But if they do succeed in getting a court to decide against your new name, you’ll have to wait till you’re 18.

If you’re under 16, you can have your name changed by a parent or guardian, as long as all the legal guardians agree with the decision.

How much does it cost to change your name by deed poll? 

The cost of the deed poll application is £18.50. 

We’ve issued thousands of deed polls, and we guarantee that our deed polls will be accepted at all government and private institutions as evidence of your new name. Otherwise, you get your money back, 100% guaranteed!

Besides the cost of the deed poll application, there might be other costs involved in changing your name. 

For instance, to update your name on your passport, the application will cost approximately £100.00.

How many deed poll copies do I need? 

There is no set number of copies that is recommended. But keep in mind that each record you update might require a certified copy of your deed poll. For most people, around ten additional certified copies of their deed poll turns out to be sufficient.

Where does the term ‘Deed Poll’ come from?

The term "Deed Poll" is a combination of the words "Deed" and the old English word "Poll". A "deed" is a signed legal instrument in writing. The term "Poll" was used to describe a document that had it’s edges cut.

In the past, a Deed was written on a piece of paper and then unevenly torn down the middle. Therefore, each concerned party had a deed with corresponding tears, thus preventing forgery.


Which is the official Deed Poll Service in the UK?

UK Deed Poll Office!

Okay, that’s not really the case. In fact, there isn’t a single official deed poll service in the Uk. Instead, there are government-registered services like ours that issue deed polls to those who are looking to officially change their names.

We’ve issued thousands of deed polls and we proudly offer one of the most trusted deed poll services in the country.

Our deed poll application process is fast, easy, secure, and your satisfaction is guaranteed (or your money back)!


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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