Double Barrel Names

How to add another surname to your own

A woman’s surname will not automatically change to her husband’s surname upon their marriage, nor will the marriage certificate indicate which surname a person will be using following their marriage. A marriage certificate is a document which records the names of the couple who are marrying. After the ceremony, a person can choose what surname to take. It is possible to continue using their maiden name, take the husband's surname, change to double barrel names or create a new surname from the two surnames involved. 

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Double Barrel Surname Options 

As the above-mentioned options show what you can choose your surname to be after you get married, some of the options will not require a Deed Poll. If a woman decides to continue using her maiden name, she will not need a Deed Poll because you are not changing her legal name. Also, if a woman decides to take her husband’s surname, the marriage certificate is all the evidence she needs to show she has changed her surname to her husband’s.

All you have to do is to send a copy of your marriage certificate to all the record holders, with a cover letter, and all your documents and records will be changed to your new surname. However, for passport, driving licence or other important documents, you will have to send the original version of your marriage certificate, so make sure you purchase a few additional marriage certificates from your registrar or minister after the ceremony. 

If your marriage certificate is not in English as a result of getting married in a non-English-speaking country, the record holders will need to be provided with an official translation of the marriage certificate or Deed Poll. The latter is a less-expensive option than paying for an official translation of your marriage certificate. 

Double Barrel Surnames

A double barrel name will use both surnames from the couple. These surnames can be linked by a hyphen or kept separate. A person can choose among these two options freely, and even the order of the surnames can be different, although typically the man’s surname is last for women. Couples can decide on the surname order by what sounds better to them when they say their new double barelled last name. 

If you choose to have a double barrel last name, you will need to execute a Deed Poll. Some organizations will change their records upon presentation of your marriage certificate, while others will require a Deed Poll. With a Deed Poll, your double barrel name will be accepted by everyone in every situation. 

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Double Barrelling Your Surname via Deed Poll

If both partners decided to double barrel their surnames by Deed Poll, the cost for the second Deed Poll can be avoided if the husband changes his surname by Deed Poll before the marriage. That way, a woman can take her husband’s double barrelled surname by using the marriage certificate as proof of the surname change. However, the husband needs to have sufficient time to acquire all of his documents with a new double barrelled surname for the honeymoon. 

Maiden Name as a Middle Name

There is another option for women who are considering changing their surname upon marriage. Therefore, those who don’t like the idea of completely losing their family name can keep a link to their family without a double barrelled last name. A woman can keep her current surname if she adds it as her middle name. Of course, the man can also add his wife’s surname as his middle name. These name changes can be executed via Deed Poll. 

Creating a New Surname From Both Surnames

Besides having double barrel names, a couple can decide to create a new surname from their surnames, which is known as meshing surnames. In other words, they will mesh their two surnames and create a new one out of it e.g. Williams and Johnson can become Willson. In the case of meshing surnames, you will also need a Deed Poll. 

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