How old do you have to be to change your name: When you can get rid of your old name

If you're wondering how old do you have to be to change your name, the general answer is that anyone who is 16 years of age or over can execute their own Deed Poll and, therefore, change their name. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you will not need to have the consent of your parent or anyone who holds the parental responsibility for you to change your name. Legally, you are entitled to change your own name on your own as soon as you turn 16.

How Old to Change Name 

If you are 16 or 17 years old and there is a court order in force forbidding you from changing your name, you will have to wait until you are 18 years old to change it. Children under the age of 16 can change their name only by the person with parental responsibility for them. Moreover, all of those with parental responsibility for that child needs to agree on the name change. 

Besides knowing how old do you have to be to change your name, you need to know that a person needs to have adequate mental capacity at the moment of executing a Deed Poll, or the application might not be accepted. In other words, a person needs to be able to make a decision on their own without being affected by anybody or anything, whether permanent or temporary. 

If a person is unable to make this decision, this means that they are unable to: 

  • Comprehend the information relevant to the decision
  • Retain the information
  • Use or weigh the information as part of the decision-making process
  • Communicate the decision 

Changing Your Name as a British Citizen

Every British citizen can change their name by applying for a Deed Poll or any credible alternative method. Actually, you can use a deed poll to update all of your documents and records in the United Kingdom, such as a driving licence, passport and other important documents. A Deed Poll is considered a legal document which can prove you changed your name. 

In the United Kingdom, changing your name is a legal matter, and you can easily start using it, but your documents will need to be renewed and have your new name on them. To change any of these documents, you will need to have a formal document that serves as proof that you have changed your name and when you changed it. 

A Deed Poll is accepted by all government bodies and other organisations for all purposes within the UK. Your Deed Poll will need to be signed and dated, and also witnessed, but once it’s done, you will have no problem using it as proof of your new name. 

Changing the Child Name

If a person is under 16 years of age, they will need consent from their parents or a person with parental responsibility for them. Changing the name of a child is more complex than changing the name of an adult person, as all those with parental responsibility need to provide their consent to the name change. If everyone with parental responsibility agrees on the name change and, therefore, provides their consent, a child can have a new name. 

This is also executed via Deed Poll and when applying for it, consent from those with parental responsibilities need to be sent. So, how old do you have to be to change your name on your own? You need to be at least 16, but to do it independently under all possible circumstances, a person will need to be at least 18 years of age. 

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.


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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