You might need to change your name on your British passport for a variety of reasons.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process, the task of changing your name in your passport can seem complicated.
But if you’re equipped with the right information and you go through the process step-by-step, you may find that it is more straightforward than you expected.
In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about changing your name on your British passport.
We’ll start with an overview of the application process, and then discuss what you need to do for specific situations that might require you to change your name in your passport.
If you change your name, your gender, or if your appearance changes significantly, you’ll have to apply for a new passport.
Unlike your UK driver’s license, you’re not required by law to update your name on your passport.
But if you want to travel under your new name, you won’t be allowed to board flights unless the name on your bookings matches your passport name.
Let’s take a look at some of the details involved with applying for a new passport.
You’ll have to apply for a new passport from HM Passport Office. We have included information on contacting HM's Passport Office below.
When you get your new passport, it’ll be valid for ten years, and the time left on your current passport won’t be added on. So, even though you’re only changing your name, it’ll be like getting a brand new passport.
You can apply for a new passport online or through a paper application.
The cost of the paper application is £ 85.00.
You can visit a post office near you that provides Check and Send services to get the process started.
Post Office Check and Send service
Check and Send is a service that is offered by some post offices.
Just like it sounds, someone at the post office will check your application to make sure everything looks good.
With the Check and Send service, you get the following from the post office
To get started with Check and Send, visit the Post Office branch finder page to find a post office location with passport services near you.
On the branch finder page, do the following:
Once you find a post office in your area with Check and Send, visit them to get the application process started. They will be able to provide you with a paper application form.
The Check and Send service costs £16.00 on top of the application fee. You can pay with cash, credit or debit cards, or by postal order.
Here’s a link to the online application for a new UK passport. The cost is £ 75.00.
You can also use the post office’s Check and Send service for digital applications. On the branch finder page, select “Passport Check & Send- Digital” under services.
Just like the paper application, the Check and Send costs an additional £16.00 on top of the regular passport application fee.
How to contact the HM Passport Office
The passport advice line is set up by HM Passport Office for people who need help with the application process, or for those who have any complaints.
So, if you have any questions about your application, whether it’s regarding filling out the form, or about the documents you need for changing your name in your passport, you can get in touch with them.
You can chat with them online.
Phone number: 0300 222 0000
From outside the UK: +44 (0) 300 222 0000
By textphone: 18001 0300 222 0222
Monday to Friday: 8 AM to 8 PM
Weekends and public holidays: 9 AM to 5:30 PM
Her Majesty's Passport Office
PO Box 767
Otherwise, you can also use HM’s online inquiry form for help with your application.
Besides the application form, photos, and the other regular documents required to support your passport application, you might also need a deed poll to change your name in specific situations.
Let’s discuss what is a deed poll, when you need one to change your passport name, and how to get one.
In the UK, you’re allowed to legally change your name for any reason you wish. A deed poll is a document that makes your new name official, so you can start using it at the bank, on your driver’s license, passport, etc.
A deed poll is a legal document that demonstrates the following:
One thing to note is that even though a deed poll proves that you’ve changed your name, you will not be able to use a deed poll alone for international travel. To cross borders or to board flights, your passport name must be updated to the name you’re using to travel.
We’ll discuss each situation in further detail below, but here is a quick summary of when you’ll need a deed poll for a passport name change.
You need a deed poll for a passport name change:
You typically do not need a deed poll in the following cases to update your name on your passport:
If you’ve changed your name only using a deed poll (without marriage, divorce, etc.), then you’ll require one of the following additional documents in your new name (along with the deed poll) to prove that your name change is genuine.
Another thing to note is that if you’re a dual citizen, you may want to check with the embassy of the other country about the impact of your deed poll on your other passport.
If you have any questions about your application process or required documents, you can reach out to the passport advice line, as explained above.
There isn’t an official government office where you can go and get a deed poll.
You have a couple of options when it comes to getting a deed poll if you need it to change your name in your passport.
You could use our simple online application process to apply for your deed poll. Our application process is fast, secure, and easy!
Alternatively, you can go to a solicitor’s office and ask them to help with the deed poll office.
Typically, when you get a new passport, the unexpired visas in your old passport remain valid throughout their remaining validity period.
But in the case of a name change, your existing visas may become invalid depending on the issuing country. If you have valid visas under your previous name, you can contact the embassy of the issuing country and ask them if you need to apply for a new visa.
When you get married or join a civil partnership, you will get a certificate with your new name.
You can use your marriage or civil partnership certificate to apply for a new passport from HM's Passport Office.
As we explained before, you don’t need a deed poll if you have your marriage or civil partnership certificate, as the certificate itself serves as proof of your new name.
One of the unique things about a “newlywed passport” is that you can apply for it up to three months before your marriage or civil partnership ceremony.
But your old passport will no longer remain valid, and your new passport will be post-dated. Some countries may not issue visas for post-dated passports.
If you want to get a head start on your new passport and apply in advance, you have to send in a ‘passports for newlyweds and civil partners’ form. The form has to be signed by a religious minister or registrar who is planning on conducting the ceremony.
There are some exceptions where you may need a deed poll even in the case of your name change due to marriage or civil partnership.
For example, if you’ve lost your certificate and don’t want to apply for a new one, you can change your name with a deed poll. Or if you got married in a different country and your certificate is not in English, it might be simpler to get a deed poll instead of having your certificate translated.
For a full list of different requirements based on what name you choose to use after you get married, check out our article on deed polls after marriage.
In the UK, a separation happens when a married couple decides to separate legally, but they do not end their marriage. The marriage isn’t officially over until a divorce is finalized.
A couple has to be married for at least one year to get a divorce in the UK. But there is no time requirement for a separation.
So, if you want to go back to using your previous name after separation before your divorce is finalized, you’ll need to get a deed poll.
Once you get a deed poll, you can have your name changed in your passport.
If your divorce is finalized, you won’t need a deed poll to change your name on your passport.
You can apply for a new passport from the HM Passport Office and include the following documents:
Remember that if you have any questions about the process, you can always make use of the passport advice line.
You do have the option to apply for a passport name change with a deed poll after a divorce since you’re allowed to get one for any reason.
When you apply for a passport with your new name following a gender change, include the following with your application.
Send one of the following documents with your passport application:
If you pick the option to send a letter from your doctor, you’ll also need to include both of the following documents to change your name in your new passport.
Your new passport will typically not mention your previous name, except in some very limited situations. For instance, if you got married and continued to use your maiden name professionally, or if your new name would not normally be considered by HM Passport Office to be a name, then your previous name will be noted as an observation in your new passport.
To change the name on your child’s passport, you’ll need to send in a deed poll along with the passport application.
You’ll also need to send the following, in addition to the deed poll.
Hopefully, by now you have a good understanding of what’s required to change your name in your British passport.
To get started with the application process, you can follow this method.
Step 1: Decide if you need a deed poll
You need a deed poll if:
If you need a deed poll, check out our fast, easy, and secure application process.
Step 2: Decide if you want to apply by post or online
Once you decide whether you want to apply by post or online, remember that a post office near you may offer Check and Send services for both paper and digital applications.
You may want to make use of a Check and Send service to make sure that you include all the required information, documents, fees, etc.
Here is a link to the branch finder to help you get started.
Step 3: Gather additional documents
Gather any additional documents for your passport application, like in the cases of marriage, divorce, gender change, or a child’s passport name change.
Step 4: Apply for your new passport
Once you have all the documents and information, you’re ready to apply for your new passport. Remember, if you get stuck at any point or have complaints about the process, the HM Passport Office is there to help.