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Deed Poll Helpline

A comprehensive guide to changing

your name by Deed Poll in the UK

About Deed Polls

Changing Your Name

Reasons for a Name Change


Changing your name on your Birth Certificate


Time Saving Tip: The quickest and easiest way to change your name in the UK is to

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.


Your Birth Certificate is a matter of fact document, was correct at the time, and therefore in most circumstances cannot be changed to show your new name. If you want to be known by a new name, applying for a Deed Poll will allow you do legally do this. Your Deed Poll will act as sufficient evidence of your new name and if you need to present your Birth Certificate, ensure you have your Deed Poll, which will then override the name on your Birth Certificate.

However, there are exceptional circumstances when it is possible to have the name on your Birth Certificate altered by a new certificate being issued. In this case, if a new Birth Certificate were issued then there would be no requirements for a Deed Poll, as the Birth Certificate would be legal prove of your new identity.  All UK departments as well as the Passport Office will accept your new Birth Certificate, so all your records can then be amended accordingly.


Changing a Childís Birth Certificate

Only the parent, guardian or someone with parental responsibility can apply to change the name on a Childís Birth Certificate.

Your Childís Forename

A childís forename can be changed as long as it is within twelve months of them being baptised or if the name has been used for the first twelve months since the birth was registered.

Your childís forename can only be changed once on the Birth Register.

  • If the child was baptised within twelve months of the birth being registered, then only the baptised name given can be added.
  • If the child has been baptised then the Vicar or Minster of the Church will be required to complete a form that will enable the Birth Certificate to be amended into the new name. Form 13 can be obtained from the General Register Office.
  • For children who have not been baptised it is possible to alter their forename, within twelve months of the birth being registered. This can be done through completing Form 14 from the General Register Office.
  • If your child has not been baptised and you wish to change their forename after twelve months of the birth being registered, then proof of the new forename in use during the first twelve months will be required.

There is no fee for adding names to the Birth Register but if you require a copy of the Birth Certificate showing the new forenames then there is a charge.  


Your Childís Surname

The surname on the childís Birth Certificate can be changed based on the martial status of the parents when the birth was registered.

  • If the father and mother were not married when the birth was registered, and want to change the childís Birth Certificate to show the fatherís details and the new surname, then this can be altered providing both parentsí consent.
  • If the parentsí were not married at the time when the birth was registered and the fatherís details and his surname was taken then the childís surname cannot be amended on the Birth Certificate. In these circumstances, the mother would need to apply for a Deed Poll, which would enable the childís records to be changed over to the new surname. However, it is necessary to consider Parental Responsibility when deciding to change your childís name in this way.
  • If the parentís of a child marry after their birth was registered, it can be re-registered to show the childís new surname and the motherís new surname. Both parents must agree to the changes for this to take place.

The simplest way to have your childís birth re-registered is for both parentsí of the child to attend the Register Office.


Mistakes on the Birth Certificate

It could be that after the Birth has been registered it becomes apparent that a mistake has been made on the Birth Certificate and the name recorded is incorrect. In such circumstances, it is necessary to return to the Register Office at which the birth was first registered in order for the amendment to be made. Proof of the correct name being used, at the earliest date since the birth was registered, should be provided, such as an NHS letter or Immunisation card.


Gender Changes

Once your gender has been confirmed by the Gender Recognition Panel it is then possible to apply for your gender to be altered on your Birth Certificate. If you apply to the panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate then this document will provide sufficient proof to ensure the gender on your Birth Certificate is updated. For more see Name Change for Transsexuals.


Time Saving Tip: The quickest and easiest way to change your name in the UK is to

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.



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