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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


Name Change upon Marriage


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

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.


There are a number of options to consider when changing your surname upon marriage. Once you are married, your surname will not become that of your husbands unless you make the necessary arrangements for this to happen. The marriage certificate will not show what surname you intend to have, and will merely state the names of the couple getting married. Therefore, it is important that you consider which surname you plan to use.


Choosing your New Name

There are a number of options with regard to changing your name following your marriage.

Taking your Husband’s Surname

If you decide to adopt your husband’s surname then you will be able to use your marriage certificate to show your change of name. A copy of the certificate along with a covering letter will need to be sent to the relevant organisations, requesting that they update their records into your new surname. When changing over your passport and driving licence the original copy of your marriage certificate will be required. It is therefore advisable to purchase a few extra copies of your marriage certificate from the Registry office.


Taking Your Wife’s Surname

If after marriage, the husband decides to take his wife’s surname the marriage certificate will be accepted by some companies to change over the surname to that of the wife’s. However, there is no guarantee that banks and building societies will accept the marriage certificate as proof, so it would be necessary to contact them personally. If you apply for a Deed Poll to show the husbands name change it would be accepted by all UK government departments, companies and financial institutions in the UK so is often an easier and more popular option.


Keeping your Maiden Name

After marriage, you may decide to maintain the use of your maiden name, and so will not need to update or change your records. This could be based on professional reasons such as in order to maintain your reputation amongst clients and colleagues. However, if you wish to change your title from Ms or Miss to Mrs, then you would need to send your marriage certificate and an accompanying letter to the relevant departments. However, your passport will not need to be up-dated as your title is not present on this document.


Maintaining your Maiden Name as a Middle Name

If after marriage you decide you want to maintain your family name, you may choose to keep your maiden name as a middle name. Your husband may decide to take your family’s surname as a middle name as well. This can be changed by Deed Poll and will enable you to get all your records updated accordingly.


Double Barrelling Surnames

You may decide that you want to combine your surname and your partners by having a double-barrelled surname. The two surnames can be linked together by a hyphen or kept separate. Government departments will accept the marriage certificate along with a covering letter as proof of your name change, but not all organisations will. The only way to find out whether your bank and building society will accept the marriage certificate is to contact them directly.

Therefore, if you are changing to a double-barrelled surname, it is advisable to use a Deed Poll as proof of the name change. A Deed Poll will be accepted as evidence of your name change in all government and non-government organisations in the UK.

In order, to avoid the need to for two Deed Polls, the husband can change his surname to the double-barrelled surname before marriage, by Deed Poll. Through doing so, the wife will then be able to use the marriage certificate and change to her husband’s double barrelled surname, thus avoiding the need for two Deed Polls.  


Creating a new surname through ‘Meshing’ 

Another option following marriage is to create a new surname from part of the wife’s surname and part of the husband’s surname by ‘meshing’ them together.  Remember that provided the name complies with certain criteria, a person can change their name to whatever they wish to. A Deed Poll would be required if you decide to mesh your surnames together, as an entirely new surname is being created.  


Marrying Abroad 

If you have married abroad, it is likely your Marriage Certificate will not be in English. In these circumstances, it would be necessary to either have your Marriage Certificate translated or use a Deed Poll. It is usually more expensive to pay for your marriage certificate to be officially translated, than it is to order a Deed Poll.


Applying for a Deed Poll

If you decide to use a Deed Poll to get your documents changed over into your new surname, it is possible to order your Deed Poll before your wedding day. You may wish to sign the Deed Poll documents on your wedding day after the official ceremony, and by ordering your Deed Poll documents, in advance you can ensure this.  

If you are going on honeymoon, you can order your Deed Poll documents before hand, so on returning from your trip, they are ready to sign and the name change process can begin. You can also order your Deed Polls after returning from your honeymoon.  

If you decide you want to have all your documents including your passport in your new surname, before your honeymoon, then it would be necessary to change your name by Deed Poll, before the ceremony. This would need to be done in advance of the honeymoon, allowing yourself sufficient time to have your passport and all you other records updated into your new surname. It is strongly recommended that you do not travel abroad if you have documents in two different names. Therefore, if you feel you may be unable to update all your records before your honeymoon date it is advisable to wait until your return.


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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