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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 in Scotland


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

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.


The law in Scotland allows anyone to change either their forenames or surnames if they wish to. The name you choose can be any you wish, providing it meets the criteria addressed in Choosing a New Name. Your new name does not need to be connected to anyone’s in your family or any of your previous forenames or surnames. 

 If you were born or adopted in Scotland, you can also have your birth certificate updated to show the new forenames or surname. However, the Birth Certificate will also show the previous names in addition to the new names. The change of name will be recorded in the birth register at the General Registry Office.

 To change your name you can apply for a Deed Poll document, which will allow you to get all your records updated into your new name. The UK Passport Office and all other UK government departments and organisations will accept the Deed Poll document as proof of your name change.  For more on who to inform after your name change see Notifying Organisations.


Changing a Child’s Name 

If you want to change your child’s name and they are under sixteen years of age, those with parental responsibility must consent to the name change. If the parents are married, then both parents would have parental responsibility and need to give their consent. 

If the parent’s are not married then usually the child’s mother has parental responsibility. If the father is not married to the child’s mother, he can only change the child’s name if he has parental responsibility and the mother agrees to the name change. He may have acquired parental responsibility, as from the 4th May 2006, if he registered the child’s birth with the mother, he would be automatically granted parental responsibility.  

However, if the birth was registered before the 4th May 2006, he would need to apply to the courts for a parental responsibility agreement or court order.

They may be more than one person with parental responsibility for the child, such as a grandparent or carer. In these circumstances, everyone with parental responsibility must consent to the name change.   

If the mother of the child happens to be under the age of sixteen, she still has the right to change her child’s name providing she has the consent of all those holding parental responsibility.


Changing a Birth Certificate

It is possible to get your child’s birth certificate amended, and therefore a Deed Poll would not be required. The new Birth Certificate issued by the Registry Office and would then act as evidence to get all the child’s records updated.  

When the Birth Certificate is re-issued, both the new names and the previous names are shown on the document. However, only the new names will be shown if a child’s name is changed when they are less than one year of age.  

However, in some circumstances, it is not possible to have the Birth Certificate amended and in these cases, a Deed Poll would be required.  


Registering a Name Change 

If you were born or adopted in Scotland, it is possible to record your name change with the Registrar General.  This can be done through completing an application form, obtained from the Registry office, to show your change of name. The staff at the Registry Office will explain the process involved in registering your name change. A fee is payable in order to register your name change with the Office.  

General Register Office
Change of Name Unit
New Register House


There are limitations set out in relation to how many times you are able to change your name and have it registered at the General Registry Office.  

  • For children under the age of sixteen only one change of surname and forename can be registered.  

  • For children under the age of two, only one forename change can be registered.  

  • For anyone over the age of sixteen, one change of forename and up to three changes of surname can be recorded.  

However, if you wish to change your name more than three times you can still do so, but will not be able to register the change. However, when changing your name there is no requirement to have it registered with the Registry Office.  


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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