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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

 

Who can apply for a Deed Poll?

 
 

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

Apply For Your Deed Poll Online.

 
 

Who can apply for a Deed Poll?

There are several factors, which determine whether you are eligible to change your name by Deed Poll.

 

Nationality

British 

If you are British and reside in the United Kingdom, then you are able to change your name by Deed Poll. However, if you are British but reside outside the United Kingdom, it is advisable that you contact your nearest British Embassy or High Commission, to ensure there are no specific requirements to be met before you are able to obtain a new passport. For example, they may require that a solicitor witness your Deed Poll.

 

Foreign Nationals 

If you are a foreign national living in the United Kingdom you can apply for a Deed Poll, but it is recommend you firstly contact your Countryís Embassy or High Commission in London. It is important to check that they are willing to issue you with a passport in your new name using your Deed Poll as documentary evidence of your name change. Some countries have certain requirements in order for a Deed Poll to be accepted, for example they may require that the Deed Poll be witnessed by a Solicitor or Legalised. It is not necessary to have a Deed Poll document legalised unless one wishes to use it outside the UK, for more see Legalising a Deed Poll.  If you cannot obtain a passport in your new name, it is advisable not to change your name as other UK departments will not accept your Deed Poll, as you are not changing all your documents.

The UK Border Agency will accept your Deed Poll and your certificate and British Passport will be able to be issued in your new name.

If you are residing outside the United Kingdom, it is unlikely that a Deed Poll from this country will be accepted.

 

Asylum Seekers and Refugees 

If you are an asylum seeker or refugee living in the United Kingdom your Deed Poll will be acceptable proof of your name change by the UK Border Agency. If in the future you obtain citizenship then you Deed Poll will be sufficient to ensure that your naturalisation certificate and British passport are in your new name.

 

Age

In order to change your name by Deed Poll you must be over sixteen years of age. If you are less than sixteen a parental guardian will need to apply for a child Deed Poll on your behalf.

 

Criminal Records 

If you have a criminal record, you are able to change your name by Deed Poll providing you notify the relevant departments. If you are on probation, you need to notify the probation officer and if you have any current or forthcoming pending criminal, actions against you must notify the police. If you are present on the Sex Offenderís Register, then by law you must inform the police within fourteen days of your name change.

 

Mental Health Act 

If you are detained under the Mental Health Act you are able to change your name. However, it is required that the person changing their name is of sufficient mental capacity and understands the outcome of changing their name, otherwise the name change can be deemed void. The clinicians will be involved in deciding whether the person has the mental capacity to change his/her name, based on the guidelines set out in the Mental Capacity Act.   

When determining the personís mental capacity the clinicians will consider the key principles of the Mental Capacity Act introduced in October 2007. The Act was introduced to protect those who may not be capable of making their own decisions. There are a number of reasons for a lack of capacity such as: 

  • Severe Learning Disability
  • Dementia
  • Mental Health Problems
  • Brain Injury

If the clinicians feel the person has sufficient mental capacity to understand what changing their name means and involves, then it is likely they will be able to carry out the name change. However, if the clinicians feel the person is not in a mentally fit state to make such a decision then they may refuse them the right to change their name on these grounds.  

 

Bankrupts 

Undischarged bankrupts are able to change their name by Deed Poll. If however, you are self employed and are wish to start a business in your new name you must inform your business partners of your previous name in which you went bankrupt. It is also necessary to inform the Official Receiver dealing with your bankruptcy of your change of name.

 
 

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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