Changing Your Name by Deed Poll - Legal Advice from our Solicitors

You may want to change your name for multiple reasons. You may want to be known by another name, want to take a married name after marriage or a civil partnership, or change your name following a divorce. Anyone over the age of 16 can change their name, but you can’t just start using a new one – your new name needs to be registered through the appropriate legal channels. 

If you do decide to change your name, the team at Wiseman Wingate Solicitors can help you do this legally and properly. Speak to a member of our team today, call us on 01428 778776 or complete our online contact form.

How to Change Your Name by Deed Poll

Deed polls are legal documents that inform of an intention. Their most common use is to change a name through legal channels. The word ‘deed’ means ‘legal undertaking’, while ‘poll’ stands for ‘document’, therefore you change your name via legal document. If you change your name by deed poll, you need to declare that you will cease use of your prior name, that you will always use your new name going forward, and that you want others to always use your new name when addressing you. 

The deed poll then requires two signatures – one in your old name, and one in your new name. The signatures must be witnessed by two independent witnesses. While you can change your name via deed poll yourself, it is worth using legal representatives with experience in deed polls who can help you prepare the important documentation.  

Who Do I Need to Tell When I Change My Name?

Changing your name on your driving licence, bank details or important documents like your passport can be difficult if you do not have the appropriate legal evidence. When you change your name legally, it is important to inform all necessary institutions that you are known by a different name. 

This includes the passport office so that you can get a new passport in your new name, DVLA (for your driving licence), bank accounts, credit card and loan companies, HMRC, the NHS, any mortgage documents you have, and your Will if you have made one. All relevant documents will need updating eventually, or you may encounter problems accessing these services or companies.

Changing your name following a divorce 

If you are changing your name following a divorce, you will need to receive your decree absolute before doing so, and you will also need a copy of your marriage certificate. If you want to change your name as quickly as possible, you can do this through deed poll.

Limitations on Deed Poll Name Changes

When you change your name via deed poll, there are restrictions as to what name you can use. The new name must be one that is easily pronounceable in at least a single language, and must have a first and surname. The Home Office has a list of excluded names, including trademarked names, language that may cause offence, punctuation marks, numbers/symbols and wording that promotes criminal activities.

Contact our Solicitors for Change of Name Deed Poll Legal Advice in Essex & North-East London

If you are thinking of changing your name by deed poll, you can choose to do this yourself, but it may give you peace of mind that the documentation is compiled and witnessed by a professional solicitor.  

At Wiseman Wingate Solicitors, we can prepare the documentation for you and advise you on the steps you need to take when legally changing your name. We can also help you update any relevant Wills or Trusts that may be affected by the name change. Get in touch with us for an initial free no-obligation consultation, call us on 01428 778776, or submit an enquiry via our online form.

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