How do I legally change my name in the UK?
Posted on 14th October 2019
When you’re an adult, there may be circumstances in which you want to legally change your name: aside from Marriage, you may be separated from your spouse, you may no longer want to go by your father or mother’s surname, or you may just fancy a bit of a change. As your local family solicitors, we are intent on making sure that you’re aware of your options, and what it will cost you, so we’ve put together a helpful list of the most frequently asked questions.
How do I change my name?
If you are getting married, or you are entering a civil partnership, you can use your marriage or civil partnership certificate to have your name changed. You can send the original, or a certified copy (available at a cost of £5.00 per copy from our offices in Preston and Lancaster), to the relevant organisations, such as your bank or the Passport Office, and they should be able to advise you if there are any forms to complete to finalise the change.
Alternatively, if you are wanting to change your name without the assistance of a marriage or civil partnership certificate, you can change your name by deed poll. This is a legal document that proves a change of name, by renouncing your previous one.
For example, if our Hope Jordan decided that she wanted to become Hope Stokes, she would most likely look at getting a deed poll!
(It is worth noting that if you have dissolved your civil partnership or have divorced, some organisations with accept your final Decree as proof of your change of name to your maiden name; it’s worth contacting them directly to find out.)
Do I need to register my change of name?
There are two types of deed poll that you may consider making: ‘enrolled’ and ‘unenrolled’. An ‘unenrolled’ deed poll is when you do this yourself, or through your local solicitors, and do not register the same with the Government. This means that you can use the deed to change your name with your bank and HM Passport Office, etc, but you do not register your new name on the public record.
An ‘enrolled’ deed means that you are putting your new name on public record. Most of our clients do not go down this route.
How old do I have to be to change my name?
To make an ‘enrolled’ deed, you must be 18 as you are making your information public. However, to make an ‘unenrolled’ deed, you must be 16 years old.
If you are under the age of 16, or you wish to change your child’s name, you must do a change of name deed for a child, which usually requires the permission of both of their parents. If one parent is not available, you may be able to proceed without their permission; speak to our team of local solicitors by emailing email@example.com to find out how.
How much does it cost?
Our local family solicitors can prepare ‘unenrolled’ deeds for both adults and children, and you can find out how much they charge, here.
If you want an ‘enrolled’ deed, you must apply to the Royal Courts of Justice at a cost of £36.00. Your local solicitors can help you with this process, too! You can find out the fees by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long does it take for my family solicitors to draft the deed?
Well, our team of local solicitors will do our best to get the deed done as quickly as you need it, and our team have been known to prepare a change of name deed the same day, so there’s no excuses- If you need to get one done, don’t put it off because you think it will take too long!
So, if you want to sort out changing your name, contact our family team on 01524 581 306 (Lancaster), 01772 783 314 (Longridge) and 01995 602 129 (Garstang) or contact us, here, for a call back.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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