Why You May Want to Change your Name by Deed Poll

There could be any variety of reasons why you want to change all or part of your name, including:

• If you were married and have separated, you may want to revert back to your maiden name and if you have divorced but don’t have all the records and want to change.
• If you have been using a different name for a while and want a more formal acknowledgement.
• If you want to change the name of a child following the breakdown of a relationship or have children from a former relationship and are now in a new one.
• If your name is embarrassing and you want to be known by something else.
• If you are changing gender and want to be known by a new male or female name.
• If you are in showbiz and want to be known formally by your stage name.

For all these situations you can apply to change your name by deed poll which is a fairly simple and inexpensive legal process. You don’t need a deed poll if you change your name due to marriage or a civil partnership – you simply supply your certificates to have the name changed on your most important documents.

Can You Do it Yourself?

While you can undertake to do the deed poll yourself, there are some pretty big problems with this. Organisations such as the DVLA and Passport Office stipulate that you need to have changed your name through a proper deed poll service who employ at least paralegals or notary public's.

In other words, if you want to change your most important documents you need to get the relevant people to do it for you.

The Benefits of Using a Deed Poll Service

A deed poll service is usually offered by a competent legal team comprising of paralegals and notary publics who are qualified to help you change your name. It always makes sense to go to a reputable legal company to have this kind of service undertaken and ensures that you are covered in all respects.

It means that you can be 100% sure that you are now legally entitled to call yourself by that name and it is a form that all other organisations such as the DVLA and passport office as well as banks and building societies accept.

You do not need a solicitor to draft and produce a deed poll and this can be quite expensive anyway. A cheaper option is to use an online deep poll service who guarantee that your document will be accepted by all relevant parties.

Different Types of Deed Poll Service

There are three main types of deed poll service, adult, child, and replacement, which you can usually find online:

Adult deed polls are for anyone over the age of 18 who wants to change all or part of their name.

Child deed polls are for anyone under the age of 18 and normally requires the consent of all who have parental responsibility for the individual concerned.

Replacement deed polls service if you have lost your original document (organisations such as the DVLA will require to see an original rather than a photocopy).

What Does a Deep Poll Look Like?

A deed poll is not a certificate but a legally binding document that says you are going to stop using your current name and use your new one for all official documentation such as your passport, driving licence and bank cards.

It gives authorisation for these organisations to use your new name and becomes legally binding once it has been executed – when you sign it in front of witnesses. While deed polls can be done by yourself, many organisations will not accept them if they have not been professionally drafted.

Other Ways of Changing Your Name by Deed Poll

There is the option to use the official forms produced by the government and enrol your name change at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The form is actually 4 separate ones for a change of adult and includes one for informing the London Gazette. It can look very complicated if you are not used to such things and costs £36 which is generally more than deed poll services charge.

With so many cheaper and easier options now available online it’s not one people tend to choose.

Deep Polls for Children

Changing a child’s name by deed poll is slightly more complex than an ordinary adult one. There needs to be agreement between those who have parental responsibility.

In the UK, the mother automatically has this but there is a little grey area when it comes to the father. If the couple are married, both have parental responsibility, even if they get divorced. If the parents are not married, then the father needs to have been registered on the child’s birth certificate or there needs to be a signed agreement of shared responsibility.

The father may also have applied for a residence order from the court or have been made the child’s legal guardian.

What are Certified Copies?

There is just one deed poll document but, as with things like death certificates, you can also order what are called certified copies. These are copies of the original that are formally stamped and are accepted by organisations such as the DVLA as proof (not that normally photocopies are not accepted).

Sending an original out in the post when you are applying for a passport could mean that the document gets lost and you also have to wait until it is returned to send it out to another organisation. Certified copies simply give you more flexibility while keeping the original document safe.

How Long Does it Take to Change Your Name by Deed Poll?

It can take as little as a couple of days. You simply apply online and get the document through the post which you then have to have witnessed. Once this is done you can send out confirmation to have your name changed on documents such as your driving licence and passport.

Find out more about changing your name by deed poll today.