5 Things to Bear in Mind When Changing Your Name by Deed Poll

There are a number of other reasons why you might want to change your name. Maybe you’ve always disliked your name for personal reasons.

Changing your name by Deed Poll

Maybe you are channelling your inner Phoebe Bouffe and are just looking for more of a unique and interesting name that expresses your inner self (Princess Consuela Banana Hammock anyone?).

Whatever your reason, you need to enter this decision with some prior research.

A person’s name can be a massive signifier of their identity and changing it should not be a light decision.

Some astrologists even believe that the letters of a person’s name are significant to their future happiness.

Practically speaking, much like any legal process, changing your name can be a bit of pain with a fair few I’s to dot and t’s to cross.

1. Ladies, you don’t actually need to change your name by deed poll when you get married. A marriage certificate is regarded as sufficient evidence of a name change and will allow you to doodle “Mrs” to your hearts content.

However, if you are a man who is looking to take his partners name or if you are a couple hoping to merge your names, things get a little more complicated and you will be expected to enter deed poll proceedings.

2. Many transgender individuals change their name by deed poll to one that is more appropriate to their gender identity.

You do not need to provide a gender recognition certificate (GRC) in order to change a feminine name to a masculine name or vice versa. This is also true for those who are wishing to change their title.

Titles such as Miss, Mr, Mrs, Mx or Ms are not legally binding and you should be able to choose to adopt a new title without any fuss or nosy questions.

Sadly for us Downton Abbey fans, changing your title to Lord or Lady is slightly more difficult.

3. Make sure that the deed poll method that you are using is legitimate.

When writing this article we got a lot of help from Simply-DeedPolls.co.uk – who were able to answer a variety of questions on the topic and provided us with some great statistics and info.

Using their service is fast, simple and secure – and you should get your deed poll certificate through the post within as little as 24hrs.

4. Bear in mind that although UK deed poll law permits a certain level of flexibility, there are restrictions. A name may be blocked if it is thought to be “vulgar” or “frivolous” or if it is believed to have racist or blasphemous connotations.

Moreover, you can’t choose a name that is subject to copyright such as “Starbucks”. For all you Banksy fans out there, it isn’t actually considered acceptable to have just one name and you should have both a first name and a surname.


Main image copyright Sebastien Wiertz @ Flickr (cc 2.0)

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