You can change your name to anything that you like, provided it is not for criminal purposes.
If you want to officially change either your surname, forename or both, you must complete a deed poll or a statutory declaration of change of name. You must then notify everyone of your new name. That is generally all there is to it.
Deed poll is only necessary if you wish for your change of name to be registered in the Enrolment Books of the Supreme Court of Judicature, based at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. This is not a legal requirement in the UK and comes with a fee.
Taking your husband’s surname on marriage
To change your surname to that of your husband, you don’t need a deed poll or a statutory declaration. Simply send your marriage certificate to all relevant departments and services with a letter explaining that you want your name changing. This will be accepted by all organisations and departments including the Passport Office, banks and service providers, although you may need to provide sight of the original document to the DVLA.
What is a statutory declaration of name change?
A statutory declaration of name change is a document which can be used as proof of your change of name. You will attend one of our offices to sign this declaration in the presence of a solicitor. You will repeat a set statement swearing that the declaration is true. The solicitor will then sign and stamp it. You will need to bring some evidence of your ‘old’ name. It is usually a good idea to get some certified copies so you don’t need to risk sending the original document in the post.
You will need to send a copy of this document to anyone you have dealings with, such as the Passport Office, HMRC, banks, pension providers, mobile phone companies, and so on. It is especially important to send it to the DVLA as there is a fine of up to £1,000 if you are found to be using a driving license with incorrect details on it. If you own property, don’t forget the Land Registry.
To discuss your change of name, call one of our offices or send us an email.