Changing your name, by marriage, civil partnership, deed poll or after divorce — can be expensive and onerous. Here's how to avoid the pitfalls and keep costs down: Changing your name after marriage or a civil partnership Your marriage or civil partnership certificate does not in any way indicate the surname you'll have after the ceremony, yet you can use it to prove you have changed your name.
To change your surname to your spouse or civil partner's surname or to double-barrel your joint surnames on your passport or driving licence you need to fill in the relevant forms requesting the change and present your marriage certificate.
Financial institutions, such as banks and building societies — should also accept your marriage certificate as proof you have taken your partner's surname if you are a married woman or civil partner. This is not always the case if you are a married man taking your wife's surname or if you are double-barrelling or meshing your surnames. If one of these situations applies to you, you may prefer to change your name by deed poll which should always be acceptable proof.
If you wish to travel on honeymoon under your new name, you can change the name on your passport up to three months before the ceremony, using form Passports for newlyweds and civil partners pdf. Changing your name by deed poll A "change of name deed poll" is simply a document that contains the following three declarations: You must sign and date this declaration in both your old and your new name.
Your new name must contain both a forename and a surname and be pronounceable, as well complying with other common sense restrictions specified by the Home Office. Two witnesses, who aren't related to you, must also sign your deed poll and give their name, occupations and addresses. You can prepare it yourself using the legal phrases shown in Ministry of Justice form LoC , or pay a solicitor or specialist agency to help you.
If you go for the DIY option, create the declaration then print off a few copies on good quality paper or parchment paper and get them witnessed and signed. Present this document to all relevant government authorities and financial institutions as you would a marriage certificate. If you are changing your child's name by deed poll it is more complex, so it may be worth going to a specialist agency or lawyer.
If you want to do it yourself, everyone who has legal responsibility for the child should give their consent to the change in an accompanying letter, and if the child is aged 16 or 17 he or she should also give consent. To change a child's forename before their first birthday you must apply to the General Register Office. For more information, consult your local Citizens Advice bureau. Changing your name after divorce All you need to revert your ID and bank accounts back to your maiden name after you divorce is your decree absolute and your marriage certificate.
Alternatively, you can change your name by deed poll and present this document instead. However, it is legal for you to use a passport in your previous name until it expires. Just remember the name on any airline tickets must match the name on your passport or you may not be allowed to travel.
It's also important to update your details for free on the electoral roll or you may be turned down for credit in your new name. Use the voter registration form. Be wary of any company which offers to change your name for a fee. For example, if you own a property, many solicitors will try to charge you to register a name change at the Land Registry, but you can do it yourself for nothing. Similarly, it shouldn't cost you a penny to notify banks, doctors, dentists, employers, nurseries, schools, HMRC, insurance companies, TV licensing, local councils, PayPal, utility companies, loyalty card schemes and the police if you have a criminal record.
Cheques in your old name If you receive a cheque made out to your previous name, most banks will let you cash it as long as you present it with documentation proving you used to hold that name.