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Change of name deed poll

Can I change my name?

In the UK anyone can change their name if they want to. However, if you would like the new name to be recognised officially, you will need to register the change.

There are some restrictions about what you can change your name to and why.

You may not change your name:-

  • In order to commit an illegal act such as fraud

  • To something that is vulgar, offensive, blasphemous or unsuitable

  • To imply or include a title such as Sir, Lord, Lady, Duke or Duchess

  • To something that includes symbols or numbers

Before you change your name you should check that your name change will be accepted by the following people:-

  • Your employer

  • Any institute or professional body of which you are a member

  • Your country of origin, if you are a foreign national living in the UK

  • The relevant authorities of the country in which you are living, if you are a UK national living overseas

If you change your name, many official bodies (such as banks and building societies) will require an official 'Change of Name Deed' to accept it. This document can be obtained from Dudley Registration Services.

How do I change my name after my marriage or civil partnership?

If you have married or entered into a civil partnership and decide to take the surname of your spouse, you do not have to complete an official change of name deed. However, you should contact the passport office, and all other institutions such as banks, building societies and the DVLA to inform them that you have changed your name. Your marriage or civil partnership certificate is your proof of name change.

If you intend to be married abroad, overseas authorities will need to see both your passport and your birth certificate. If your passport and birth certificate show different names, you will need to prove that you have changed your name and that both documents relate to the same person. In these circumstances a change of name deed may be required.

If you have divorced or are widowed and you no longer want to be known by your former spouse's name, you have the option to revert to your previous name. If you choose to change to a different name, or if an organisation requests it, you will need to complete an official change of name deed.

How do I change my child's name?

Changing your child's forename before their first birthday
Before a child's first birthday, parents can change their child's forename(s) free of charge. (A fee is payable for a new birth certificate, if required.) The form you need to complete will depend on whether or not your child has been baptised. Full details, including the relevant forms, are available from Dudley Registration Services. Please note that it is not possible to change your child's surname by this method.

Changing your child's surname (and/or forename) after their first birthday
The following conditions apply if you want to change your child's surname if they are under 16:-

  • If both parents are married to each other you may change your child's name if you both agree to the change.

  • If the parents are divorced both parents must give their consent to the change.

  • If the child's birth was registered on or after 1 December 2003, the parents have never been married and the father's details are entered in the birth registration, both parents must give their consent to the change. Alternatively, one parent may obtain a court order allowing them to change the child's name without the consent of the other parent.

  • If the child's birth was registered before 1 December 2003, the parents have never been married and if there is no Parental Responsibility Order or agreement in place, the mother may change the child's name.

If there is a court order in place it may not be possible to change your child's name without applying to the court. Please seek your solicitor's advice in these circumstances.

Children aged 16 and 17 years may apply to change their own name but if they wish for the deed to be suitable for enrolment with the Royal Courts of Justice is should be completed by their parent(s).

Where can I get extra copies of my deed poll?

We will store a copy of your deed poll in our vault and will be able to issue you with further copies of the document at any time in the future. 

Please read the following information carefully

Important: A Deed Poll cannot be used to change your birth certificate, marriage certificate or decree absolute. It is also not possible to get permanent records such as past educational certificates changed because these are a "matter of fact" in that they were in the correct name when issued.

What documents will I need to produce?

You will be advised as to which documents you will need to bring to your appointment. All documents must be originals and not photocopies. They may include one or more of the following:

  • Birth certificate showing the name which is to be changed

  • Passport

  • Marriage certificate

  • Decree absolute

  • Late spouse's death certificate  

Our change of name guarantee

The change of name deeds we issue are as legally valid as un-enrolled deeds issued by solicitors in England and Wales.

Our change of name deeds are also suitable to enrolling with the Royal Courts of Justice if you wish to do so. For further information about enrolling a change of name deed visit www.justice.gov.uk 

Exceptions to our guarantee

Our guarantee does not apply in the following situations:

  • If you are a foreign national.

  • If your Deed Poll is not accepted by a government department, company or organisation outside the United Kingdom (British Embassies and British High Commissions overseas are considered part of the United Kingdom).

  • If your Deed Poll for a child is not accepted because the record holder's parental consent requirements have not been met.

  • If a record holder is unable to enter your name correctly on their computer system. For example, because your name includes modified Latin characters or your forename or surname is too short.

  • If a record holder requires other documentary evidence that your name has been changed for "all purposes." For example, some financial institutions and the General Medical Council may want to see your passport in your new name before they will recognise your new name. Furthermore, the UK Identity and Passport Service (and British Embassies and British High Commissions overseas) may require evidence that you are using your new name for all purposes by presenting them with two or three documents in your new name.

  • If you are detained under the Mental Health Act and your clinicians decide you do not have sufficient mental capacity to understand the significance and consequences of changing your name.

  • If the UK Identity and Passport Service (IPS) deem your new name to be in breach of their inappropriate and temporary name change policy, which states IPS will not issue a passport in a name they consider temporary or contains a political statement; a string of words that will not normally be considered a name, or a trade-marked name.  

How much does a deed poll cost?

Single application including storage in secure vault  - £50
Additional copies - £10 each

How do I apply for a change of name deed?

If you wish to change your name, or the name of your child, please use the adult application form   or child's application form paying with a credit or debit card on our secure web site. Alternatively you can print and complete an application form and payment form (below) and return them to register.office@dudley.gov.uk or by post to Dudley Register Office, Priory Hall, Priory Park, Dudley DY1 4EU with card payment details.

Once we have received your completed form and payment we will prepare your deed and contact you to arrange an appointment for you to come to the register office to sign the deed in the presence of the superintendent registrar. You will be advised what documents you will need to bring to the appointment when we call you. At the end of the appointment you will be given your deed poll document.