United Kingdom Name Change Guide

In order to change your name, you must complete two major steps:

  1. Legal Name Change: Obtain a legal name change document
  2. Name Change Notification: Notify government and professional organizations of your name change

If you are seeking a marriage name change or divorce name change, and you already have a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or official deed poll, then you have completed step 1. You can immediately proceed to Name Change Notification, where you will find a detailed list of all of the steps involved, as well as links to all of the relevant name change forms and name change information you will need to notify the relevant agencies of your name change.

If you are changing your name, or a minor’s name, for reasons other than marriage or divorce, and you do not already have an official name change document, you must start with step 1, Legal Name Change.

Name Change Summary

After Marriage/ Civil Partnership:
Marriage Certificate/ Civil Partnership Certificate is sufficient evidence to change your name with all government agencies, providing you are either taking your husband’s surname or making a double-barrelled name with his surname and yours. If you are taking a different name to his/hers you may need to execute a Deed Poll.

Financial Institutions may require a Deed Poll if you are taking a double-barrelled name.

After Divorce/ Civil Partnership Dissolution:
Decree Absolute/ Civil Partnership Dissolution Certificate is sufficient evidence to revert to your maiden name with government agencies. You will also need your birth certificate as evidence of your maiden name.

Personal Reasons:
You will need to execute a deed poll to change your forenames or surnames by Deed Poll.

Regional Variations Within the United Kingdom

The details needed for name changes are the same throughout the UK. However, there may be a slight variation in the government agencies that you must contact depending on which area of the UK you reside in:

England/ Wales/ Scotland: If you reside in England, Scotland or Wales you will need to contact the local Council Tax Authority in your area and complete a change of name form and provide any necessary supporting documentation.

Northern Ireland: In order to continue paying both your district and regional rates properly you will have to inform your local council and central government of your name change and provide any necessary documentary evidence.

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