Change Surname by Deed Poll

Get a deed poll

A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name. You can change any part of your name, add or remove names and hyphens, or change spelling Change Surname by Deed Poll.

There are 2 ways to get a deed poll. You can either:

  • make an ‘unenrolled’ deed poll yourself
  • apply for an ‘enrolled’ deed poll

Ask the organisation you’re dealing with (for example your bank) which type of deed poll they’ll accept as proof of your new name.

If you’re a permanent resident overseas, you cannot change your name by deed poll.

Make an ‘unenrolled’ deed poll

You can change your name yourself if you’re 16 or over.

Apply for an ‘enrolled’ deed poll

‘Enrolling’ a deed poll means that you’re putting your new name on public record. You can only do this if you’re 18 or over.

You must apply to the Royal Courts of Justice to get an ‘enrolled’ deed poll using the deed poll process. It costs £36.

The process is different if you want to change a child’s name.

Marriage and civil partnership

You do not need a deed poll to take your spouse’s or civil partner’s surname. Send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate to record-holders, such as benefits offices. Your documents will be updated for free.

If you divorce or end your civil partnership

You may be able to go back to your original name by showing record-holders either your:

  • marriage certificate and decree absolute
  • civil partnership certificate and final order

Some organisations will not change your name back without a deed poll.

Make your own deed poll

You need to be 16 or over to make your own deed poll.

Some organisations may not accept a deed poll you’ve made yourself as proof of your new name. Ask the organisation you’re dealing with (for example your bank) if they need an ‘enrolled’ deed poll instead.

How to make your own deed poll

Use the following wording:

“I [old name] of [your address] have given up my name [old name] and have adopted for all purposes the name [new name].

“Signed as a deed on [date] as [old name] and [new name] in the presence of [witness 1 name] of [witness 1 address], and [witness 2 name] of [witness 2 address].

“[your new signature], [your old signature]

“[witness 1 signature], [witness 2 signature]”

A specialist agency or a solicitor can make the deed poll for you instead – they may charge a fee.

After you’ve made it, you can use your deed poll as proof of your new name.