The UK Deed Poll Office

101 Change of Name by Deed Poll Facts

We have created the following list of 101 things that you may or may not know about changing your name by Deed Poll, and a few interesting facts about names in general and our company, The UK Deed Poll Office (London) Ltd.

If you just want to change your name (or your child's name) then please go to the Apply Now page or view our How It Works presentation for an overview of the process.

You can also ask us a question via Live Chat.

However, if you would like to learn a lot more about name change then please read on:

(Top Tip: Press Ctrl + F on your keyboard to search our list of 101 name change facts)

1. A Deed Poll gets its name because in the past legal Deeds concerning one party (as in the case of a change of name Deed) had straight or 'Polled' edges, hence the slight strange name.

2. An indenture is the opposite of a single signing 'Deed Poll' in that it concerns two parties and would have had torn or indented edges to show this.

3. The term Deed Poll is these days quite archaic although still widely used however Deed Polls are becoming increasingly known simply as Deeds or more formerly as change of name Deeds.

4. Both British citizens and UK residents can change their names by Deed Poll, even foreign citizens so long as they are resident here in the UK or British Citizens living abroad who wish to for example renew their British Passport.

5. A Deed Poll binds the signatory to three declarations which are; abandoning their old name, use their new name at all times and require that everyone should address them by their new name only.

6. Deed Polls have been around for 150 years and in that time they have been used by hundreds of thousands of people at an ever increasing rate.

7. There are three main steps to the Deed Poll process; firstly 'application' the stage at which you apply for your Deed to be drafted, either at a Solicitors or through a reputable online firm, secondly 'execution' the stage at which you sign your newly drafted Deed in the presence of an independent witness and lastly 'notification' the final stage whereby you request that all parties address you by your chosen new name.

8. People change their names for many different reasons. For example, they might not like their current name, they may have found a new partner and wish their children to take a different surname, re-arrange names or even to choose a fun name.

9. There have been many famous name changes over the years including the actress Julie Andrews (formerly Julia Elizabeth Wells) and the singer Elton John (formerly Reginald Kenneth Dwight).

10. The price of a Deed Poll can vary in the UK because the Government does not regulate the cost of drafting legal documents.

11. Choose a Deed Poll provider that you can trust to avoid disappointment, the same can be said for buying any product or service online, make sure to check if the company is part of any accredited organisation, read reviews and check that payments are processed securely.

12. You can change a child's name in the same way that you can legally change your own, but depending on your circumstances you may need permission from both parents.

13. When you receive your Deed Poll from us you will need to sign it in the presence of an witness.

14. You cannot change your child's birth certificate except in a very limited set of circumstances generally when the child is aged one year or under or if you live in Scotland.

15. You can change your last name, first name or middle names, you can re-arrange names, add names or choose a completely different name.

16. You can also change your title in the same way that you can change your name i.e. you may choose to go from Mrs to Miss or vice-versa or PhD students may wish to change from Mr/Mrs to Dr.

17. Sometimes Deed Polls are enrolled in the Royal Courts of Justice and as such they are known as 'enrolled Deeds', it is rare for people to choose this entirely optional step due to the extra costs involved.

18. You can find past name changes by searching the National Archives, this can be done in person or for a fee they will conduct a search on your behalf.

19. If you are a bankrupt you can still change your name by Deed Poll but you must ensure you inform all concerned that you have done so.

20. Every year over 60,000 people change their names by Deed Poll in the UK, a figure which is growing year-on-year.

21. You can get copies of a lost Deed Poll online, for example The UK Deed Poll Office can re-create an original change of name Deed but with a special amendment to show the new name has been used since a certain date.

22. A Deed Poll is a form of documentary evidence and as such can be used to show official record holders that you are legally committed to using a new name.

23. Other forms of documentary evidence include marriage certificates and decree absolutes.

24. Just like a Deed Poll a statutory declaration is a form of documentary evidence that can be used to change your name, however it must be witnessed by a Solicitor and is a far less straightforward, cost effective or popular option when compared with a Deed Poll.

25. You may not need a Deed Poll to revert back to your Maiden name because you can use your Decree Absolute as documentary evidence in some cases, however if you do not wish to wait for your divorce to be finalised then a Deed Poll is a great option.

26. If you are getting divorced you can change your name by Deed Poll without having to wait for it to be finalised, just ensure that everyone knows you are using a new name.

27. Anyone over 16 can change their name by Deed Poll in the UK, if they are aged 15 or under then they will need their parent or legal guardian to change their name on their behalf.

28. Child name changes must have the permission of all those who have parental responsibility for the said child i.e. the mother and father, the right of parental responsibility varies depending on your situation.

29. People with criminal records can change their names but they must inform their local Police Station of their new name.

30. There can sometimes by restrictions on the names you can use officially, for example The UK Deed Poll Office will not accept applications which contain names which are deemed to be offensive, vulgar or blasphemous.

31. You need a Deed Poll if you want to legally change your name with official record holders such as the DVLA and Identity and Passport Service (IPS).

32. Deed Polls can be traced back to 1851 which perhaps indicates an important change in social trends.

33. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will require a Deed Poll if you want to change your name on your British Passport, without suitable documentary evidence they will not issue a new Passport.

34. Some foreign embassies have special requirements for example they may require that your Deed Poll is witnessed by a Solicitor, if in doubt please check with your countries embassy or high commission for confirmation.

35. The UK border agency will accept Deed Polls from asylum seekers and refugees who are applying for British Citizenship.

36. The UK Deed Poll Office supply thousands of Deed Polls every year to an equal number of satisfied clients.

37. Changing your name by Deed Poll is the most popular method for legally changing your name in the UK.

38. You can change your name as many times as you like and as often as you like, you could have a new name every month if you so desired.

39. There is not an official Deed Poll service despite what many people think, Deeds are either drafted by private companies or by Solicitors. The UK Government does not have a Deed Poll drafting department or service.

40. The correct name for a Deed Poll is a 'Deed of Change of Name'.

41. Sometimes Deed Polls are incorrectly referred to as d-pole, dpole or as a 'dpole service' i.e. 'I changed my name by De Poll'.

42. You can get certified copies of a Deed Poll which simply means you send your signed original back to the firm that drafted it whereby they will make a photocopy which will be marked or 'certified' as a 'true copy of the original'. The DVLA and Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will not accept un-certified photocopies.

43. Your new Passport will not mention your old name.

44. You cannot change your National Insurance number but you can change your name on your NI records.

45. You should not change your name to commit fraud which may be the case if you fail to mention any previous names when completing a credit application form, for example.

46. Your credit record will be updated with your new name, this generally happens when you notify your bank or card company of your new name as they will in turn update the credit reference agencies and because of this your credit rating (score) will not be effected.

47. You cannot generally use photocopies, although some companies and banks may say this is OK, Government record holders will require original, or certified copies.

48. You do not need to be married to use the title of Mrs i.e. an un-married women may legally choose to use the title of Mrs so as long as it is made clear when for example filling out official papers for a loan that her marital status is not married.

49. You may not use any titles to which you are not entitled i.e. Lord or Lady, this also goes for changing your first name to for example Sir which is not permitted. It is also the case that titles cannot be bought on the Internet, despite what some sites may claim.

50. Your witness can be anyone so long as they are over 18, not related to and not living at the same address as the person named on the Deed.

51. You do not need to visit a Solicitor to change your name by Deed Poll unless of course you chose to have your Deed drafted by a Solicitor or you have been requested to do so by a foreign embassy.

52. A transsexual who has undergone gender re-assignment can apply to have a new birth certificate issued showing their new name and male/female status.

53. Deed Polls are only legal in the UK in as far as they are a UK legal document however they will be accepted by most foreign embassies in this country and indeed most British embassies based abroad.

54. A Deed Poll can make a fantastic gift for the person who has everything and because it isn't legally binding until they themselves have signed it, it isn't a problem if they decide they do not wish to proceed with a new name.

55. You must not use a Deed Poll to pass yourself off as someone else for example it is perfectly legal to change your name to David Beckham but if you started selling your own wares as 'David Beckham memorabilia' then you could face court action for 'passing off'.

56. You can get a Deed Poll from a reputable online supplier or through a Solicitor which will both result in a legal Deed Poll document however you can make quite a saving both in terms of time and money by doing it online and all from the comfort of your own home.

57. The UK Deed Poll Office send Deeds out for delivery to your door within one working day on average and always by First Class post.

58. The UK Deed Poll Office print all Deeds on 100gsm paper to ensure they look great and are of a high quality that will importantly last for many years.

59. When you have signed your Deed Poll you are legally bound to start using your new name straight away and as such you must notify all parties concerned of your new name.

60. The cost of updating your Passport with a new name is currently around £71.50 and The UK Deed Poll Office provide a fact sheet which explains how to do this as part of our free customer information pack.

61. The DVLA currently do not charge for a new driving licence providing that you are not updating your photo at the same time.

62. The most popular boys name in 2008 was JACK

63. The most popular girls name in 2008 was OLIVIA

64. The world's longest personal name recorded on a birth certificate is 'Rhoshandiatellyneshiaunneveshenk Koyaanisquatsiuth Williams'

65. A Deed Poll is not a certificate, although it is sometimes incorrectly referred to as such, it is in fact a legal document.

66. An adult Deed Poll is signed by the person named thereon who should be aged 16 years or over.

67. A child Deed Poll is signed on behalf of the said child (aged 15 years or under) by those with parental responsibility for the said child.

68. A movie made in 2004 was called Deed Poll, but its storyline has nothing to do with changing names.

69. No book has ever been written on Deed Polls but the 'Handbook of The Law of Contracts' by Wm. L. Clark, Jr. does give Deed Polls a mention.

70. Deed Poll documents require an independent witness to sign the document, so as to attest the signature of the person making (signing) the Deed.

71. Deed Polls sometimes mention previous name changes i.e. John Smith may have formerly been called Jason Jones and Pete Jenkins prior to that, this declaration is entirely optional but may be added for completeness.

72. In Scotland you do not need a Deed Poll to change your name, instead all you need to do is complete a special form and pay a fee of around £43 which will result in your birth certificate being re-issued in your new name. However people from Scotland still choose to change their names by Deed Poll as it is often the cheaper and more flexible option.

73. Deed Polls used to have to be sealed with a legal seal in the bottom right-hand corner, originally with a blob of hot wax.

74. A Deed Poll is a legal document that is sometimes accompanied by a cover page which is usually attached with a legal corner and staple or paper clip.

75. Deeds can also be used to carve up land and for other purposes although their most common use is 'change of name'.

76. An enrolled Deed that changes a persons Christian name should say: "notwithstanding the decision of Mr Justice Vaisey in re Parrott, Cox vs Parrot the applicant wishes the enrolment to proceed".

77. Contrary to popular belief a Deed Poll is not registered anywhere and there is no central database or record for name changes. However Deeds that have been enrolled in the Royal Courts of Justice can be searched for at the National Archives.

78. A Deed Poll should be used when changing your name back to your birth name because it will form the link between the name which you currently use and your original birth name.

79. Signing your Deed Poll is legally known as 'execution', fortunately it's not as scary as it may sound and simply means the Deed needs to be signed by yourself in the presence of a witness(es).

80. When changing your name by Deed Poll you should contact everyone who has your old name on record, i.e. your bank, Identity and Passport Service (IPS), DVLA, utility companies, pension funds, insurance services, employer etc.

81. When changing a Child's name you will need to send a consent letter that confirms permission has been sought from all those with parental responsibility for the said child. This letter must be sent along with the signed Deed to for example the child's school. The letter should also give a reason why only one parent has given consent for example because the other parent is deceased.

82. In the UK common law allows for the freedom in name changes which means you can call yourself by any name which you choose, at anytime and to make it official you simply need a form of documentary evidence i.e. a Deed Poll.

83. In other parts of the world that operate under Civil Law, changing your name is much harder and can sometimes only be done through the courts.

84. Families can change their surname using a single family Deed Poll however we recommend that each family member has their own Deed Poll so that when for example a child leaves the family home, he or she can take their own Deed Poll with them.

85. If you plan to travel you should change your name before flying because the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will cancel your old Passport when they receive your application for a new one, this of course could mean you are unable to travel.

86. A single mother cannot change a child's name without the father's permission, unless for example the father is deceased.

87. You should check if the father has parental responsibility as this right varies under the law of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

88. In England & Wales a father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother at the time of the child's birth or if he is named on the birth certificate after 1st December 2003 or subsequently marries the mother.

89. In Northern Ireland a father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother at the time of the child's birth or if he is named on the birth certificate after 15th April 2002 but not if he subsequently marries the mother.

90. In Scotland a father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother at the time of the child's birth or if he is named on the birth certificate after 4th May 2006 or subsequently marries the mother.

91. Changing your name by Deed Poll is cheaper than getting married, you can legally take your partners surname and a women can change her title to Mrs. But you must make it clear that your marital status is not married when filling out official forms.

92. People often change their children's surnames to match that of their new partner.

93. The Indentity and Passport Service (IPS) has the legal right to reject a name change if it believes the name change is rude, offensive or may bring its service into disrepute.

94. A Deed Poll is not a form of ID despite what many people think, it is simply a piece of legal documentary evidence to prove that you are using a new name.

95. A person cannot steal someone's identity with a Deed Poll i.e. by getting a Deed Poll drafted in someone else's name, because a Deed Poll can only be used to change existing documents, i.e. if you did not already have a Passport, you would not be able to get one by producing just a Deed Poll document.

96. You should store your Deed Poll somewhere safe, at The UK Deed Poll Office we keep a record of all the Deeds we draft in our secure digital vault, and we recommend that you keep your hardcopy somewhere safe where it will not become damaged or damp.

97. Deeds were originally drafted without punctuation, in fact so were a lot of legal documents, this went alongside the use of often complicated and sometimes 'flowery legal speak' to create almost a legal sub-set of the written English language. Today however the Office of Fair Trading has ruled that all legal documents should be in Plain English, and that complicated legal terms should be kept to a minimum.

98. The UK Deed Poll Office offer one of the most cost-effective Deed Poll services on the Internet backed by first class customer service.

99. The process of enrolling a Deed in the Royal Courts of Justice costs around £100 and is an optional step, for further advice please contact us.

100. The cost of a Deed Poll from The UK Deed Poll Office for an Adult or Child Deed is £15 inc. vat & postage.

101. The UK Deed Poll Office are members of RatePoint™ and SafeBuy for your peace-of-mind.

We hope you have found this page interesting and if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 318 0245 or you can also speak to us via live chat and email during office hours, we look forward to hearing from you.

> In order to Apply Now please go to the Deed Poll Application page.

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