The UK Deed Poll Office

Top Five Name Change Myths

From the questions we're asked on a daily basis, we know that several name change myths exist. Please see below to find out what the facts really are:

Government Service

A lot of people imagine that Deed Polls are issued by a government service or department. You may have searched for deedpoll.gov.uk or UK Government Deed Poll, but this is completely incorrect.

A Deed Poll is a legal document and not a certificate. The UK Government has no involvement in legal services/documents, whether it may be for name change or any other purpose. So Deed Polls always come from non-Government, privately owned law firms or organsations. Thanks to the Internet, you now have the choice of going through an online firm like us, or a traditional high street operation.

Central Register

Despite contrary belief, there is no such thing as an automatic, central register of people who have changed their names. If you change your name by Deed Poll then you can opt for the Deed to be enrolled in the Enrolment Books of the Supreme Court of Judicature (formerly the Close Rolls of Chancery). However, this is a totally optional process and it is in no way a legal requirement.

Official Deed

All Deeds that meet the formal requirements as laid down by the current law are legally valid. The use of terms such as ‘official’ and ‘authentic’ are meaningless in the context of the authority of the document.

Automatic Service

Some people believe that changing their name by ‘Deed Poll’ is an automated process whereby an ‘official’ company or department will update all of their records to show their chosen new name. But, as discussed previously, this isn't the case. Although it's a perfectly understanable assumption, given the misinformation that is frequently posted on the Internet.

Birth Certificate Changed

The belief that a persons Birth Certificate will change is often linked with the aforementioned misunderstanding that the process is in someway automated. A Birth Certificate can only be changed in a small number of very limited circumstances.

Any changes made to, and the subsequent reissuing of a birth certificate are carried out by the General Register Office (GRO). The GRO (for a small fee) can supply copies of missing birth certificates.

Remember: when you change your name after getting Married your Birth Certificate stays the same. Changing your name by Deed Poll is no different in this respect.

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