Changing your name

When a woman marries a man, she does not have to adopt his surname. In fact, she may continue using her own surname. However, if she chooses to adopt her husband’s surname, she can use her marriage certificate as proof of name change. Which means that she can send her marriage certificate to HM Passport Office, the DVLA and all other companies, organisations and government departments to change her surname on their records. The same applies to a married man if he wants to adopt his wife’s surname, and to partners in a same sex marriage or civil partnership.

Although you may not have to change your name by Deed Poll, if your marriage certificate becomes lost or damaged it can cost up to £23.40 to obtain a replacement. So you may decide to change your name by Deed Poll anyway so that you can keep your marriage certificate safe and send out your Deed Poll certificate instead.

Exceptional Circumstances
You will need to change your name by Deed Poll in the following situations:

  1. You want a double-barrelled surname, for example, Jones-Smith*
  2. You want to combine (sometimes known as ‘meshing’) your surname, for example, combine Jones and Smith to create Jonith
  3. You want to use your maiden name as a middle name
  4. You want to make other changes to your name, for example, change the spelling of your first name

*some organisations will accept your marriage certificate as proof of a double-barrelled surname.

Changing your Title

If you use your marriage certificate as proof of name change then most organisations will assume that you also want to use the title of Mrs, unless you inform them otherwise.

If you change your name by Deed Poll then your change of title will also be stated on the certificate.

Note you can continue to use your current title, that is, you are not legally required to use the title of Mrs. This might apply to those currently using the gender neutral title of ‘Mx’.

Changing your Martial Status

You should also inform organisations and government departments of your change in martial status. If you use your marriage certificate as proof of name change then it will be apparent that your martial status has changed. But if you’re changing your name by Deed Poll, you should send a photocopy (not the original) of your marriage certificate, alongside your Deed Poll, to relevant record holders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I use my maiden name at work for business purposes?
A. Yes, you can legally use your maiden name when working for an employer.

Q. What happens if I receive a cheque in my old name?
A. Most banks will allow you to cash a cheque made out to your previous name, so long as you can prove that you used to be known by that name.

The Next Steps

If you would like to change your name/title by Deed Poll then you will need to complete our Adult Application form.

Apply online today for only £18 inc VAT, price includes Web discount.

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We're one of the two main Deed Poll providers. Our efficient, guaranteed service is available throughout the UK and tens of thousands of people change their names with us each year.

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