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10 May 2024

Changing name by deed poll

Changing your name is a straightforward process, but you should still know what you need to do. Find out about changing your name by deed poll and why you might need a Notary Public in our blog.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Deed Poll

People can change their name at any stage in their life for any reason, or no reason at all. The reason behind the name change does not matter, it is something you can choose to do whenever you want if you have a deed poll.  

Whilst the process is quite simple and straightforward, there is still some important information that you should know.

Also, there are situations where you may need to use your deed poll as proof that you have changed your name, particularly if there are older documents with your previous name on them. If you need to use your deed poll abroad, then you may also need to get it notarised for it to be accepted as valid. 

If you are interested in a deed poll name change, read on to find out about how to do it, how you can get a deed poll, and see how we can help you with notarisation. 

Unenrolled deed poll UK

Depending on how you go about changing your name, there are two different types of deed poll that you may have to use. These are the ‘unenrolled’ and ‘enrolled’ deed poll.

The unenrolled deed poll is a simple statement in which you state that you have changed your name. Although you can make it yourself, you can also ask for the assistance of a solicitor or notary and have them draft it for you. 

You will need to be over 16 to make an unenrolled deed poll, and you will need two witnesses over the age of 18 to sign it for you. Solicitors and Notary Publics can also act as witnesses. 

However, some organisations may not accept an unenrolled deed poll, such as banks, as proof of a change of name. This is because of the fact you are making it yourself, which means it will not be registered anywhere.

Enrolled deed poll UK

The enrolled deed poll is a more official document that is registered, or ‘enrolled’ with the Royal Courts of Justice. It costs £49.32 overall.

There are different processes depending on if you are under or over the age of 18.

Regardless, you will need to provide one of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Valid passport
  • Certificate of Naturalisation


Over 18

If you are over 18, you will need to complete a ‘change of name deed for an adult’ form. If you are married, you must get the permission of your partner. The form will need to be signed by two witnesses, just as with the unenrolled deed poll. 

Then, you will need to get a Statutory Declaration from someone who knows you, stating that you are who you say you are. They cannot be your partner or relative. Also, the declaration will need to be witnessed when it is signed by the declarer. Solicitors or a Notary Public can help you with this. 

You must have known them for 10 years or more. If you have not known anyone for 10 years, you will need to include a written statement explaining why. 

Finally, you will need to complete a form to put a notice in The Gazette, which is the official publisher of the Royal Courts of Justice. If you think you might be at risk if you publish your name change, then you can write and sign a statement saying why, with supporting proof. 

All of the above documents must then be sent to the King’s Bench Division at the Royal Courts of Justice. 


Under 18

No one under 18 can change their own name themselves with an enrolled deed poll. Instead, they will need parental permission, or a court order allowing them to do so. 

If parental permission is required, then all people with parental responsibility must agree to the name change. 

The forms for changing a child’s name can all be found on the Government’s website. Then, they will need to be sent to the King’s Bench Division on The Royal Courts of Justice. 

Just like with an over 18, the name change will be published in The Gazette. However, you can contact the King’s Bench Division if you are worried about this. 


King’s Bench Division contact details

You will need to post your forms to:

King’s Bench Division
Enforcement Section
Room E15
The Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

If you want to call them for any reason, then you can contact them at:

020 3936 8957 (option 6) between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Using your deed poll abroad

There may be some situations where you will need to use your enrolled deed poll abroad.

For example, if you want to get married in another country, you will need to provide your deed poll to prove that you are the same person as the one named on any documents with your previous name. For example, your birth certificate. 

To be used abroad, your deed poll will need to be both notarised and legalised. This will show the relevant authorities that your document is real and accurate. 

If your enrolled deed poll requires legalisation, then you will need to either go through the embassy legalisation process, or just get an apostille from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The process varies depending on the country you want to go to. 

We can help you with any notarisation or legalisation matters.

How we can help with a deed poll UK

Our expert Notary Public of England and Wales, Nathan Woodcock, has helped thousands of clients with their notarial needs. He can help you, too.

Contact us to book a notary appointment at one of our offices in London, Manchester, or Sheffield. Alternatively, you also have the option of using our mobile notary service to arrange your appointment at a suitable location, and at a reasonable time. For example, it can take place at your home or office.

Once your deed poll has been notarised, we can assist you with the whole process of either embassy legalisation, or getting an apostille from the FCDO. 

For apostilles, we offer a standard service and a fast-track service. Standard takes 20 to 25 days, while fast-track takes 5 to 7 days. 

Get in touch with us today for all your notarial needs.

READY FOR ASSISTANCE?

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0330 133 6480 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.