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Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you may have many questions about changing your name, as most people only do it once.

We've answered the 12 most commonly asked questions we receive from our clients on a monthly basis.

Q1) Do I need a solicitor to change my name by deed poll?
No, you do not need to use a solicitor in order to legally change your name. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by applying online. It’s also an inexpensive option because we will professionally draft a deed poll for you for a fraction of the fee charged by most solicitors.
Q2) What is a deed poll?
A deed poll is a legal document that is accepted as official proof you have changed your name. It is a one-sided contract that declares you are abandoning the use of your former name. It’s also a promise that you will use your new name at all times, and will require others to do the same.
Q3) How many legal copies should I order?
When you change your name you will need to notify all record holders. This means providing proof of your name change to organisations and authorities such as HM Passport Office, DVLA, pension companies and utilities companies to name a few.

Most record holders will not accept photocopies of your deed poll as proof of your change of name, so we recommend ordering at least six to ten certified copies. This is so you do not have to wait until one record holder returns your original copy before you can notify another.
Q4) Who do I need to notify about my name change?
To legally change your name you need to notify all the authorities, institutions and organisations that hold records on you. The majority will need to see your original deed poll, or a certified copy, before they will update your details.

A typical list of record holders that need to be notified of a name change includes:
  • School/college/university
  • HM Passport Office
  • DVLA
  • Doctors/dentists
  • Employers
  • Telephone Providers
  • Banks / Building Societies
  • Inland Revenue
  • Pension companies
  • Utility companies (water, gas, electric)
Q5) Can I use a photocopy of my deed poll?
The vast majority of record holders will not accept a photocopy of your deed poll. They will require either your original deed poll or a certified copy.

HM Passport Office, government departments, the DVLA and financial institutions are among the list of record holders that do not accept photocopies of deed polls.
Q6) How long does it take to change your name?
Although your deed poll and instruction pack will arrive within two working days, the full process of legally changing your name is likely to take between two and eight weeks.

This is because all record holders have to be notified of the change and update their databases accordingly.
Q7) Do I need to return my deed poll back to you once I’ve signed it?
No, you do not need to return your deed poll back to us at any time.

Once the deed poll has been signed by you, and signed by the person you have chosen as a witness, then it has been executed. This means it is a complete legal document and ready to be sent to record holders as proof you have changed your name.
Q8) Is it legal to change my name online?
Yes, it's perfectly legal to change your name using an online deed poll service. It's important to understand that in law, a deed poll ordered online with us is just as valid as a deed poll drafted by a solicitor.
Q9) What other costs will there be to change my name?
The majority of authorities you need to report a name change to, such as the DVLA, major banks and building societies, will update their records for free.

HM Passport Office does charge a fee for amendments, but once your details have been changed your new passport will run for the full 10 years.
Q10) Can I change my name by deed poll if I am a British national living abroad?
You can still change your name by deed poll if you are a British national living abroad. But it's important to seek advice from the British Embassy first, because a solicitor or notary public may need to act as witness when you sign it.

It's also important to remember that if you change your name by deed poll then your passport will need to be amended too. Before you begin the process you should find out what documentation is required in order to be issued with a new passport while living abroad
Q11) Can I use my deed poll abroad?
You can use your deed poll abroad if it's used in conjunction with other proof of identity documentation. But your deed poll cannot be used as sole proof of identity when you are in another country, and neither can it be used as sole proof of identity in the UK.
Q12) Is a deed poll proof of identity?
A deed poll is proof you have legally changed your name, but when used alone it is not a valid proof of identity. Once you've changed your name, if you are required to prove identity you will need to produce your deed poll alongside the standard required documentation, such as a passport or birth certificate.

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