Changing Your Name (Deed Poll)

 Why change your name?

Changing your name seems a pretty drastic step, one that the majority of us may fail to understand. However, if you were either christened with, or due to recent events find yourself with, an unwanted name, then this may be the only course of action. For example, if you were christened Ian Huntley or Myra Hindley, only for two psychopathic killers of the same name to emerge during your lifetime, it would be all too easy to go and alter your surname to avoid any mistaken identity. Think if your name suddenly became associated with an infamous celebrity – would you want that hassle every time you ordered a taxi?

When we hear the names ‘Hugh Cumber’, ‘Randy Gardner’ or ‘Tim Barr’ it could quite conceivable cause us to fall about laughing. However for some unfortunate souls these are the names that they have unwillingly adopted for their entire life, and often the day will come when they are simply fed up of the constant ridicule.

Whether it is due to misfortune, circumstance or just a desire for a change, people in the UK are free to legally change their name at any point in time. This is done through the official document known as a ‘Deed Poll’, which allows the subject the basic human right of altering their name to whatever they choose. This is then widely accepted by all the institutions that matter – banks, local authorities, the DVLA and HMRC.

The action of a Deed Poll is very wide ranging. To many it can be pigeon holed as a document for the most severe of actions. It is often associated with those looking to completely change their name, discarding any names that they previously held. This is definitely one functions of the Deed Poll, however it is not the only purpose that is serves. This is the destination for anyone looking to return to maiden name, double barrel their surname or simply remove an embarrassing middle name from official documents.

What is a Deed Poll?

A Deed Poll is a legal document (sometimes called a change of name deed or deed of change of name) that binds in an individual to the action that they are wishing to undertake.

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For more information on:

  • Implications
  • Witness
  • How to change your name
  • Changing documents