Information and advice about how to officially change your legal name by Deed Poll
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About Deed Polls
What is a Deed Poll?
Why is it called a Deed Poll?
What is the purpose of a Deed Poll?
Who can apply for a Deed Poll?
How long does the process take?
Can I change my child's name?
Can a birth certificate be changed?
Are there any restrictions on names?
Is a Deed Poll registered anywhere?
Why do people change their name?
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Adding a middle name
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About Deed Polls
What is a Deed Poll?

Image of an executed Deed Poll for a change of name.A Deed Poll is a legal document - not a certificate.  It is a form of legal contract but it differs from legal contracts between two or more parties in that it only concerns one person (and it is only signed by that person in the presence of a witness).  A Deed Poll legally binds the person who signs it to a particular course of action as detailed on the Deed Poll document.

Although Deed Poll documents are used for various purposes relating to an individual or a company legally committing themselves to doing something, they have one generally accepted meaning and usage and that is for officially recognising a change of name.  However, the correct legal name for a deed that has been drawn up to change someone's name is a Deed of Change of Name (but more commonly known as a Deed Poll).

A Deed Poll for a change of name contains three declarations and by executing the Deed Poll (signing, dating and having your signing witnessed) you are legally committing yourself to:
  • Abandoning the use of your former name;
  • Using your new name only at all times;
  • Requiring all persons to address you by your new name only.
Importantly, our Deed Poll documents carry our official seal, so there is no question about their authenticity.

In summary, a Deed Poll issued by us will provide you with documentary evidence that you have changed your name, enabling you to get all your official documents and records changed to your new name.  Although a Deed Poll is thought of as an English legal document, our Deed Poll documents are recognised by all United Kingdom government departments, companies and organisations.

Have a question?
If you have an unanswered question about what a Deed Poll is, please click on this link to email us.  Alternatively, you can call our Helpline (see top of page for our Helpline's phone numbers and hours).  Mobile phone users can call us by touching this link.

Last updated: 12 August 2013

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