You don’t have to follow a legal process to start using a new name. But you might need a ‘deed poll’ to apply for or to change official documents like your passport or driving licence and also in my experience, banking and other accounts such as utilities, council tax and even PayPal!
Your UK driving licence requires your passport details so would suggest that you get your passport changed first as you can use this in other processes to prove your identity and name change.
Get a Deed Poll
A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name. You can change any part, add or remove names and hyphens, or change spelling.
It doesn’t cost anything to make your own deed poll. Specialist agencies and solicitors may charge a fee to do it for you.
You must be 18 or over to make a deed poll.
There are extra rules about changing a child’s name.
If you Divorce or End your Civil Partnership:
You may be able to go back to your original name by showing record-holders either your:
- marriage certificate and decree absolute
- civil partnership certificate and final order
Some organisations won’t change your name back without a deed poll.
If you have lost your Decree Absolute (and you were divorced in England or Wales), contact the Principal Registry of the Family Division, Decree Absolute Section, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP (Tel: 020 7947 7017). For a fee, they will access a union index to the registered court copies of decrees absolute for you, and either provide a certified copy of the information themselves (if the divorce was granted by the Supreme Court) or arrange for a certified copy to be sent to you from the relevant county court. If the divorce took place within the last 5 years, you can also contact the county court where it took place for a cheaper service.
If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate by calling the General Register Office for England and Wales on 0845 6037788 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Saturday..
The UK passport office, DVLA and most financial institutes require the original document to scan/copy for their records so it may take some time to get everything changed unless you have more than one ‘original copy’.
Make sure that if you are booking a holiday in your new or maiden name that it matches the one on your passport – yes, simple and obvious advice but it has happened to people I know!
UK Passport: Changing Back to your Maiden Name
With your passport application form, you must send:
- your birth certificate
- a signed statement saying you’ve gone back to your maiden name for all purposes
- your decree absolute
- a marriage certificate showing both names
You must sign the form with your new signature (maiden name).
Changing your name costs from £72.50 to send forms to passport office, £82.25 using the PostOffice’s Passport Checking Service up to £137.00 if using the Passport Office Premium FastTrack Service which will require an appointment in person and guarantee a turnaround in just 4 hours.
For more information visit the gov.uk website.
UK Photocard Driving Licence:
Get the right form from the DVLA form ordering service or at most Post Offices.
- For car or motorbike licence, complete form D1 ‘Application for a driving licence’
- For lorry or bus licence, complete form D2 ‘Application for a lorry/bus licence’
All drivers and riders will also need to:
- include original documents confirming your new name
- include your current photocard driving licence
You don’t need to send a new photo, however you do need to identify yourself with documentation.
Please note, you should also change your name on your DVLA vehicle registration document.
You can use the 9-digit passport number for your driving licence application if you’ve got a valid UK biometric passport (where the photograph and signature are on the same page).
You won’t need to send your biometric passport in with your application.
Otherwise you’ll need to send in an original identity document:
You can send the following identity documents if you don’t have a biometric passport:
- a current and valid passport
- a biometric residence permit (BRP) – formerly known as the identity card for foreign nationals
- a UK certificate of naturalisation
- an European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) national identity card
- a travel document
You must send the original document with your driving licence application.
You can’t use:
- photocopies or laminated certificates
- certified copies – including those certified by the Post Office document certification service
Don’t send in your passport if you need it within the next month – consider delaying your driving licence application until after you’ve travelled.
You cannot change your name online, it can only be done by post… however the good news is that is is FREE to change your name and/or address on your licence! Hoorah!
Changing a child’s name:
- the agreement of everyone with parental responsibility
- a court order
You must try to reach agreement before you seek a court order. For more information visit the gov.uk website.
Change you Name on Your Bank Account, Cards & Statements
You can change your details by visiting your local branch. It may be best to make an appointment so that you don’t feel rushed in branch and also to double-check which documents your bank requires to change your name.
Most banks will accept the following, but please check:
- Marriage certificate – UK or foreign (as long as it can be translated)
- Decree absolute (divorce)
- Civil partnership registration
- Deed poll – these don’t need to to be witnessed by a solicitor but they must be signed by the person named on the deed, and that signature independently witnessed
- Statutory declaration – with the signature of the named person, witnessed by a solicitor or magistrate
- Driving licence
It may also be possible to update and verify your name change with your bank by post. Please check with your bank for the best and easiest way to change your name.
There may be other companies and institutions that will require you to notify them of your name change. For a list please click here.