How to change your last name

How to change your last name


How to change your last name

If you’re in the market for a new surname you are not alone. Around 200,000 Britons will make the switch to a new last name during 2017. Most will change names from marriage, but divorce, separation and deed poll name changes have been on a steady increase over the last decade.  Anyone changing names will need an acceptable document that proves their new name and then they need to get all their records updated.

No matter what your reason for changing names, the process to update your identification, memberships and accounts is the same for everyone. It’s best to set aside time to get everything changed at once. Dragging out a name change over weeks, months  or even years can be very frustrating and inconvenient, especially if you plan to travel or need to prove your identity.  The research and administration to notify organisations of your new name usually takes around 6 hours, or 20 minutes per record. (cont...)

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Start by making a list of all the places where you’ll need to change names.  This should include your photo ID, such as passport and licences, government departments, such as HM Revenue and customs, financial records, insurance policies, utilities, communications providers, investments, company records and loyalty programs.  There are also many places where you need to update your name but are seldom thought of, such as your TV license, voicemail, business cards, social networking sites and professional associations.

Once you know who you need to notify, the next step is working out how to tell them. Companies will usually follow one of several name change procedures, which may include sending in a letter or fax, completing a special form, visiting a branch in person, making the change online or updating your details over the phone. The only way to know for sure is to either purchase a personalised name change notification kit from Easy Name Change, or to call each company one by one and ask yourself.

Personalized name change kits are relatively new. The best ones available don’t require you to make any list – you simply visit a website and select who you need to notify.  The name change paperwork and procedures provided will be matched to your reason for changing names. Name change kits automatically create the necessary paperwork for each company you need to notify.  You should only need to follow the company specific instructions provided, sign and send.  If you only need to change names with 4 or 5 companies, you don’t need a name change kit and can save money by doing the research yourself.

Before you can request companies to update your name or send out name change request paperwork you will need an acceptable document that proves your right to be known by your new surname. If you want to take your partner’s name you only need your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate.  You can obtain this from the Births, Deaths and Marriages office in the borough where your event took place. This certificate is accepted by all private and government organisations and allows you to take your husband r partner’s name either in addition to your own, or as a replacement to your current surname.  If you want to revert to the name you held before marriage, you may either present your certificate of divorce, or government documents that link your names, such as birth and marriage certificates.

Changing name by deed poll?

Deed poll is a way to change your legal name to any name of your choice. You can change your name for any reason and can make as many or as few changes as you like. If you have recently been married or divorced and want to change more than just your surname, or take a surname other than yours or your partner’s, you’ll need a deed poll.  Once you have a deed poll, you should follow the same notification process as outlined earlier, however you must change your name immediately upon receiving your deed poll document. As a deed poll is an intention to change names for all purposes, it is illegal to use your former name once your deed poll has been issued. Most government departments require your records to be updated within 2 weeks of your name change.  Easy Name Change notification kits are ideal for anyone planning to change their name by deed poll as it helps ensure all your records are changed at the same time and can be done quickly as possible.

When changing last name by marriage, divorce, separation or deed poll, you will need to go through the same notification process to get your records updated. We explain how to do it yourself, or how you can get a notification service to do it for you.

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