While there are a range of legal name change options, online deed polls are simple, legally compliant and by far the most affordable way to ensure your new name takes effect. But did you know you can also change names with a solicitor or just start casually using a new name without following any special process?
How to change names
When changing your name for reasons other than adding or removing your spouse’s surname, you have a number of options:
1) Deed Poll. This is by far the easiest and most affordable way to ensure your ID and accounts are changed to your new name. If your deed is not enrolled then there’s no official record of your name change, so take your time and chose a reputable company. Check if they can provide duplicates when required. Consider ordering additional certified copies and storing one safely in a second location. This process is best if you want the name changed on all your official records, like your passport, driver’s licence and bank accounts. We recommend www.deedpolls.co.uk, as their deed polls are universally accepted and offer unbeatable value.
See how much time we can save you!
2) A letter from a solicitor or reasonable person. This is one of the lesser-known methods to changing names. You can simply start using a new name. Where you are asked for evidence of your new name you can produce a letter from a reasonable person, such as a policeman, headmaster or doctor. It is at the discretion of each organisation if they allow your name change, so don’t be surprised if any banks and identification push back. If you want all your records changed as easily and quickly as possible, then a deed poll is the better option.
3) Name change by association. Notify family, friends and colleagues of your new name and start using it immediately. Your name change will have taken effect by reputation in the community and you can use your new name without taking any formal steps. A common example of this is where ‘Robert’ is always called ‘Bob’. Organisations such as the passports office and banks will not issue official documentation under your new name as it becomes difficult to prove account ownership if people can change names this easily. Your birth name remains on legal documents, however can be known by your new name in the community.
Who can apply for a Deed Poll?
Any UK citizen aged 16 years and over can apply for a name change via deed poll. It is illegal to change your name if you are doing so to defraud or deceive anyone. There are special circumstances for those who are bankrupt, have a criminal record and for foreign nationals. If you fall into one of these groups we advise you to ask the deed poll issuing company for further information.
Where do I get a Deed Poll?
Online deed poll companies tend to be more cost-effective than traditional solicitors. They have streamlined the legal process in-house and can use the same template multiple times. We recommend www.deedpolls.co.uk as they provide legally compliant deeds at under £12, which is a fraction of the price of other online deed poll services. Alternatively, approach any solicitor who can draft a deed poll. Note, the price for your solicitor to draft a deed poll may be significantly more expensive if they do not specialise in name change deeds as they would need to hand draft a once off document.
How do I update my records?
Once you have your deed poll in hand, it’s essential to have all your accounts, memberships and records updated in your new name as quickly as possible. Companies have a range of name change procedures; you may need to visit a branch, send in a form, letter or email or call. Let Easy Name Change can take care of the research and paperwork for you! We provide ready-to-send letters, forms and emails for all your chosen companies along with full lodgement information. Best of all, you’ll save 8 hours of research, waiting on hold and paperwork!