How to Change the Name in your Passport

Full passport renewal fees are payable regardless of the time remaining in your current passport or your reason for changing names. There is no credit for any time remaining.

If you’ve changed names from marriage or removed your spouse’s surname, there is no legally required to change names in your passport, even if you have changed names everywhere else. You may continue to use your existing passport even if all other records have been updated. If you’ve changed names from deed poll you will need to get your passport updated as soon as practical.

No matter your reason for changing names, applicants are encouraged to submit their passport application online. It’s cheaper and faster than using a paper form from the post office. At the time of writing, online applications are taking about 10 weeks, but can vary from 4 to 12 weeks, so always check current processing times.

Name changes from marriage

There are three options for the married name change in your passport:

  • Apply for a new passport before the wedding, but it will only be valid after your ceremony.
  • Apply for a new passport after your wedding.
  • Leave the passport in your former name until it is closer to expiry. Take care that the name on all flights matches your passport.

Passports issued before your wedding

If you don’t plan to travel abroad immediately prior to your wedding, you can send in your current passport for renewal within three months before your wedding. The new passport will be issued in your new name but is only valid from your wedding day. Your current passport is cancelled so you are unable to travel overseas during the processing period. Applicants should follow the standard passport application process and also need to provide the form ‘Passports for newlyweds and civil partners’ form (provided in your kit). We don’t recommend applying for this post-dated passport if you need to apply for foreign visas before your wedding.

You can keep your passport as is and not apply for a name change, even if you have changed names everywhere else. As your married name is only an ‘assumed’ name, you can continue using your former name anywhere and for as long as you like. You may prefer to only change names when your passport is close to expiry, or you may have pending travel arrangements booked in your former name that should be completed before changing the name in your passport.

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Divorced or reverting to a prior name?

Like anyone married, if you’re reverting to your name prior to marriage then you can change your passport whenever you like. You can continue the use of your current passport until it’s close to expiring or when all travel booked in your former name has been completed. It can be a good idea to wait until your current passport is close to expiry as there’s no credit for the remaining time. No matter when you decide to make the change the process is the same. Complete the passport application form online or use a paper form from selected post offices but there are higher fees.

Anyone reverting to their former name should supply the following documents:

  • Birth certificate.
  • A sworn statement saying that you intend to use your former name for all purposes.
  • Proof you have resumed the use of your former name. Eg: a pay slip, bank statement or correspondence from any government department.
  • If divorced, provide your divorce decree or decree absolute. This should show both names.
  • Marriage certificate. If you do not have this you can reorder from the country registrar or GR.

Changed names by Deed Poll?

If you’ve changed names by deed poll then you should not use a passport issued in your former name, unless you have immediate travel plans booked in your former name. You have renounced the right to use your former name as part of the deed poll process, so you are obliged to arrange a replacement passport as soon as practical.

If you have changed names by deed poll, include your original deed poll certificate with your application. There is no credit given for any time remaining in your passport.

How to apply?

At the time of writing, standard passport applications take at least 10 weeks and cost £82.50 or £93 on a paper form. Priority service is available for an additional fee.

Start the application online. You may instead pick up an application form at most post offices, or else have a form mailed to you by calling 0300 222 0000. Applying with a paper form costs an additional £10.50.

If you are changing names and need to notify a range of UK organisations, use an Easy Name Change personalised kit. Get ready to send letters, forms and emails. In many cases just sign and send!  Save yourself HOURS of painful and tedious paperwork!

Be careful with pending arrangements

Decide if you want to change names in your passport before or after any pending international travel. International flights must be in the exact same name as your current passport. Airlines won’t reissue tickets to a name that you have never held before, so it’s not recommended you book flights in your new name unless you already have that passport.

If changing names in your passport before travelling, ensure you allow sufficient time in case your passport application is delayed, or don’t book flights until your new passport is received. If your airline allows name changes with legal proof, consider booking under your current name, and then changing the name on your flights once your new passport is issued.

What about changing names everywhere else?

Once your passport and driving licence have been updated, allow plenty of time to change names everywhere else. The research and paperwork take around 8 hours. We can cut this down to just 10 minutes! to get your name change paperwork sorted, simply click the button below.


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