In the UK anyone may change their name (quite legally), without drawing up a formal record. However, in order for your new name to be officially accepted, many organisations such as banks, building societies and the Passport Agency request some form of proof of the name change, so an official 'change of name deed' may be required.
Your birth certificate will not change: the name deed will run alongside your birth certificate and you should keep both documents together at all times.
Most places and organisations will now accept a change of name deed. However, if you require one for a specific purpose we advise you to check that this document will be acceptable.
How to request a change of name deed
Firstly, you must be a British citizen who is over the age of 18.
You can obtain a change of name deed, by appointment, from any of our main register offices. The process will usually take up to half an hour. This includes the preparation and production of two officially stamped and signed change of name deeds. For a small charge further copies can be obtained within 12 months of your original appointment. View details of fees and charges.
You will be required to attend the appointment in person and produce the following documents:
- proof of identity – either your full birth certificate (showing parents’ names) or your current passport
- proof of address – a recent bank statement or utility bill showing your correct address (to be recorded in the change of name deed)
We only keep change of name deed records for 12 months. After a year, paper copies are shredded and information will be deleted from our computer records.
If, in the future, you require more copies of your document, you would have to have a fresh change of name deed drawn up and the full fee for the service at that time would apply.