There are various methods for changing your name in the UK, but what is key is notifying everyone of your new name as soon as it becomes official – for example through a statutory declaration.
A statutory declaration is an official way of changing your name, accepted by some government organizations, banks and utilities companies as well as registered at court.
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Numerous situations exist where individuals might need or desire a name change, from marriage and divorce, civil partnership agreements and divorce to simply wanting a change that’s more suitable. Although changing one’s name is generally straightforward and painless, be mindful that certain institutions, like banks and utility providers may refuse the name change until its registration with a registrar has taken place first – particularly banks and utility providers.
First step to applying for a birth certificate. This can be done at your local register office or online and requires providing identification and paying the associated fee. For faster processing time you may request a priority birth certificate which should typically be ready within three working days for collection.
Use of a Statutory Declaration. This formal means of changing your name is recognized by some government organizations, banks and utility companies – making this option ideal if you want to change it quickly and easily. Just ensure you sign under oath in front of either a solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths – although this service can sometimes be hard to find but there are options such as solicitors’ offices, banks and Post Office that provide this service.
If you want to change your name after divorce, obtaining a decree absolute from court and marriage certificate are both required. Deed poll is also an accepted method by most financial institutions, government offices and utilities; you must be 16 or over to register it.
Montenegro’s Law on Personal Name governs name changes. Adults may change their names at any time without intending to deceive or mislead anyone; children’s names must only be changed by someone with parental responsibilities for them, such as their mother or father (if married) or someone who has acquired parental rights through court order.
Deed poll is an easy and recognised process to legally change your name in the UK, recognized by government bodies, banks, and utility companies alike. Please be aware that you can only change it via deed poll if it has not previously been altered via statutory declaration or any other method – for which an oath must be taken and certified as true copy by a solicitor/commissioner for oaths/certified true copy document was previously submitted for your name change.
Deed poll is a public record of name changes that allows individuals to change the spelling, add or remove hyphens/middle names/change age of themselves or others. They can be “enrolled” (published in Enrolment Books of Supreme Court of Judicature) with minimal fees attached, making your change official and recognized by UK government departments, embassies/high commissions/businesses alike.
When ordering a deed poll, you should complete a form with both of your names, the date, and an impartial witness’s details (minimum 18 years old and not related). While any name may be chosen, memorable and easy-to-spell names are generally more suitable.
Deed polls can take between eight to twelve weeks to complete, depending on how many parties need to be informed of your name change. Once you receive all necessary documentation, contact all organizations and services who need to know about it such as passport offices, banks and utility providers.
Some organizations may require you to provide additional evidence of your name change, such as birth or marriage certificates. Others may ask for an enrolled copy of your deed poll – this will incur more costs, but may be worthwhile if your new name may negatively affect employment or immigration status.
It is legal and approved for anyone over the age of 18 in the UK to change their name legally, either via statutory declaration or deed poll. Most companies, banks and government organizations recognize statutory declaration of name change; however it would be more effective to execute a deed poll for full recognition by all official bodies and authorities.
You can obtain a statutory declaration by visiting a solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths who have been specially trained in witnessing signatures on statutory declarations, which you can find by searching your local directory or Law Society website. When signing, either solicitor or Commissioner will require you to swear in front of them that all statements contained therein are true; after you sign your statutory declaration it must then be notarised as this will ensure its authenticity in court proceedings.
Legalisation (authentication of documents that can be used overseas) must take place first before any statutory declaration can be used abroad. Legalisation will ensure the document meets international standards.
To create a statutory declaration, either draft it yourself or have it prepared by a Notary Public for an extra cost. Once complete, it needs to be notarised in the UK before going abroad; certain countries also require an apostille stamp as proof of legalisation by the British government and that its contents are valid there.
Changing your name after marriage typically requires a Deed Poll to make the change official in official records, while returning from divorce requires following the formal procedure for name change again with your birth certificate being amended to reflect your previous name.
Proof of identity
People often change their names after marriage or civil partnership, following divorce proceedings or simply because they no longer like their old name. Whatever the cause for changing it may be, it is vital that individuals know how they can obtain proof of identity before making their changes – this will help ensure their new names will be accepted by banks, building societies and passport agencies among other entities.
An easily accessible way of providing proof of identity in the UK is with a statutory declaration, a legal document which states your intention to change your name for stated reasons and must be signed before an Oath Commissioner (such as solicitor or commissioner for Oaths). You can search the Law Society website or ask friends for recommendations of solicitors in your local area.
Under certain circumstances, court action may be required in order to legally change your name. Usually this only happens if it’s being used fraudulently or to avoid debts or taxes liabilities. When taking this route, the court will review your application and request evidence to back up it up; they’ll also consider whether your new name suits either your age or profession.
Name changes in England and Wales are not mandatory, yet can present practical difficulties for certain people. While you are free to call yourself whatever name you like as long as it does not deceive or mislead others, most adults prefer following formal procedures to legally change their names.
If you are changing your name, using a service such as NameSwitch could save both time and effort by automating the process of sending letters out to all the companies who must be informed. Plus they offer various packages depending on your specific needs!
Northern Ireland residents looking to change their names can do so by recording it with the Registrar General; there will be a fee associated with this step. You can also use a change of name deed as proof when dealing with banks and building societies – this should always remain together with your birth certificate for best results.