Given that divorce is now becoming more prevalent the number of people changing their names is on the rise. Whether at the end of your relationship or otherwise, you may wish to change your name and this can be achieved via deed poll. There are however certain people you will need to inform, including the following:
Record holders (e.g. benefits office and HMRC): Either by sending your marriage/ civil partnership certificate directly to the record holder or a copy of your deed poll as evidence of your name change. Some record holders will also require a deed poll on divorce or at the end of civil partnership.
The passport office: You need to apply for a passport in your new name otherwise you will not be allowed to travel if your tickets do not match the name on your passport. You may also wish to check whether your name detailed on any unexpired visas needs to be changed by contacting your local embassy.
Change of a child’s name: Parents who wish to change their child’s name must do so by enrolling their new name at the Royal Courts of Justice. In order to do so they must have the permission of everyone with parental responsibility for the child or a court order; otherwise the name will not be legally changed.
Children who are aged over 16 are able to obtain their own Deed poll and do not need to seek permission from their parents.
Banks and building societies (including mortgage providers): Some banks may accept a deed poll as evidence of the change of name, others may require the deed poll to be ‘enrolled’ at the Royal Courts of Justice which is a separate process and will incur an enrollment fee. Only adults over the age of 18 may register their deed poll without parental consent or court order.
Driving licence: You will need to inform the DVLA if you have changed your name by filling in the relevant form and providing supporting evidence of the change.
The police: If you have a criminal record the police will also need to be notified of your new name.
Insurance providers, utility companies, local councils and the electoral roll should also be notified of any change.
Credit providers – when obtaining credit, whether through a bank, loan company or obtaining a new phone on contract you may wish to carefully read the small print to check whether you need to inform the provider of your previous name. Otherwise you may invalidate the loan agreement or potentially commit fraud.