Deed Poll for England


Instructions for Your Deed Poll

A deed poll, also known as a deed of change of name, is the simplest and most straightforward way of changing one's name in the United Kingdom. The other means of changing one's name is known as a statutory declaration; this route is less popular because the procedure is more onerous and requires a solicitor, posting in a gazette, home-owning witnesses and spousal permission. A deed poll is a straightforward way of officially declaring a name change that is accepted by all institutions, both public and private, in the UK.

Who Can Change Their Name

In the United Kingdom there is very little regulation on who is able to change their name by deed poll. Anyone changing their name must have mental capacity. When changing a child's name, consent must be acquired from all people with parental responsibility or a court order must be obtained. A parent can only complete a deed poll for minor children 15 years or younger. Once a minor has reached the age of 16 they are able to complete a deed poll in their own right, not requiring parental consent.

The deed poll specifies whether the person changing their name is a British Citizen, British Dependant Territories Citizen, Commonwealth Citizen or a citizen of another country. For the first three types of citizens, the process should be simple and straightforward, and in most cases a British deed poll will suffice in their respective territories. In relation to other countries' citizens, the person wishing to change their name should enquire with their nation authorities if the deed poll procedure will suffice. For nationals of other countries, the deed poll will suffice to change documentation in the United Kingdom, however problems may occur if identification documents cannot be changed.

Restrictions on New Name

There are few restrictions placed on what one may change their name to; however, good sense and judgement should always be used. A name should never use symbols and should always be pronounceable. The new name should not potentially be in violation of any law, for example, by promoting racial hatred.

As stated above, one should give thought and be practical about choosing a new name. Even though technically a name may be legal, this does not mean it will be accepted by every origination. For example, HM Passport Office will not accept names that appear to denote a title that one does not hold, such as "Lord" or "Lady". Also, the length of a new name should be considered. For example, the DVLA will only accept names that are 30 characters or less.

Executing Your Deed Poll

The deed poll is a fairly easy document to execute. When completing the document pay careful attention to ensure that both the old name and new name are entered correctly and completely. This should include all first names, middle names and surnames.

After the document is prepared it needs to be signed and witnessed. The creator of the document should sign the document in front of both witnesses at the same time. In the allocated spaces, the creator will need to sign both his new and old name. Once this is complete the witnesses will need to complete their allocated sections. It is advisable to print and sign several copies of the document with the witnesses as the creator may need several original documents.


It is the duty of the creator to notify all relevant authorities and organisations of his or her change of name. If the creator is an undischarged bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order, he must notify the official receiver. Also, those with pending criminal proceedings must notify the police of their subsequent name change.


Individual Personal Affairs

Deed Poll

A deed poll is a legal document allowing people to alter and change their name in the easiest and most straightforward way.

Widely accepted by public and private institutions within the United Kingdom, a deed poll allows all the convenience of changing one's name without the onerous procedures of other methods. Whether changing a surname after divorce or getting rid of a disliked first name, a deed poll is the solution.

LegalNature's step-by-step guidance will help you to create, download, and print your deed poll in minutes.

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