How our service works online:
What exactly is a Deed Poll?
A Deed Poll is a legal document, not a certificate. It binds the person who signs it to a particular course of action, as detailed on the Deed Poll document, such as a change of name. The modern term for this document is a Deed of Change of Name. By executing the Deed Poll (signing, dating and having it witnessed) you are committing yourself to:
i. Abandoning the use of your former name
ii. Using your new name at all times
iii. Requiring all persons to address you by your new name
A Deed Poll therefore provides documentary evidence that you have changed your name and that you are legally binding yourself to using your new name. A Deed Poll is an English legal document, and is recognised by all UK Government Departments and UK companies and organisations.
What is the purpose of a Deed Poll?
If you want to get all of your documents and records changed to show a new name e.g. your medical records, bank account, credit cards, passport, driving licence etc, you will be asked to produce documentary evidence of your change of name. A Deed Poll is a formal statement to prove that you have changed your name and it provides you with the necessary evidence of the name by which you wish to be known.
With a Deed Poll
You can change your forename(s) or surname, add or remove names, or rearrange your existing names. You can change your name at any time and for any reason provided. However these reason(s) should not be to deceive, defraud or avoid an obligation. A Deed Poll can be drafted by any British Citizen aged 18 years and over, living anywhere in the world, or by anyone of any nationality, living in the United Kingdom. (Parents can apply on behalf of their children.) It should also be noted that a Deed Poll is only recognised by United Kingdom Government Departments and UK companies and organisations.
Who can apply for a Deed Poll ?
You can apply for a Deed Poll if you are:
A British Citizen living in the United Kingdom or anywhere in the world. If you are a foreign national living in the UK, we advise you to check with your country’s Embassy in London to see if a Deed Poll issued in the UK will be accepted as documentary evidence to get your Passport and other legal documents changed to show your new name. Countries that have a legal system based on the British legal system will usually accept a Deed Poll issued in the UK. However, other countries may ask you to get your deed poll legalised.
We will not prepare a Deed Poll for a name that:
Is impossible to pronounce, includes numbers, symbols or punctuation marks. (Although you can have a hyphen to link forenames or surnames e.g. a double-barrelled surname and an apostrophe in the case of surnames like "O’Riley.")
Names considered vulgar or offensive:
Names containing vulgar language or offensive terms will NOT be accepted for drafting at HMD. This refers to profanities, hate speech, blasphemy etc. Within these restrictions also lie false titles of honour, rank or status e.g. changing a forename to General or Sir/Ma'am.
Copyright (©) and Trademarks (™) protection of names.
There is no copyright or trademark protection for people’s names. For example, if you wanted to change your name to Johnny CASH, you can. However, you cannot use your new name if it is intended for impersonation or deception e.g. if you changed your name to Johnny CASH and you published music and/or lyrics in that name, you could face prosecution for plagiarism.
Who do I advise when I change my name?
After changing your name by Deed Poll, you MUST notify everyone that has your legal records (Passport Office, DVLA, Inland Revenue etc.) to let them know you have changed your name. All of these Government Departments and agencies will need to see your original Deed Poll document (or certified copy) as well as your bank, building society or credit card company. Most other companies and organisations will accept our eCopy. If you have changed the name of your child, you will also be required to provide the letter of consent, which we return when we send you your Deed Poll by post. Templates can easily be found on the Internet.
Can I draft my own deed poll?
Yes. If you have access to a printer, simply print out a template and draft correctly, making sure there are NO errors in spelling, as this may affect the outcome of your document.