What is registering a name change?
Officially recording a change of name in a public government record of name changes.
What does registering a name change do?
- ID documents
Provides an official record of a name change
How long does registering a name change last?
The change of name is permanent. It remains in effect until you register another name change. The number of times you can do this may be limited.
Why might I want to register a name change?
There are two main situations in which you might want to register a name change:
- If you are under 16, registering your name change officially may reduce the need to supply proof of parental consent when updating your name with other organisations.
- If you were born or adopted in Scotland or Northern Ireland, registering a change of name will allow you to request an updated birth certificate with your new name alongside your original name. You do not need to do this to use a new name in Scotland or Northern Ireland – you can use a statutory declaration instead.
Registering a change of name does not allow you to update the gender recorded on your birth certificate, which is instead changed by obtaining a GRC.
Why might I not want to register a name change?
Registering your name change will create a permanent searchable link between your old and new names, including a notification in the London Gazette. Anyone could find out your old name with only a few seconds of web searching.
Registering a name change causes information about your name change to become publicly available, and will permanently link your old and new names.
- In England and Wales, an official notice about your name change will be published in the London Gazette.
- In Scotland and Northern Ireland, a name change carried out without a GRC will cause your birth certificate to display both your old and new names.
Most people do not register their change of name, and you are not required to do so.
How do I register a name change?
If you want to officially register your change of name:
- in England and Wales, you can find information about enrolling a deed poll on the GOV.UK website.
- in Scotland, you can find information about registering your name change on the National Records of Scotland website.
- in Northern Ireland, you can find information about recording a change of name on the NI Direct website.
If you’re under 18 (16 in Scotland): You will need to get your parents or guardians to apply on your behalf. All of your parents or guardians must agree to this, otherwise you will need a court order. You can read more about this on the websites linked above.
How much will it cost?
The cost of enrolling a deed poll varies between nations, but is normally around £30-40.
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