What is registering a name change?
Recording a change of name in a public government record of name changes.
How long does registering a name change last?
Registering your change of name permanently adds a notice to the public record.
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 notice in The Gazette, the official publication of record. 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. An official notice about your name change will be published in The Gazette.
You are not required to register a change of name, and most people do not do so. A deed poll or statutory declaration is normally sufficient to change your name, and in most situations is legally equivalent.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, a name change carried out without a GRC will also cause your birth certificate to display both your old and new names.
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. You may wish to contact the organisation you are registering the name change with to discuss the legal situation related to privacy, or speak to an organisation supporting trans young people such as Mermaids UK for legal advice.
- 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.
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 do I remove my name change from the public record?
There is information about this issue on the website for The London Gazette, but you may find that you are unable to remove the public record of your name change.
How much will it cost?
The cost of enrolling a deed poll varies between nations, but is normally around £30-40.
This page is illustrated using a photograph by David Caster available at Wikimedia.
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