How Do I Go About Changing My Name?

Yvette akonta portrait.

Yvette Akonta

Trainee Solicitor

Phone 01264 325817


There is nothing to stop a person from asking to be known by a different name than that on their birth certificate.

However, a legal process needs to be followed before the new name can appear on identification documents like bank accounts, passports and driving licences. Marriage and civil partnership are exceptions to this; a marriage or civil partnership certificate should be sufficient to enable a person to take their partner’s surname in some form, whether entirely or double-barrelled. Similarly, on divorce or dissolution, official confirmation of that may (but won’t always) be enough to enable a person to revert to their previous name. 

What about situations in which someone decides they would prefer a different first name or surname? Or they’ve changed their mind about the name they’d given their child? 

There are two ways of making the name change official. A Deed Poll is one, which some people choose to navigate themselves. Another is a Change of Name Deed - a legal document put in place by a solicitor. 

Why opt for a Change of Name Deed?

One of the main advantages of having a solicitor prepare a Change of Name deed is the certainty of knowing that the correct process has been followed and the name change will take effect. As well as drafting the document, your solicitor will be able to advise you on any issues there may be about the proposed name (not all names will be lawful). They will also be able to deal with any complexities in your circumstances. 

What does the Change of Name Deed process involve?

It’s usually very straightforward. Your solicitor will want the basic details: your current name, your new name, and your address. They will also ask for the reason for the name change, as the process can’t continue if you’re trying to escape debts or criminal liability. If the Change of Name Deed is for a child, your solicitor will ask for the consent of everyone who has parental responsibility. 

Once the information has been gathered (this is usually done by phone, email or virtual meeting) your solicitor will prepare the deed. You will need to visit your solicitor’s office to sign it in your current name and your new name. If it’s a child’s change of name, someone with parental responsibility will sign for them. Your solicitor will then sign as a witness. 

To speak to BS&I Solicitors about changing your name, or your child’s name, contact our Family Team at or call 01264 353411.

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