Information and advice about how to officially change your legal name by Deed Poll
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About Deed Polls
What is a Deed Poll?
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What is the purpose of a Deed Poll?
Who can apply for a Deed Poll?
How long does the process take?
Can I change my child's name?
Can a birth certificate be changed?
Are there any restrictions on names?
Is a Deed Poll registered anywhere?
Why do people change their name?
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General name change information
A woman's rights upon marriage
A man's rights upon marriage
A couple's rights upon a civil partnership
A woman's rights upon separation
A woman's rights upon divorce
A woman's rights upon being widowed
A child's rights upon adoption
Adding a middle name
Advice for transsexuals
An alternative to marriage
A unique gift
Changing your name on your passport
Obtaining a copy of your lost Deed Poll
Who to advise after changing your name

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General name change information
A unique gift

We are often asked if it is possible to give someone a Deed Poll as a gift if the new name is not known.  Usually, a family member has mentioned they would like a middle name, or an additional middle name, but they are not sure exactly what new name to have.  In other cases, someone you know would like their first name changed to a shortened version e.g. Katharine to Katie or changed to a nickname e.g. John to Jack.

If you would like to give someone a Deed Poll as a gift, we have a special service available where you can order a Deed Poll even if you do not know what the required new name is to be.

How to apply if you do not know what the new name will be
So you have something tangible to give as the gift, we will issue a Deed Poll document cover page that shows the name change but a question mark will be inserted where the new or altered name is to appear.  The page will be enclosed in our presentation folder, which can be wrapped and given as a gift.  Afterwards, the recipient just needs to contact us (by calling our Helpline or emailing us) to tell us exactly what name change they would like.  We will then issue a full Deed Poll Pack including a Deed Poll document showing the desired name change.

We have shown below part of the online application form where the new name details are entered.  The example shows how to complete the application form if a middle name is to be added and you do not know what the name will be.  As you can see, you simply put a question mark to indicate where the new name is to be added.

How to complete the application form where the new name is not known.

In the delivery section of the application form, you can enter your name and address.  Also, we use unmarked envelopes, so if you live with the recipient of the gift and the recipient sees the envelope when it is delivered, they will not know it is from us.

Please note, there's no need to worry if you provide us with the wrong information.  We will make sure the correct name change is shown when we issue the actual Deed Poll document.

How to apply if you know the new name
If you know what the new name is to be, you just need to complete the application form giving the desired name change.  We will then issue and post the full Deed Poll documentation.  No doubt you will give your name and address for delivery so you can give or deliver the gift in your own time.  You can also ask us to date the Deed Poll for the day the gift is being given.  A printed date by us will look so much better than the recipient hand writing it when the Deed Poll is signed.

If it transpires that the name change you entered on the application form is not correct, we can reissue the Deed Poll documentation showing the correct name change for which a reduced fee of £12 is payable.

What happens if the gift is not wanted
If the recipient of the gift decides not to go ahead with their name change (and we do not issue the full Deed Poll documentation), we will refund you 50 per cent of the fee for the Deed Poll document.  Furthermore, if our Legal Copy and Archive Service was ordered, we will refund the fee for this service in full.

Unanswered questions
If you have any unanswered questions about giving a Deed Poll as a gift, please email us.  Alternatively, you can call our Helpline (see top of page for our Helpline's phone numbers and hours).

Last updated: 22 February 2011

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