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    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?
Why is it called a Deed Poll?
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?
Answers to other FAQs

Applying for a Deed Poll
How to apply
Services available and fees
Video guides

Services for previous clients
Apply for a copy of your archived Deed Poll
Apply for a replacement Deed Poll

General name change information
Introduction
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

UK Deed Poll Service
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About Deed Polls
Why is it called a Deed Poll?

A deed is a written legal agreement that has been signed and delivered (shown to all concerned parties).  Poll is an old English word used to describe a legal document that had its edges cut (polled) so they were straight.  This was done to visually distinguish between a deed signed by one person (a polled deed - hence the term Deed Poll) and a deed signed by more than one person (an indenture), which had an edge indented or serrated.  Interestingly, indentures were originally written twice (side by side) on one piece of parchment, which was then torn down the middle and each half given to each party.  The impossibility of matching the tear was a guard against forgery.

Deed Poll documents for a change of name can be traced back to 1851 and can be seen at The National Archives, which is situated at Kew in Richmond, Surrey.


Last updated: 14 June 2005


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