Obtaining a copy of your lost Deed Poll
This article explains how to obtain a copy of your lost Deed Poll (also known as a Change of Name Deed) or a lost Statutory Declaration. If a copy is not available, the article explains how to apply for a replacement.
1. Obtaining a copy of your Deed Poll
If you require a copy or replace your Deed Poll, please read the following three subsections to determine which applies to you.
1.1 If we issued your Deed Poll AND you subscribed to our Legal Copy and Archive Service
If you ordered your Deed Poll direct from us and you returned your Deed Poll to us for our Legal Copy and Archive Service (available since May 2000), we can provide you with a legal copy (certified copy) of your original Deed Poll document from our archives. To order a legal copy of your archived Deed Poll, please click here.
1.2 If we issued your Deed Poll and you DID NOT subscribe to our Legal Copy and Archive Service
If you did not order our Legal Copy and Archive Service, we do not have a copy of your Deed Poll. This is because you did not return your signed Deed Poll for us to place a scan of it into our archives. All you can do is order a replacement Deed Poll, for which you will receive a fee reduction as a previous client. However, before you apply for your replacement Deed Poll, please read section 4 below, which tells you how to complete your online application form.
1.3 If your Deed Poll was not issued by us OR was issued before May 2000
If you had your Deed Poll prepared elsewhere in the United Kingdom (at a solicitors for example) or was issued before May 2000, a copy of your Deed Poll will only be available if you had your Deed Poll entered in the Enrolment Books of the Supreme Court of Judicature, which is located within the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London. Enrolled Deed Polls are held for about five years at the Royal Courts of Justice and then moved to the National Archives in Kew, Richmond, Surrey.
Please note, if you paid less than about £200 for your Deed Poll, you would not have paid to have your Deed Poll enrolled. In which case, no copy of your Deed Poll will exist and all you can do is order another Deed Poll to act as a replacement. Even if your Deed Poll was enrolled, the expense of obtaining a copy (you have to physically attend and search for your Deed Poll at either the Royal Courts of Justice or The National Archives) usually means it is much cheaper to order a replacement. We issue many Deed Polls every day to people who have lost their original – this is the accepted practice.
Before you apply for your replacement Deed Poll, please read section 4 below, which tells you how to complete your online application form.
2. Obtaining a copy of your Statutory Declaration
Statutory Declarations are usually issued by solicitors. The signed and stamped document issued to you would have been the one and only original, so no copy will exist. Furthermore, there is no central register of Statutory Declarations so if you have lost your original Statutory Declaration, you have no alternative but to obtain a new Statutory Declaration, which you will need to swear before a Commissioner of Oaths or a Justice of the Peace. However, a Deed Poll is a perfectly adequate replacement for your lost Statutory Declaration. In fact, the Deed Poll process is far more popular and a much more convenient method of changing a person’s name (because a Deed Poll does not need to be sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths or a Justice of the Peace). Furthermore, the problems some people experience with the acceptability of their Statutory Declaration does not occur with a Deed Poll because of its popularity.
Before you apply for a Deed Poll to replace your Statutory Declaration, please read section 4 below, which tells you how to complete your online application form.
3. Obtaining a copy of someone else’s Deed Poll
We can only issue a legal copy of a Deed Poll from our archives to the person named thereon. However, for a child’s Deed Poll, we can issue a legal copy (if the Deed Poll is in our archives) to anyone with parental responsibility for the child or to the child (but only of the child is now 16 years of age or over). If you are not the parent that applied for your child’s Deed Poll, we will need to see documentary evidence that you have parental responsibility e.g. your child’s birth certificate, marriage certificate or a court order. We suggest you call our Helpline to determine what documentary evidence will prove you have parental responsibility. Alternatively, click on the following link to read section 4 of our article about changing children’s names, which will enable you to determine if you have parental responsibility for your child. Please click here (opens new window) to go to section 4 of the article.
If you are researching your family history and you are looking for evidence of a family member’s past name change, please click on the following link to read the answer to question 10 on our Other Frequently Asked Questions page. Please click here to go to our Other FAQs page.
4. How to complete your application form
(when applying for a Deed Poll to replace your lost Deed Poll or lost Statutory Declaration)
If you have not changed your name since changing your name using the Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration you have lost, when you enter your name details on the online application form, you should enter your former name in the current name boxes and your current name in the new name boxes. The idea is to replicate the name change shown on your lost Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration.
Because your replacement Deed Poll cannot be back-dated, we can modify your new Deed Poll to include a declaration that says you have been using your current name for all purposes since a particular date. This modification explains to those you show your new Deed Poll to that it is not for a recent name change. If you would like this modification made, which we recommend, please complete section 5 of the online application form.
If you have changed your name since you changed your name by Deed Poll (the one you require a copy of), please do not complete an application form. Instead, email us with the details of all your name changes since birth including when and how your name was changed. We will then advise you how to apply for a Deed Poll, which will be drafted by our Complex Deed Poll Team to suit your circumstances.
To apply for your Deed Poll, please click here.