Changing your name in the UK
Life is getting more complex with more accounts, passwords and security. This means the average number of companies a newlywed needs to notify has grown by 20% in the last 10 years! It’s worthwhile to plan your name change and get the research done before you go anywhere, saving you from having to revisit any organizations a second time. If you don’t have the time to spend on hold or returning later, then consider a good quality name change kit where all the forms and proof documents are provided for you.
We’ve teamed up with international name change experts Easy Name Change for this 5 part series on changing names. This time we’re looking at UK newlyweds!
Meet the pro
Genevieve Dennis founded Easy Name Change in 2008. They provide ready to send forms, letters and emails along with fully researched company instructions. The company has helped over 1 million people transition to their new name.
What names can I/we take?
While married name change options are available to both spouses in a marriage, it’s still the most common for a (traditional) bride to take her spouse’s surname and the only proof needed to get started is the official marriage certificate from the local registrar’s office.
A husband may take their spouse’s surname in the exact same way, but to avoid any potential hassles some grooms choose to also order a deed poll, although legally speaking it’s not necessary. The marriage certificate allows either spouse to assume the other’s surname. They can elect to either keep drop their current surname (most popular), or combine their spouse’s surname to their current surname creating a joint or double-barrelled surname.
If either spouse wants to make changes to their first and/or middle names at any stage, then a deed poll is required. You also need a deed poll to take a surname that is not one of the examples shown here, such as a grandparent’s maiden surname or blending parts of each surname together to make a new last name.
What are name change kits and do they help?
A good quality name change kits will help you save hours. The best kits, like the ones from Easy Name Change, allow you to pick all the different organisations where you have an account or record, then provide fully researched name change instructions and all associated paperwork, like forms, ready to send letters and ready to forward emails. Easy Name Change kits have a money back guarantee – so you have nothing to lose!
Of course you don’t need to buy one and can always do your own research, but it takes many hours spread across several weeks as you send off messages to check procedures, wait for replies and print off forms and letters.
What steps to I take to change names?
- Get your marriage certificate from the registrar. You may need a few certified copies, which can be ordered at the same time
- Pro tip- Buy an Easy Name Change kit, then get steps 3 to 14 bundled up together for you, ready for you to review the process then send off any forms! Easy Name Change has broken up all the categories below into an easy to use online interactive checklist. Simply check which places you need to notify and get all the procedures and paperwork! If you don’t feel like dropping £20 then use the free checklist.
- Update your name with DVLA. Use the D1 form which you can order online or collect from most post offices.
- Complete your name change online with HMRC. You also need to explain if your domestic situation has changed (eg: you are now married and/or living together)
- Financial institutions. Most larger banks, particularly those on the high street, need you to attend in person. Most smaller banks with fewer locations let you change names by mail. If you have loans or credit cards with the same bank you can get them all changed on the same visit. Most other credit cards or loans can be changed by sending off a letter or form.
- Credit and store cards.
- Update your telcos: internet, phone, pay TV
- Update our utilities: electricity, gas, water
- Apply for a new passport. If you like, you may choose to do this in the 3 months before you get married, but it won’t be valid until your wedding day. Also be mindful if you are traveling to a country that requires you to pre-apply for a visa.
- Property: tell your landlord, or if you own property, then update your name on the property register and update council.
- Insurance policies; home, contents, vehicle, health, pet and breakdown. This might be a good time to review and bundle some policies!
- Shares, pensions and the like.
- Loyalty programs. Too many to list here!
- There’s a ton more, like all your online subscriptions, digital finance like PayPal or crypto accounts, social media profiles, TV license, professional memberships, sporting clubs, voicemail, phew!