The process of switching your name on a UK passport can be a convoluted process, but in some cases it’s essential and there’s no way to avoid changing your name. For British citizens who travel frequently but who need to change the name on their passport, knowing where to start is the most important first step. This article outlines the basic steps involved to make the process easier.
What is a Deed Poll and How it Can Help the Process
The use of a deed poll can make the entire passport name change process much smoother and simpler, which can save you time and money. A deed poll is a special kind of legal document that provides proof of name change. With a deed poll, it’s possible for a British citizen to change any part of their name or to add name(s), hyphenation(s), or change the spelling of any name.
The use of a deed poll is not necessary in the case of marriage or civil partnership. If you get married and wish to change your name on your passport, all that’s necessary is that you send your marriage or civil partnership certificate to the appropriate record-holders for processing.
In the case of divorce or the end of a civil partnership, send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate along with a copy of the decree absolute or final order. Again, in this case, a deed poll is not needed.
How do you get a deed poll?
Getting a deed poll is relatively simple. There are 2 ways that you can get a legal deed poll that you can use to switch your name on your UK passport:
1) Apply for an “enrolled” deed poll
An enrolled deed poll will put your new name on the public record. This is the most efficient process, especially for individuals who need a passport name change quickly due to travel-related reasons. You must be over 18 to apply for this kind of deed poll.
Download the applicable information and forms for the enrolled deed poll here. After you’ve completed the forms and are ready to apply officially, send the documents to the Queen’s Bench Division for processing.
2) Personally make an “unenrolled” deed poll
British citizens 16 years old and older can apply for an unenrolled deed poll. You can either make the deed poll yourself or request the help of a qualified specialist or agency. If you make your own, use the following wording:
“I [old name] of [your address] have given up my name [old name] and have adopted for all purposes the name [new name].
“Signed as a deed on [date] as [old name] and [new name] in the presence of [witness 1 name] of [witness 1 address], and [witness 2 name] of [witness 2 address].
“[your new signature], [your old signature]
“[witness 1 signature], [witness 2 signature]”
You can then use this document as proof of your name change to apply for a new UK passport with your new name.
Simple really isn’t it? Do let me know if you have any question of advice you can offer in relation to this in the comments below.