If you wish to be known by a different name you can change your name at any time, provided you do not intend to deceive or defraud another person. You could just take on and begin to use a new name by changing your forename or surname. Alternatively you can add names or rearranging your existing names.
Note: It is not possible to change details on your birth certificate, except in limited circumstances.
If you have decided to change your name, you can use the new name for all purposes for example:
- Publishing marriage bans.
- Legal proceedings.
- Obtaining, or changing details on a driving licence or passport.
People often find evidence of the change of name is needed such as when applying for a passport or a driving licence and this is when a Change of Name Deed which can be prepared by a solicitor is necessary.
Changing a child’s name
A child’s name can be changed at any time, provided it is not to deceive or defraud another person. All the people (usually those with parental responsibility) who need to give their consent must have done so. Legal advice on your situation may be necessary before you can proceed.
Once you have decided to change your child’s name, you can use the new name for all purposes. Examples include registering with a school or doctor or obtaining examination certificates.
Evidence of the change of name could be requested such as when applying for a passport or a driving licence and this is when a Change of Name Declaration which can be prepared by a solicitor is necessary.
Who can change a child’s name
Where only one parent or person has parental responsibility for a child, that person can lawfully change the child’s name. Where two or more people have parental responsibility for the child, one of them can lawfully change the child’s name if all the others agree. Such agreements do not need to be in writing.
If there is a child arrangements order in force, a child’s name cannot be changed without the written agreement of anyone else who has parental responsibility or the permission of the court.
For most purposes, a statutory declaration is generally accepted as evidence of your change of name.
A statutory declaration is a statement recording your intention to abandon your old name and adopt a new one.
Contact us on starting a change of name