How long does it take to change your name by deed poll?

Article reference: UK-IA-CHN09
Last updated: December 2020 | 3 min read

You can complete our deed poll template within a few minutes. It is very simple to do so - you just need to customise the Net Lawman template with your old name, your new name and your contact details.

You'll then need to sign it and have your signature witnessed. This process is called executing the deed.

Depending on your circumstances, your witnesses could be your friends, or you might need to use a solicitor.

Within the document, you declare that you will use your new name, in place of your old name, for all purposes. Until you can prove that you are doing this, you won't have legally changed your name.

Most courts would recognise your name change if the majority of records (rather than all) have been updated. As soon as you execute the deed poll document, you should notify the most important record holders (such as government departments and organisations like your bank) immediately so that they can change their records.

This does take time, and depending on how many people and organisations you have to notify, it may take between a couple of weeks and a couple of months before your new name is legal.

Who to notify first

The most important organisations to notify first are the DVLA (driving licence), the Identity and Passport Service (the Passport Office), your employer, medical providers like your doctor and your dentist, your bank or building society (particularly if you have a mortgage or investments), your insurance providers and HM Revenue and Customs.

How much does it cost to change your name?

You can change your name by deed poll for free using the Net Lawman template.

There is no national or official service that you must use (contrary to the marketing message of many websites). If you do use one of these services, they will charge you for printing your name onto a thick piece of paper with a wax seal of 'authenticity' on it.

It does cost to renew your passport after you have changed your name. Many people wait until they next need it (be careful not to leave it too late before your trip) before renewing because the Identity and Passport Service will only give up to 9 months credit towards unused time on your old passport.

For example, if you have 5 years left on your old passport, and you change your name and renew it, you'll be given credit of only 9 months, meaning that your new passport will be valid for 10 years and 9 months.

If you wait a little longer, you can delay the fee and not lose any 'value' on your old passport.

Further information and useful documents

This is the third in a series of articles about changing your name by deed poll. The next is about whether you can change your name.

Or you might like to download our free template to change name your name by deed poll.

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