Understanding Deed Poll: Your Guide to Legal Name Changes

Are you considering a name change? Whether it’s due to marriage, divorce, or simply a personal preference, understanding the process of changing your name legally is essential. One of the most common methods for legally changing your name is through a legal document known as a “deed poll.”

What is a Deed Poll?

A deed poll is a legal document that allows an individual to officially change their name. It’s a straightforward and cost-effective method that is widely recognized in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

How Does It Work?

The process of obtaining a deed poll is relatively simple. You can either draft the document yourself or use a professional service to assist you. The deed poll should include your current name, your desired new name, and a statement declaring that you intend to use your new name for all purposes.

Once the deed poll is prepared, you will need to sign it in the presence of a witness. The witness must also sign the document and provide their name, address, and occupation. It’s essential to choose a witness who is not a family member and is over the age of 18.

Legal Recognition

Once your deed poll is signed and witnessed, your name change is legally recognized. You can start using your new name immediately and update your identification documents, such as change name by deed poll your passport, driver’s license, and bank accounts.

Updating Documents

After obtaining your deed poll, you’ll need to update your official documents to reflect your new name. This may include:

  1. Passport: You’ll need to apply for a new passport with your updated name.
  2. Driver’s License: Contact your local driver licensing authority to update your driver’s license.
  3. Bank Accounts: Notify your bank of your name change and request updated account documents.
  4. Government Agencies: Inform relevant government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, of your name change.

Informing Others

In addition to updating your official documents, you’ll need to inform other parties of your name change. This may include:

  1. Employer: Notify your employer of your new name for payroll and tax purposes.
  2. Educational Institutions: Inform your school or deed poll name change university of your name change to update academic records.
  3. Utilities and Service Providers: Notify utility companies, insurance providers, and other service providers of your new name.
  4. Professional Associations: If you belong to any professional associations, notify them of your name change.


Changing your name through a deed poll is a straightforward and legally recognized process. Whether you’re changing your name due to marriage, divorce, or personal preference, a deed poll provides a simple way to update your identity. By understanding the process and following the necessary steps, you can successfully change your name and start using your new identity with confidence.