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Ask Eleanor: Is is easy to change my name when I get married?

Posted on Monday, 24th June 2013 by

Photo Credit: wtl photography via Compfight cc 


This depends on what to change your name to, and what gender you are!

Anyone over the age of 18 in this country can change their name to whatever they like whenever they like. However, when it comes to letting official bodies such as the Passport Office, your bank or your local GP surgery know about your name change, they may want you to prove it.

A marriage certificate acts as proof that a woman has taken her husband’s surname. It doesn’t obligate the woman to do so, but if she decides to take her husband’s name it is the only document she will need to prove her name. Unfortunately, the law as it stands only allows a marriage certificate to be proof of a surname change for a woman. This means that if a man wants to change his surname upon marriage, he will have to do so using a change of name deed (deed poll). Is it advisable to get this drawn up by a solicitor to ensure it is a legally binding document.

When a woman wishes to double-barrel her name, some banks and doctors have been known to accept a marriage certificate as proof, However, many places including the passport office will not accept this as proof and so she may also need to use a change of name deed.

If a couple both wish to take on a new name after their wedding, such as double-barrelling, merging or coming up with something new entirely, there is a way to save on costs. If the man pays to change his surname to the new surname in advance of the wedding, it will appear on the marriage certificate and therefore the woman can use the certificate as proof of her new surname, rather than paying for two separate change of name deeds.

Andrew is a Commercial & Employment Law solicitor in Leicester. Our Solicitors in Leicester are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.

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Andrew Robinson - Employment Law
Andrew Robinson - Employment Law
andrew.robinson@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01509 212 108
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