Informative note explaining change of name in the U.K.

informative note

To help our customers — especially those who need to prove their name outside the U.K. where a change of name may be done quite differently — we have issued an informative note, which explains how a person can legally change their name in the U.K., and how they can prove it.

You should use this note together with a formal document proving your change of name, e.g. a change of name deed (or “deed poll”), marriage certificate, or your divorce documents.

The informative note has been endorsed and officially legalised (with an “apostille”) by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Why you might need to use an informative note

A change of name in the U.K. (whether by deed poll, marriage, or otherwise) doesn’t have to be recorded, registered, or enrolled anywhere.  Although this makes it relatively easy to change your name, it also means that —

  • you don’t get an official (government) “certificate” of your change of name (although a change of name deed acts as one)
  • your birth certificate will stay in your birth name, and cannot be updated to show your new name (with some exceptions)