In the United Kingdom, you are not legally required to change your surname after marriage. If a woman wants to change her surname to that of her husband’s, she merely needs to present her marriage certificate to the proper authorities, such as the passport office, to get her documents changed. If a couple wants to join their names, hyphenate them, or if the man wants to change his surname or the woman wants to change her surname to her middle name, they will need a deed poll.
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Go to the UK Deed Poll Service’s website to apply for a deed poll (see Resources). Apply for an adult deed poll by completing the application form online.
You will only need a deed poll if you plan to hyphenate your names; for the woman only, changing her surname to her middle name and taking her husband’s surname as hers; and if you would like to mesh your surnames to create a whole new name.
Pay for the deed poll with your debit or credit card at the end of the application. If you’d rather not provide your debit/credit card details, you may also post a check to the deed poll office. The fee is £34, as of 2010.
Write to any government department, company or organisation that has your records, enclosing a copy of your deed poll document, and ask them to change your name. Among the organisations you should notify include: banks; building societies; credit card and loan companies; libraries, institutes and organisations; doctors and dentists; DSS for National Insurance purposes; DVLA for driving licence and vehicle registration; electoral register; your employer and any trade unions; the passport office; and utility companies.
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