In the UK, it is common practice for a bride to change her name following marriage. There are a number of different methods of changing your name in the UK, but a woman assuming her husband's surname through marriage is by far the simplest. The marriage certificate is accepted evidence of a change of name after marriage in the UK through custom, tradition and the common law.
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Things you need
- Marriage certificate
Take your marriage certificate to the local branch of your bank. Ask customer service how to change your name on your account and inform them that you wish to take your new husband's name. Present the original copy of your marriage certificate (photocopies are not acceptable documentation for a change of identity) and sign any forms the bank requires. You will then receive your new checkbook and bank cards through the mail.
Visit your local post office or regional passport office and get a copy of the UK passport application form. Complete this form with your new details and send it to the Passport and Identity Service using the accompanying envelope. Enclose your current passport, the original copy of your marriage certificate with the application and the required fee. Any time left on the current passport will be added to your replacement.
Visit your local post office and fill out a copy of the driver's license application form (Form D1). After completing the form, return it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. Enclose the original copy of your marriage certificate and both parts (photo card and paper license) of your current driver's license.
Tips and warnings
- Although many banks will accept a marriage (or civil partnership) certificate as evidence of a change to a “double-barrelled” surname, there is no legal requirement for them to do so. In UK common law, changing your name upon marriage using a marriage certificate is only supported when it is the woman taking her husband's surname. For all other purposes (including taking your maiden name as a middle name), you will require a Deed Poll or statutory declaration.
- Husbands cannot use a marriage certificate to change their surname; as the status of a marriage certificate is only accepted for brides under tradition and the common law. Instead, a man can change his name using either a Deed Poll or a statutory declaration. This is a simple process and the required documentation is widely available both on the Internet and via a local lawyer.
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