Changing your name after marriage is a personal choice. At the end of the day, it’s your name so you should choose whatever makes you feel comfortable. Depending on what you want to change your name to there are a few ways to do officially do this. Unfortunately, these all involve some paperwork, unless you’re deciding to keep your own surname.
How to Officially Change Your Name After Marriage in the UK
Taking Your Spouse's Last Name
this is one of the easiest options to change to as you’ll only need your marriage certificate in order to change official documents.
There is also the option of changing your name by deed poll if for whatever reason you don’t have a marriage certificate, you will need to hire a solicitor to apply for a deed poll, or you can get one online. If you want to find out more then this article is super helpful.
Double-barrelling Your Last Names
Again you’ll be able to use your marriage certificate to make this change. Just double-check with official places such as your bank that this will suffice as evidence of a name change. It may be easier to start with changing your passport or driver’s license as this will make changes elsewhere easier.
Moving Your Maiden Name To Your Middle
Unlike a double-barrelled last name a marriage certificate won’t be enough to make this change as its an alternation to your forename and not your surname, so you would need to go through deed poll to make this change.
A New Surname
you and your spouse may choose to come up with a whole new name, whether it’s a combination of your two names or something completely different, you will also need to use deed poll to make this change.
Note: You don’t need to change your surname to “Mrs”, if you wish to adopt this title then you can start applying it straight away.
You will need to apply for a new UK passport with either your marriage certificate or a deed poll depending on the change you’ve made. You’ll receive a brand-new passport with 10-year validity. The usually charges for a new passport will apply. If you have any visas these should remain valid but check with the issuing country to make sure.
You can apply for a new passport here.
You can apply in advance for a Newlywed Passport, this will make your old passport invalid and your new one will be post-dated to your wedding date and won’t be valid until you’re officially married. To do this you can fill in an application form which you can find here.
Note: Any travel documents you have for future travel need to match your passport so if you have any trips booked or planning to go on a honeymoon directly after your wedding you may wish to wait to change your passport.
You will need to fill in an application form available from most post offices, along with your old driving license and the supporting documents (i.e. marriage certificate or deed poll). You’ll also be able to change your title at the same time. You’ll receive a new license but you can still drive while you wait for this. It does not cost anything to change your name. You can find out more here.
You must update your vehicle log book (V5C) with your name change, this is usually free to do. How to do this depends on the type of log book you have, you can find out more here.
HM Land and Registry Office
If you own land or property, you’ll need to fill in an AP1 application form, which you can find here, along with the evidence of your name change such as marriage certificate or copy of deed poll and send them to HM Land Registry. There is no charge for this.
· Bank accounts
· Credit cards
· Debit cards
· Store cards
· Mortgage providers
Make a list of financial institutions you’ll need to contact and work through these. It may be easier to do this after you’ve updated your passport and/or driving license as companies may vary on what evidence they require. Note: changing your name does not affect your credit rating.
You’ll need to change your details by logging into the Government Gateway, if you don’t have a log in you’ll need to create one. This name change will apply to your:
· Income Tax and National Insurance
· tax credits and benefits, including Child Benefit
· services, including the Pension Service
You’ll receive an email to confirm your changes or to ask for further documents to support the request.
This will differ between employers so speak to your HR department about what the process is. You may wish to keep your maiden name in professional circumstances if you’ve built a reputation under your previous name, this is fine and you can still officially change your name on other documentation but you may need to inform the passport office that you’re also known under a different name.
You can use the ‘Register to vote’ service to change your name. In order to do this, you’ll need to re-register with your new details (even if you’re already registered to vote).
Utilities and Bills
Make a list of all the institutions and business you need to pay bills to, their websites will normally detail how you can go about changing your name. This may be:
· Local council
· Gas supplier
· Electricity supplier
· Water supplier
· Landline phone provider
· Mobile phone network provider
· Internet provider
· TV subscription services
Again, make a list of companies you own insurance with, for example:
· Extended warranties
Let any health care professionals you’re registered with know of your name change, for example:
Some other places you may wish to consider changing your name if they’re applicable to you:
· Will documents
· Investment companies
· Companies you have shares in
· Pension company
· Mail-order companies
· Professional institutes and bodies
· Clubs, societies and associations
· Police (if you have any criminal actions against you)