A handy checklist for changing your name in the United Kingdom


The goal of joyfully spending the rest of your life with somebody you admire or respect has been the dreams of many. Getting hitched has been the fantasy of numerous, and changing your last name to your better half’s or your husband’s surname is one of the best opportunity a woman would ever have. The act of one partner taking on the other’s surname is quite strong. Statistics have shown that over 82% of newlyweds choose to modify their names.

Whether you’re taking your partner’s name, pronouncing it with your name or using a combination of both surnames some may prefer to keep their surnames, include their surnames with hyphens or double-barreling. One partner can change their family name into a middle name and assume their partner’s surname to be their last name which is one of the things you think of before your wedding to decide how and when to change your name after the marriage legally.

Some couples can also choose to have a new surname, which might consist of both names being mixed up or taking part of their names to form the last name but for this to be done you need to get a legal name change procedure going.

It is always great to have a tradition which is very clear and direct, but sometimes is time-consuming because you will have to apply for a change of name in the United Kingdom where some different nations don’t fill forms, all you need do is to acquire an authorized marriage certificate from the state you were married in to change all your official records which will fill in as a cogent evidence.


If you were married overseas, you might need to apply to change your name through a state authority as a few organizations won’t accept a foreign marriage certificate, that doesn’t mean your wedding is not legal, it only implies that it cannot be recorded in two separate countries, so you may require a formal name change for the government to accept your married name.

Go to the organizations where you need to update your details about the marriage where some documents might be considered and make getting a marriage certificate straightforward, and your partner would have helped you fill out all of the paperwork before your wedding.


Things to consider when changing your name after the wedding

Changing your name is an important part of the post wedding to-do list for many brides and the points listed below will help you discover everything there is to learn about being a newlywed bride and makes changing of names simple for you.

There are some options to consider when it comes to changing your name after marriage and some legal requirements you must do to change your name officially. Many believe that the habit of taking his last name after marriage is a little old-fashioned.

Here is some process to taking your partner’s surname after the wedding:

  1. Request an official marriage certificate

This document is the most important document you must have. The RBDM (Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages) issues this, in the state you were married into if not done, you can’t carry any other activity. Check with your celebrants to know if they have already filled the paper work for you while you go through all other programs and personal subscription or agreement on your own.

  1. Adopt His Name

This is also an approach historically in the United Kingdom, where the woman would assume the man’s last name as her name after marriage. Some even decide to keep their family name as a middle name and the title ‘Mrs.’ which is also known as ‘mistress of’ precedes it which sounds relatively direct but sometimes it is not.

If you choose to take your partner’s name conventionally, you can start using it from the day you are married but will need to update it anywhere your name is registered stating in a cover letter that you have also changed your title to Mrs. by sending a duplicate of your original marriage certificate to all necessary authorities such as your bank and other agencies. Also, this is applicable when you are going to your honey moon abroad you will need to take a honeymoon ticket using your new name.

a. Double barreling

Double-barreling works well if both names are quite short and easy to pronounce the surnames. This is when your name serves two purposes when you are not ready to leave your maiden name behind, but you still want to take your partner’s name, and this is a form of alternative instead of taking just his name, you can double-barrel it with your surname.


Using legal documents, a woman can double-barrel her last name. If a wife and her husband want to adopt the same double-barreled name, the man could change his name using legal documents too before the marriage so that his wife could simply use the marriage certificate to apply for a new passport and change her records too after the wedding.

b. Using your surname name as a middle name

If you want to change your name but you still love your maiden name all that it means? Make it your middle name so you can still feel connected to your old family name and at the same time implement the tradition which makes it part of your legal name or your partner could adopt your maiden name as a middle name too.

If you choose to do this, you apply to change your name by deed poll or legal documents using a specialist or a solicitor. You will need to supply a copy of your marriage certificate to make this modification before you apply for a new passport.

c. Unite or Meshing both names

Many couples looking for a modern way to mark the fact that they are married love this idea instead of double barreling their names they could consider merging their last names to create an entirely new name, for instance, Jane Reynolds and Bright Lively could be Mr. and Mrs. Reyly.

If your names don’t go together and you feel bothered about keeping your family names, this is a new idea which is quite popular it helps combine your surnames which is known as Meshing. Merging your names is a good choice if you want to make a statement most importantly a fresh start which is seen as a good choice for equality.

When combining your new name make sure your name does not sound silly and the name will be passed on to the children if you have. Since it is going to be your legal name but if you feel you love your last name and still want to continue with it, then you can keep it and be happy with it.

Meshing your surnames will need to be done by deed poll, and the man could also do it first, and his wife could just adopt the new name following marriage.

 d. Using your maiden name professionally

You can change your name legally and let all authorized agencies be aware such as your bank account, passport and other things included, but keep your maiden name for work purposes and let your colleagues know that you still use the maiden name in your professional capacity.

If you have a unique name in your chosen field, or you have built a superb career using your maiden name it could cause confusion and could be detrimental commercially to your profession if you change your name, you can also go through the conventional method of taking your husband’s name outside of work, but still choose to still be known by your birth name at work.

e. Takes his wife last name after marriage

In the modern we are now this idea shouldn’t be that radical, but it is quite uncommon. If your last name means a lot to you and he isn’t that bothered about it, which could be a perfect choice for you both. If a man wants to change his surname to his wife’s, he will need to change his name to a legal document.

 f. Keep using your maiden name

Contrary to our popular belief, a woman’s surname does not automatically change to her husband’s surname upon marriage. A marriage certificate only records the names of the couple who are marrying. If you decide to not change your name following your marriage, you don’t need a deed poll. You simply need to write to all authorized agencies notifying them that you are not changing your surname and also present your marriage certificate

g. A new title (Mrs.)

If you decide to keep your last name following the wedding, you don’t need to change anything. You will need to choose to be recognized as a Mrs., or Miss and inform those that need to be aware of your change in title. This will require you to apply for a legal document and request for a change of title declaration on your legal document which means both your name and title change will appear on your legal document. Please note that your title will not reflect in your passport.

  1. Emotional low down

As well as the details, legalities and decision making, the process of changing ones’ name is sometimes emotional for some brides. While some brides can’t wait to take hold of their partner’s surname, and for grooms too, it can also be emotional seeing a partner confused about deciding on taking their name because some still wish to bear their family’s name and at the same time have their partner’s name which is normal.


  1. Retaining freedom

There are reasons why a woman could feel like she is losing some form of identity by changing her name. If you have an active and fruitful career that was built in your maiden name, you might not change it because you don’t want to lose your family name. Changing your name doesn’t take away your independence and does not change you as a person but requires your decision. Having this feeling is normal.


  1. Excellent Communication

If changing your name is a problem, and you feel that you don’t want to do it, talk to your partner about it before the wedding if he or she agrees or not to it. Communicating transparently about the issue and explaining that the name change is nothing against him, but it is an essential part of your identity is the best action to take to keep away from arguments in the run up to the wedding is the best way towards reaching a compromise.


  1. Legalities

If you choose to modify your name by legal documents, you have two options when it comes to how to proceed. You can apply for a deed poll or a legal document ahead of your wedding (give about three weeks for this) and write in the date of your wedding in the application. This means that the deed poll will be dated for the day of your wedding and you can sign it on the day of your wedding and have a new name right away or after the wedding, you can apply for it.


  1. Renewal of passport

Changing your name on your passport will take up to three months before the time thereby your old passport will be canceled where the new passport will be post-dated which implies that it is legitimate from the date of your ceremony. You can use it before the ceremony, by changing it online and sending them two new photos which only needs a signature from the person conducting your ceremony. If your appearance has changed since your last photo. If you can’t wait for the renewal of the passport, you could use your maiden name as long as the name on the ticket matches the names on your passport you are free to travel.


  1. Renewal of Driver’s License

The government issues photo ID, such as driver’s license and others. Provide solid proof of your name and other organizations will quickly change your name after seeing this record. This could make things faster and easier by submitting your marriage certificate for up to 6 weeks. You need to complete a driving form specifying the kind of vehicle you use with your marriage certificate attached to it and send it to DVLA.

After taking into consideration the process of changing your surname. It can be quite difficult to know who to notify about your change in married name in the United Kingdom using your marriage certificate as evidence and your photo ID (identity documents) which will make it easier to some of the other minor records.


Having done all these already, here are the people and organizations you need to notify about your change of married name:

The passport office: To get a new shiny passport with your new name on it. You will need to send the original marriage certificate to them this can be done if you decide to get your passport after the wedding.


The DVLA: (The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority) DVLA will issue you a new driving license in your married name if you send them your original marriage certificate so they can update your name on their records.


Child benefits: If you have kids at school ensure you let the school know of your change of name so they can modify any emergency contact details, records, and your child’s records too.


The HMRC: For Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs service you will need to send an original marriage legal document which serves as a proof of your new name.


Local Authority (Council tax and electoral register): This serves the purpose such as council tax. Send a copy of your marriage certificate explaining your recent marriage and change of name so it can take effect on their records.


Your bank or any financial institution: Make sure your bank knows about your new name, especially if your guests have made cheques to your new name, the bank will need your original marriage certificate as a proof of your name change before you can withdraw.


Your pension providers: Talking about retirement, they can update your name on your pension scheme if you send them a letter with your marriage certificate stating your recent marriage and change of name.


Credit card companies: For them to send you bills statements to you on a correct name you need to let the company know about your change of name so you can be issued a new card with your married name on it.


Your Employer: Since you are changing your name, let your directors, managers and human resource department of your organization be aware of your new name so they can update your company email address and your records.


Your Doctor: You might need to produce a copy of your marriage certificate just in case you want to update your name with your health services in the event of emergencies such as surgeries and others.


Utility Companies like gas, water, electricity providers: Utility services such as your gas, water, electricity and much more. Ensure your household bills go to you in the right name by letting the company knows about your change of name.


Your Insurance companies (motor, home, etc.): Let your insurance companies be aware of the recent change in your name so that they are up to date with every insurance provider they have like your car or your home.


Your email addresses: To get more information about your organizations, agencies you work with, and the social medias must be aware of your new married name.


Loan companies: Companies that loan you for your business, for any project you are into, needs to be notified about your change in name, so they won’t have the belief that you changed your identity to avoid debt and to follow the protocol of the company. Stating the recent change in the married name and presenting your marriage certificate.


Social media accounts and Store cards: Facebook has the easiest change by logging into your account and making that effect and spelling your new name correctly.


Any club or societies you belong to: If you’re a member of a society or any club, let them know about your change of name, so your membership card will be modified.

Understanding the reasons why you want to change your surname to your husband’s name means you are no longer single because of the title ‘Mrs.’ Indicates that you are married to someone, and the surname serves as a tag to a group you both which marks the beginning of a new family and a new home.

It acts as an identifying mark but does not change your personality as a lady neither does it takes away the fact that you are your parent’s daughter nor your self-esteem it just changes your title from Miss to Mrs.chn

If you want to be treated publicly, you will be treated as a married woman and not as a spinster because every organization would have modified the change where in there is no confusion in the names.

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