Notarising and legalising a deed poll can be crucial steps in the process of legally changing one’s name. These procedures help ensure that the document is authentic and legally recognized.

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  1. What Is The Change of Name Deed (Deed Poll)?
  2. Do I Need a Solicitor to Change My Name?
  3. Who Can Witness a Deed Poll?
  4. Why You Might Need an Apostille For a Change of Name Deed
  5. Process to Notarise and Apostille a Change of Name Deed Poll

What Is The Change of Name Deed (Deed Poll)?

The Change of Name Deed, otherwise known as a Deed Poll, is a legal document used to officially change a name of an adult or child.

It is used to update formal documentation such as a passport, driving licence, bank accounts and other records.

Changing your name can include changing any aspect by adding or deleting hyphens, changing the spelling or altering any other part of the name.

There are two types of deed polls:

  • Unenrolled deed polls
  • Enrolled deed polls

An unenrolled deed poll is a document you can make yourself without going through a formal legal process. The deed poll must be signed by the individual in the presence of one witness and can be completed by anyone above the age of 16.

An enrolled deed poll is a Change of Name Deed that is officially registered at the Royal Courts of Justice. You must be over the age of 18 to apply to register and use the Courts deed poll process.

To change your name, you simply need to start using your new name for all purposes. However, when you start to apply for a new passport or to open a bank account, for example, you may be asked to provide formal evidence that you changed your name. This is where a Change of Name Deed or Deed Poll is useful.

Do I Need a Solicitor to Change My Name?

If you intend to use an unenrolled deed poll to legally change your name, it is not necessary to seek the assistance of a solicitor. This makes it a straightforward and accessible process for anyone who wishes to change their name.

If you don’t want to draft the Change of Name Deed yourself, you can ask a specialist online company to draft it for you or ask a solicitor or notary to do so. We have years of experience drafting Change of Name Deeds and can ensure that it meets all requirements to be valid.

If you have a complex legal situation or need guidance on the legal implications of changing your name, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a solicitor. A solicitor can provide you with professional guidance and support through the process.

If you require a formally enrolled deed poll, it may be necessary to use a solicitor to ensure that the process is completed correctly. This is a more formal process that involves enrolling the name change with the Royal Courts of Justice. There is a specific form which can be downloaded from the website that is used to change your name via an enrolled deed poll.

Whether or not you need a solicitor to change your name will depend on your circumstances and the specific legal requirements in your jurisdiction.

Who Can Witness a Deed Poll?

If you’re a British citizen living in the UK, Isle of Man, or Bailiwick of Guernsey, your witness must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be over the age of 18 and a UK resident
  • Know your identity
  • Be independent of you (i.e., not a relative, partner, or cohabitant)
  • Have the mental capacity to make decisions without being affected by any mental impairment or disturbance, whether temporary or permanent
  • Present to witness your signing of the deed poll
  • Apart from these conditions, your witness can be anyone, such as a friend, neighbour, or colleague.

If you are a British national living overseas or in the Bailiwick of Jersey, a notary public should witness your deed poll. Additionally, if you need to have your deed poll legalised, a notary public is also required.

If you are a foreign national, you should contact your Embassy or High Commission in the UK. They can assist you in determining the requirements for a deed poll to be recognized by your country of origin.

Why You Might Need an Apostille For a Change of Name Deed

You may require an apostille certificate for a Change of Name Deed for several reasons including:

  • If you’re planning on getting married abroad
  • Emigrating to another country
  • Opening a bank account abroad
  • Studying abroad
  • Applying for a visa to enter another country
  • If you’re a foreign national living in the UK and want to change the name in your foreign passport
  • Applying for an overseas residence card e.g. for India, an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) or PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) card. Or for Pakistan: a NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) or POC (Pakistan Origin Card)

Process to Notarise and Apostille a Change of Name Deed Poll can assist you with our fast and cost-effective services while walking you through every step of the process:

  1. Firstly you will need to complete our Client Registration Form to register as a client.
  2. After completing the form, we will notarise either a copy of or the original of the Change of Name Deed poll certificate.
  3. We will then have the document certified and apostilled at either of the available FCDO locations.
  4. Once this has been completed, we will share a PDF scan of the apostilled document and return the document to you.

To obtain an apostille, you must submit your Change of Name Deed Poll to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Legalisation Office.

There are two Legalisation Office counters in London (Premium Service) and Milton Keynes (Standard Service). We offer a premium same-day apostille service for urgent matters and a standard 3-5 working day apostille service if you are not in a rush.

If you intend to use your Change of Name Deed certificate in a non-Hague Convention country, you may need consular legalisation for your certificate to be recognized. It is important to check the legal requirements of the country where you plan to use your certificate. Find out more information about individual countries on our Country Requirements List.

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