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How Do I Change My Name After A Divorce?

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How do change my name after a divorce?


After a divorce, it is common for people to change their name back to their maiden name, though not all may choose to do this. It is entirely up to you if you choose to change your name after a divorce, and there is no right or wrong decision in a situation like this. If you are looking on information about changing a child's name, it is detailed in this article here.

How do change my name after a divorce?

By law, you are allowed to simply begin to use a new name, however, in order to change your name in official records, you will need to provide the following original documents:

  1. Original Marriage Certificate

  2. Original Birth Certificate

  3. The Decree Absolute (Final Order)

OR

  1. A Deed Poll, a legal document which will declare your legal name change.

Generally, the first two documents where you will need to change your name is in your Bank Statement and Drivers License.


You should prioritise getting your name changed in your Drivers License and Passport (or other forms of Photo ID) as you can use these IDs to change your records in other places.

What if you don’t have all the necessary documents?


If you cannot get any of these required documents (ie. Marriage Certificate, Decree Absolute/Final Order, Birth Certificate), and then there are two paths available in order to tackle this issue:

  1. You can apply for the copies of such missing documents with your Local Registrar

  2. Simply obtain a change of name via Deed Poll (an official legal document which acts as an evidence of an individual's name change, you can find the necessary documentation at www.gov.uk.)

The details of both of these options are discussed below;


1. You can apply for copies of the missing documents


This process is detailed step-by-step in this article.


2. You can also get a change of name via Deed Poll


In case you are missing any of the above-mentioned documents needed for a name change and you do not want to apply for the copies of your Decree Absolute, Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate, then you can easily get these documents by obtaining a deed poll.


What is a Deed Poll?


In the United Kingdom, A person can change their name legally for any reason, at any time, via a Deed Poll. An Enrolled Deed Poll costs £42.44 and is an official document which creates a legal record of the name change of an individual.


The documents for a Deed Poll can be found online at www.gov.uk.


A Deed Poll will only require the following information:

  • Your new name (which may be your maiden name or any other name)

  • The old name that you have given up (which may be the married name)

  • The date on which you started using the new name

Can I change my name if my divorce hasn’t been finalised?


Can I change my name if my divorce hasn’t been finalised?

If you are currently separated from your partner but have not finalised the divorce and wish to change your name, you can still change your name. But you will have to obtain a deed poll as proof of your name change.


Because the divorce is not yet finalised, there will ne no decree absolute or final order, which could have otherwise have been used as proof of the name change. Therefore using a deed poll is the best option to change your name and is a relatively simple process.


How much does it cost to change my name after a divorce in the UK?


The cost of changing name depends on the documents you need in order to obtain the name change.


If you are reverting back to your maiden name after a divorce, the cost of this change will be relatively low, as the only documents you need to prove the name change are: your birth certificate, marriage certificate and decree absolute/final order.


However, changing your name in different systems may be slightly more costly. For example:

  • To update your name on your passport, the fee ranges from £75-80

  • To update your name on the driver's license, there is no cost

If you find you have missing documents, then you may incur additional costs while applying for copies of the documents. If you need services such as translation for your documents, this could add to the total cost of obtaining documents.


If you find that getting the relevant documents is too costly or complex, it may be simpler or cheaper to simply use a Deed Poll to put your new name on public record. An enrolled deed poll can cost from £18.50-42.44. You will have to submit relevant documents, but can do so online. You can change your name via Deed Poll at any time and will not have to provide a reason for doing so.


Five tips for changing your name after a divorce


The following are the five tips for changing your name after divorce;

  1. Firstly, give priority on changing your name on a Photo IDs such as a driving license or passport as most companies will generally ask for these documents as proof of identity.

  2. Make sure you know the requirements of each company that you change your name with.(eg. What documents they need, or how long it will take them to update your name in their systems.)

  3. Keep proof of your old name, just in case you need it at a later time when it is still on old documentation.

  4. Keep records of which different companies you contacted, and when, to change their records.

  5. Try to get it done in big chunks, and be aware that it could take a few hours of your time, or more.

Who needs to know about my name change?


In case of a change in your name, you have to inform HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) so that they can update your name. Also, if you are involved in any businesses, you will need to change the records of those businesses.

Who needs to know about my name change?

Apart from HMRC, the following are the government officials, companies and organizations who will need to know about your name change:


  • Banks & Building Societies

  • Mortgage lender or Landlord

  • Insurance companies

  • Credit or loan providers

  • Employer

  • The Police (if you have a criminal record)

  • Doctors and Dentist

  • Benefits office

  • Property documents

  • Passport office

  • DVLA

  • Local council

  • Utilities companies such as gas, electricity, water

  • Pension providers

  • Electoral Register


What if you only want to change your title?


In case you want to change only your title (i.e. from Mrs. to Ms.), then you do not need to go through any official name change processes or a deed poll. You can simply start using the title you prefer.


Lots of documentation, such as your passport, do not even mention your title.


How do I change my name on my UK passport after a divorce?


To change your name on your passport, you will have to apply for a new passport. This costs £75-85. After a divorce in which you change your name, you will need the following documents to prove your name change:

  • Your birth certificate

  • A statement signed by you confirming that you are using your previous surname again, in “all purposes”. This means you will not be using your married name at all anymore

  • A document showing you are using your new name (maybe a letter from a local counsel, or a payslip)

  • A final order/decree absolute

  • A marriage (or civil partnership) certificate

How do I change my name on my driving license after a divorce?


As mentioned earlier, it is free to change your name on your driver's license after a divorce.

You have to simply apply with the DVLA with necessary documents. In order to change your name on the driver's license, you need to send the following necessary documents to the DVLA;

  1. D1 Application Form

  2. Photocard of the Driving license and paper counterpart

  3. Proof of name change such as decree absolute and marriage certificate or a deed po;;

In case, you want to change your name for a lorry or a bus license, then you gave to fill out form D2 instead. However, the other steps will all be the same.


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