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This advice applies to England. Change country

Changing your name

There's no legal way to change your name - you simply start using a new name.

However, if you want to use your new name on documents like passports and driving licences, you'll need to get evidence of your new name.

The best way to do this is by making a deed poll.

You won't need a deed poll to change your surname after marriage or a civil partnership - you'll just need a marriage or civil partnership certificate to apply for documents in your new name.

Changing a child’s name

There's no legal way to change a child’s name - the parent simply starts using the new name.

You can get evidence that a child's name has been changed by making a deed poll.

To change a child's name, everyone with parental responsibility must agree to the change. 

If you object to a child's name being changed but don't have parental responsibility, you'll need to acquire parental responsibility through a court order to prevent the name change. 

If there's a child arrangements order in place, the name can't be changed without the written agreement of anyone who has parental responsibility, or the permission of the court.

If you're under 16, your consent isn't needed for your name to be changed.

If you don't want your name changed you can apply for a court order to prevent it.

You can't change your surname without your parent’s consent.