The Government has released new guidance on the process for changing names on official documents.

Most people change their name for personal reasons or marriage… but for some it can be linked to crime and fraud.

The new guidance states:

“The policy is focussed on achieving two aims: first, helping the genuine applicant to obtain documents in a change of name with the minimum but necessary level of supporting information; and second, deterring, disrupting and detecting those who change their names in order to commit crime or avoid detection.”

The policy applies to the following:

  • British passports, including emergency travel documents and emergency passports
  • Home Office travel documents
  • biometric residence permits
  • visas
  • right of abode and certificates of entitlement
  • residence documents issued to EEA nationals and their family members, including derivative categories.

When a person applies to change their name they will have to provide evidence that they plan to use their new name for all purposes. Evidence can include marriage certificates or a deed poll.

If married or in a civil partnership you can use your marriage or civil partnership certificate to apply for new documents in your new name.

To change the name of a child legally you’ll need either the agreement of everyone with a parental responsibility or a court order if parents disagree.

For advice on any of the above or any other family law matter then please call a member of our specialist family team on 0845 287 0939 or complete an online enquiry form.