Name Change Checklist
The decision on whether to change your name after marriage or a civil partnership is a profoundly personal one. But there are legal documents that will need to change from your maiden name.
You’ve got a new name!
As Shakespeare famously said ‘What’s in a name?
There are many reasons why people change their names including getting married and taking their partners surname.
Transgender people also often pick a new name. Shedding their old name and transitioning into their new identity
And some people change their name because they don’t like the name they were given at birth.
For whatever reasons you choose to change your name there are lots of documents that will need changing to reflect your new name.
It can be quite a long list!
Some that we forget about, like your dentist, for instance, or your vets. You can do those at your next appointment, though.
However, some documents need to be changed officially, as soon as possible, after your name change
So let’s start with the ultra-important ones on the name change checklist.
Changing your name – Passport checklist.
First, I think on the Name Change Checklist would be your passport.
We use our passports as a form of ID, as well as allowing you to travel.
This would be the first port of call if you were planning a honeymoon abroad straight after a wedding ceremony and wanted to travel in your new name.
If you are changing your name because you recently got married, you also have the option of leaving your passport in your original name until after your honeymoon.
Did you know there is an option to change your passport before your ceremony?
Changing the name on your passport before your wedding ceremony.
Changing your name on the passport before the wedding ceremony can be completed, up to 3 months before your wedding ceremony.
But if you travel for work, I wouldn’t recommend changing the name on your passport before the wedding ceremony.
Because the current passport will be cancelled and the new one post-dated for the wedding date, meaning it can’t be used until after the wedding ceremony.
And, if you need visas to travel internationally for work, some countries won’t accept a post-dated passport for visa applications.
As of Jan 2022, there is also a delay in processing passports; currently, they are saying ten weeks to issue from receipt of the application.
What forms do I need to change my name on the passport?
To renew your passport before your ceremony, you need to include this form “passports for newlyweds and civil partners”, which must be signed by the minister or registrar marrying you.
You can find the form here.
What do I need to change my passport after my ceremony?
This part would apply to anyone changing their name after their wedding ceremony or any other reason.
As at August 2022 renewal of passports is taking up to 10 weeks, or slightly more. So make sure you give yourself enough time to change your name on your passport.
As well as completing a standard passport application form that you get from the post office or online, you also need to submit
- two verified passport photos and
- a copy of your name change certificate.
What if you have a relatively new passport and don’t want to change it until the passport expires?
You can do that, but you need to remember to book any travel tickets in the name on your current passport.
Changing the name on your Driving licence
When we’re asked for a form of ID, it’s typically our driving licence or passport that we use in the UK to prove who we are and where we live.
However, that’s about the only thing I ever used my driving licence for, so we tend to forget that this is another document that needs to be updated with your new name.
And it’s the law to have your driving licence with the correct name on it, so don’t forget to change this document.
But it’s pretty easy to change the name on your driving license, luckily.
What do I need to change my driving licence name?
If your licence is for a car and or a motorbike, you will need to complete a D1 application form, which you can find here, or at your local post office.
It’s as simple as completing the form and sending it to the DVLA office along with your current driving licence and the name change certificate.
Do I need new Photos?
If you are renewing a photo card licence, then you don’t need to send any passport photos along with your application for a name change.
Can I still drive?
You can still drive whilst your licence is a way for updating—currently, it takes about three weeks for your new licence to come back.
And, the best news is that it’s free to change your name on your driving licence.
What about your V5C?
If you own a car, your V5C vehicle registration documents (the logbook) needs to be changed to match the name on your driving licence.
The logbook is a vital part of owning a vehicle, so if you fail to inform the DVLA, you could face a fine of £1000.
The V5C is another nice easy bit to change. You fill in section 6 on the vehicles logbook, remembering not to tick the new keep box; you’re not a new keeper, just changing your name.
Include a letter in with the logbook to explain why you’re changing the name, and include a copy of your name change cert at the same time to clarify.
It’s currently taking about six weeks for the V5C to come back.
Remember to also contact your car insurance company to change your name on those documents as well.
And if you have any breakdown cover make sure they are advised of the name change as well.
That should be as simple as a phone call or an email with proof of your new name.
If you are employed and intend to change your name at work, don’t forget to tell your HR department so that they can keep their records up to date.
Do you need to speak to IT to change your email address and electronic signature, or does your HR department do that for you?
If you want to come back signing your emails with your new name, make sure IT has the details before your leave, so they have time to change everything over on their side.
Do you have any pensions?
Remember to write to all of your pension providers, including a copy of your name change certificate, asking them to update your paperwork.
Whether you’re the sole account holder or a joint account, every bank you have an account with will need to be informed of your name change.
Most banks and similar services will ask you to visit a branch in person to change your name.
To change your bank account into your new name, pop into your local branch with a copy of the change of name certificate, be it.
- Divorce Papers or Decree Absolute
- Marriage Certificate,
- Birth Certificate or Deed Poll/copy of entry in the Register of Corrections (Scotland only)
- and a proof of address
- Your debit card, if you have one
Loan and Credit Cards
If you have taken out any loans or credit cards in your original name, you will need to contact them all and tell them about your name change.
They will most likely require proof of your name change as well.
Did you have any Student Loans– even if you went to University years ago or are not currently making repayments, they still need to carry your correct details.
Do you have any stocks or shares?
You will need to advise these companies of your name change and give them proof of your name change as with the bank for building society above.
You will need to register your new name with HMRC, and if you’ve changed your name because you got married, then you’ll be able to claim for married couples allowance as well.
You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you update your name on the Gov.UK website.
HMRC will update your personal records for:
- Income Tax and National Insurance
- tax credits and benefits, including Child Benefit
- services, including the Pension Service
You’ll get an email to either:
- confirm your change of details
- ask for more information, for example, legal documents for your name change
Gender Name change
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is usually told automatically when you change gender legally by applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate.
Council Tax and Electoral register
Use the link on Gov.uk site to change your name on the Electoral Register, the register to vote service to:
- update your details (for example, change your name or address)
If you have recently been married, divorced or changed your name for any other reasons, they need to see official proof.
Take any of the following to your local Council Tax office along with your current Council Tax account number.
- marriage certificate
- divorce absolute paperwork or letter from a solicitor
- deed poll paperwork
Other Places to change your name
Don’t forget to change all your utilities if they are in your original name.
Below are the ones that spring to mind that we can often forget to change.
Gas/Electric/Land Line number/Mobile phone/internet provider
These can usually be done on the phone once you’ve given your security login details.
And of course, you have your Doctor, Dentist, Vet and possibly a gym.
What about your email address?
It can be as simple as going into your settings on your current email account and changing your name.
Or, create an entirely new account with your new name, but you need to divert your old emails to your new address.
And, if after reading all of this, you can’t be bothered doing it yourself there are companies out there like nameswitch that can do it all for you.
Remember, you don’t have to do all the name changing all at once.
After planning a wedding, it’s good to give yourself some time off.
So print off the checklist and get to all of the above as you have time.
The ones at the top of the checklist, like your passport, driving licence and HR, are the first ones on the name changing checklist that I personally would take care of; the rest can follow when you’re ready.
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