How to Change Your Name

Written by    Last updated: May 27, 2012

Once the big day is looming your attention shifts from all the things you need to do before your wedding, to all the things you need to do after your wedding – send the thank you cards, dry clean your dress, go on honeymoon and… change your name. 

Bride on Laptop

Changing your name after marriage is a lasting reminder of your wedding day and your life together.  It’s exciting and sometimes strange to think of yourself with a different name.  At first it may come out awkwardly, but within a few months it will roll off your tongue with natural ease.  Before you can get to that point there’s a mountain of paperwork and notifications that need to get done.

To get started, the first thing needed is your marriage certificate.  You’ll need a government issued marriage certificate which can be ordered from the registry office in the district where your wedding took place.  Religious certificates are often not acceptable to get identification changed because they may be missing certain security information and are not consistently formatted.  Marriage certificates may take 1-2 weeks to be available to order and typically cost around £10 each.  We recommend ordering 2-3 certificates so your name change is not held up while you are waiting for your only certificate to be returned.

Once you have your certificate, arrange for your photo identification to be updated first.  Driving licenses can be updated by mail and you’ll need to send your original certificate.  There is no charge to update your license.  If you currently hold a valid passport you can lodge your application online.  Full renewal fees are due regardless of when your passport was issued.  A standard passport renewal currently costs £77.50.

Next, notify HM Revenue and Customs.  Your new details can be notified via their website.  There is a lengthy form to complete and you’ll need to supply quite a bit of personal information when completing the form, so take the time to get all your information ready before starting the process.  Once successful all your records within HM Revenue and Customs will be updated.

Once your photo ID and HM Revenue and customs has been updated, there will be a number of private organisations to notify.  This may include your phone provider, utilities, banks, credit cards, loans, insurance, memberships, loyalty clubs and more.  Each organization sets their own policy for name change.  Some will allow you to update your details over the phone once you have proved your identity.  Others, such as financial institutions, require original documents and photo ID before changes can be made to your account.  This is to safeguard your account.

The typical bride will have around 15 to 20 organisations to notify of her new name.  As each company has their own name change procedure, it is a time consuming task to contact each one to ask, then sent off any documents that may be required.

Confetti can save you the hassle of all the research with personalised Confetti name change kit.  Confetti allows you to nominate who you need to notify of your new name, and we’ll provide all the information needed.  If you need to send your request in writing, we’ll provide the letter, form or fax you need.  If you can change your name online we’ll provide the web address and information needed.  If there is another policy for changing names, we’ll provide all the information you need so you don’t need to get on the phone, wait on hold or ask what to do.

Here are our top 5 tips for changing names to help you along the way:

  1. Aim to get all your paperwork done in a few days.  Having it hang around for weeks or months will drive you crazy and can cause problems when travelling abroad.
  2. Order 2-3 copies of your marriage certificate from the Registry office so your name change is not held up while you wait for documents to be returned.
  3. Take some photocopies of your old passport and driver’s license before getting them updated as they may need to be surrendered.  A few years down the track you need to prove who you were!
  4. Prioritise updating photo ID.  Some organisations may want to see updated photo ID as further evidence of your new name
  5. Buy a Confetti name change kit.  Our kits will speed up the whole process and give you full procedures for over 400 UK organisations.

For more great advice, read Confetti’s wedding planning pages!

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