Eligibility for civil partnerships

Written by    Last updated: July 17, 2006

What are the rules for who can form a civil partnership?

Changing your name and title

There is no legal requirement for either partner to change their surname upon entering into a civil partnership, though most couples will probably want to share the same surname.

They can choose to either:

  • continue using their own surnames
  • one partner can take the other partner’s surname*
  • both partners can change their surnames, by Deed Poll, to double‐barrel their surnames or to change to a new surname altogether. Deed Poll can also be used to change one partner’s surname to a middle name when they take on the other partner’s surname.

*The civil partnership certificate provides the necessary documentary evidence of the change of surname. By sending the civil partnership certificate to all concerned, the person’s documents and records will be changed to show the new surname.
If a female couple wish to change their title from Ms or Miss to Mrs., this can also be done by Deed Poll.

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