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How To: Change Your Last Name

Taking your beloved’s name has never been easier!

Okay okay, I know wedding planning is all about fun, and ‘legalities’ isn’t the sexiest word on the menu. But knowing how to take your loved one’s name, or double barrelling your names together is important stuff! Especially if you are changing the name on your passport – we know you don’t want to run into trouble trying to escape for your honeymoon. So here are all the facts you need to avoid any potential pitfalls!

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By Ross Harvey

1. Plan ahead

First of all, you are allowed to change your name up to three months before the marriage ceremony takes place. This means that you can travel under a new name straight after the wedding; however, you will NOT be allowed to travel under the new passport (post-dated passport) until the marriage takes place and your old passport is cancelled.

Note: Some countries will NOT issue visas for post-dated passports, so you will need to check with the country’s consulate.

We also suggest you take photocopies of all your old ID, like your driving license and passport, just in case you might have to prove who you are in years to come!

2. Forms

Secondly, you should prepare all the correct forms. This means the “passports for newly weds and civil partners” form, which you can get here and which should be signed by the official conducting your wedding, if you want the post-dated passport, click here.

  • Or if you are applying to renew your passport after the wedding:

https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport

When you apply to change your name on your passport, it will result in a passport renewal, which will cost you £72.50.

  • And a form to change the name on your driving license, which you can get here:

https://www.gov.uk/change-name-driving-licence

  • You should also let HM Revenue and Customs know about your change of name through this form:

https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/shortforms/form/PAYENICoC

All of the above forms will need to be accompanied by supporting documents, like previous identification and marriage certificates. Tip: we suggest you get more than one copy of your marriage certificate, so that you don’t have to wait for documents to be sent back to you.

Bridebook.co.uk- sign pointing to wedding reception
By Weddings Vintage

3. Finances

Financial services, such as banks and building societies will accept your marriage certificate as proof of your name change. It’s worth popping into your bank to find out everything they might need. On average, you will have to inform between 15-20 companies of your name change – have a look through your cards and bank statements to remind you of some you might have to update. 

4. Deed Poll

You can also change your name by deed poll, especially if you are a man taking on a different surname, or if you are merging your names together. This is simply a document, written by you that states that you are choosing to abandon your previous name, that you agree to use your new name at all times and that you will require all persons to address you by your new name only. This needs to be signed by two witnesses that are not related to you (they need to provide their names, occupations and addresses). You can prepare this yourself using the phrases used here.

Or you can enlist the help of a solicitor. Once this is complete, use the deed poll as you would a marriage license.

5. Electoral Poll

Don’t forget to update your electoral poll details, as you may get turned down for credit in your new name. Banks use the electoral poll as proof of identification.

6. Final details

Remember, that when you travel, the airline tickets must be in the same name as your passport. So if your airline tickets are in your married name and your passport is in your old name, you will not be able to travel. Similarly, visas in your old passport may become expired upon name change and renewal. If you have any queries, just speak to the airline and embassy directly to make sure.

Bridebook.co.uk- bride signing the register
By Ten Twenty One

Happy Planning!

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