Changing your Name?

You thought the decision making was over when you said 'I do' and finally managed to sort everything for the wedding and honeymoon. However you still need to decide whether or not you wish to take your husbands name.

So what are my options?

Take your husbands surname

On getting married you will receive a Marriage Certificate. This document legally entitles you to change your surname to that of your husbands (as it appears on the marriage certificate). You will need to send your marriage certificate along with an accompanying letter to any person or organisation who has an interest in your identity, explaining that you wish from here onwards to be referred to by your new name. When you notify the Passport Office and the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) they will request that you send your original marriage certificate, therefore it might be advisable to obtain several marriage certificates on your wedding day.

Keep your current surname

When you get married you are not obliged to take your husbands name if you do not want to. Consequently if you intend to keep your current surname you do not need to contact anyone.

Keep you current surname but change your title

You may want to keep your current surname but change your title to Mrs, in which case you will need to send your marriage certificate along with an accompanying letter to any person or organisation who has an interest in your identity. It will not be necessary to notify the Passport Office or the DVLA as your title does not appear on either of these documents.

Change your name to a double-barrelled surname

If you would still like to retain your family surname after marriage but would also like to take your husbands surname then having a double-barrelled surname would be a good compromise. The womans surname traditionally goes first followed by a hyphen if you so wish and then followed by the husbands surname. However many women will choose the order of the surnames depending on which sounds better.

Your marriage certificate along with an accompanying letter maybe all the evidence some companies need of your name change, however this is not the case for the majority. Therefore you will have to apply to change your name by Deed Poll. Changing your name by Deed Poll can either be done to coincide with your wedding day or when you get back from your honeymoon.

Keep your surname as a middle name

Another way of you still holding onto your family name is for it to become a middle name.

For example if your current name is Mary Robertson and your husbands name is Philips your new name would be Mary Robertson Philips. This is made possible by changing your name by Deed Poll.

Retain your maiden name for work purposes and use your husbands name for everything else

If you would like to continue to use your maiden name at work all you need do is notify your employer in writing that you wish to retain your maiden name at work, and notify them of the change in your bank account details.

Who should I inform of a name change?

  • Employer
  • Inland Revenue for tax and NI records (obtain your reference and tax office address from your employer)
  • Bank (mortgage and/or saving accounts)
  • Building Society (mortgage and/or saving accounts)
  • Credit card companies
  • Finance/loan companies
  • Local Authority (Council tax and register of electors)
  • Department of Work and Pensions (if you are entitled to any benefits)
  • Police (if you have any criminal actions against you or are on the Sex Offenders' Registry)
  • HM Land Registry (if you own land or property)
  • Pension providers
  • Passport Office (apply for a name passport)
  • DVLA (apply for a new drivers license)
  • Motoring organisations (breakdown organisations)
  • Utility services (ie. Gas, electricity, water and sewerage providers)
  • Telephone provider
  • Internet provider
  • Mobile phone provider
  • Royal Mail
  • Insurance companies (buildings, life, motor, endowments, contents etc.)
  • Premium Bonds Office
  • Mail-order companies
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Vets (if applicable)
  • TV license Office
  • School/college/university
  • Professional Institutes and bodies
  • Library
  • Clubs, societies and associations
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • If either or both of you have a will, this should be reviewed after you are married.