Changing Name After Marriage
Decide whether to change your name before or after the marriage ceremony
Tradition states that when a couple are wed the female changes their name to match that of their husband, this is a way to confirm the union and to ensure that any children share the surnames of both their parents but with the upsurge in equal opportunities different options have been taken up by couples. Many women now choose to keep their own name for professional use or for both personal and professional, some women choose to have a double barrelled name to incorporate the name of the husband but keeping their own too. Some ladies just change their title from Ms to Mrs but keep the surname the same, some couple have been known to make an entirely different choice by creating a new surname from both the male and female surnames. Whichever you decide to do it is all legal but you will have to know which steps you need to take to ensure your new name is set up and used correctly.
If you are changing your surname to your husband`sname then you may be surprised to hear that you do not need to change your name by deed poll, as long as your marriage certificate has the details of your maiden name and your new married name then this is sufficient evidence. Be careful not to lose your certificate as most organisations will only accept the original or a certified copy as proof of a name change.
The above generally applies if you want to continue using your maiden name professionally, some women prefer to continue using their maiden name professionally if they have built up a reputation within their field and want their contacts or potential customers to be able to easily find them. You will not need a deed poll but may have to advice agencies or organisations that you intend to use your maiden name as an alias.
If you intend to convert your name into a double-barrelled surname and the name is clearly derived from your name and your partners then the marriage certificate is again sufficient evidence. If however the origin of the name is unclear then the name is considered a new name and hence will require a deed poll certificate. This situation can be a little more complicated, if you are adding an extra element to the name which is not part of either of your original surnames then it is a good idea to renew your passport or get a deed poll certificate to avoid any hassle in the future.
If your preferred option is to take on your husband’s name but you intend to use your maiden name as a middle name then you can use your marriage certificate but you may encounter some trouble along the way from organisations such as banking groups, it may still be a good idea to renew your passport or driving licence before contacting these organisations or change your name via deed poll as this will make things a lot easier for you when dealing with your personal accounts.
Some women choose to keep their maiden name as a surname but change their title from Ms to Mrs anyway, if you intend to take this option then you shouldn’t have to make any changes at all as the prefix is not listed on your passport or birth certificate.
Another option which is becoming ever more popular in the UK is forming a new name from both your husband`s surname and yours, but as you are basically creating a new name your wedding certificate will not suffice as proof or your new name, in this instance you will need to change the name via deed poll.
Name changes after a wedding can be an added difficulty for many couples as they want to travel abroad on their honeymoon soon after the wedding ceremony. You need to think carefully and make a decision on when you will make the relevant changes to your passport as the name on your passport should match the name in which you book your travel arrangements, if these names do not match you may find you are refused entry to your destination or you may not even get past check in with your travel company.
If you are travelling but your name requires changing via deed poll as outlined above then you have two options :- Firstly you could arrange to sign your deed poll documents on the day of your wedding, if you want to do this then you should order the deed poll well in advance of the wedding. Once you have signed the document son the day then keep them at home until you return from your honeymoon at which point you can change your name in your passport. If you are happy to wait until your return to sign the documents then you can order the docs in advance or just wait until you return to start the process.
Having read the above document and you know your marriage certificate is sufficient evidence of your name change then you have a few choices: - The simplest solution is to travel in your maiden name and make the relevant changes to your passport on your return as you will be able to book all travel arrangement before the marriage and not have any complications.
The second option available to you is to use your current passport but take your marriage certificate with you when you travel, this option may seem like a simple choice but be aware some travel companies may still not allow you to travel if the details on your documents do not correspond with that on your passport, it is worth checking with the companies involved before you make you travel arrangements.
There is a third option open to you but is probably the most awkward, you can apply for a post-dated Passport in your new name before the wedding. HM Passport Office can change the name on your passport three months before the ceremony, upon doing this they will cancel your old passport and issue you with a new one. The new passport will be post-dated which means you cannot use it before the day of the ceremony.
If you will be choosing the third option then you will need to be aware of the following: -
If you have any questions or need further information on your name change then please feel free to get in touch with us and we will help you in any way we can.