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How to change your name in UK

If you want to change the first name or surname of someone born or legally adopted in Northern Ireland, you can record a change of name with the General Register Office for Northern Ireland (GRONI), re-register a birth or change your name by deed poll.
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Recording a change of name

If your child’s birth was registered:

  • without the father’s details

or

  • before you and your partner were married or formed an opposite sex civil partnership

you may want to re-register the birth to update the registration and change the child’s name or surname.

  •  Registering and naming your baby

Changing your name if you’re under 18

If you are under 18 years old, or a parent of a child under 18, and you want to record a change of name, you’ll need to fill out an application form.

The form must be signed by a qualified applicant(s), usually the parent(s) or guardian of the child.

This is a list of qualified applicants, who can apply for a change of name:  

  • both parents if they were married to, or in a civil partnership with, each other
  • both parents where they are not married to, or in a civil partnership with, each other but the father/ second female parent has parental responsibility for the child
  • the mother where the parents are not married to, or in a civil partnership with each other at the time of the child’s birth and the father/ second female parent does not have parental responsibility for the child
  • the surviving parent if either of the parents of the child is deceased and the surviving parent has parental responsibility for the child
  • the guardian of the child or any other person who has parental responsibility for the child if both the parents are deceased or either of the parents are deceased and the surviving parent does not have parental responsibility for the child

You can only change your name(s) or surname once when you’re under 18.

You can download the application form at this link:

  • Change of name application form for child under 18

Your application form must be signed by the qualified applicant(s) in front of one of the following:

  • Justice of the Peace (JP)
  • lay magistrate
  • practising solicitor

If there are two qualified applicants, both signatures must be witnessed.

You’ll need to send or bring your filled out forms, along with the right fee and a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, to the General Register Office for Northern Ireland.

Changing your name if you’re 18 or over

If you’re 18 or over you can apply for a change of name(s) or surname by filling out the application form at this link:

  • Change of name application form for anyone 18 or over

You’ll need to sign the form in front of one of the following:

  • Justice of the Peace (JP)
  • lay magistrate
  • practising solicitor

If you’re 18 or over, you can change your name once and your surname up to three times. But there must be a gap of five years between each change of surname.

You’ll need to send or bring your filled out forms, along with the right fee and a certified copy of your birth certificate, to the General Register Office for Northern Ireland.

Fees

The fees for recording a change of name(s) and/ or surname are:

  • child under 18 years old – £35.00
  • for second or more members of the family (if applying at the same time) – £16.00
  • person over 18 years old – £35.00

These fees are for recording the change only. If you need a certificate showing the recorded change, you will need to pay an extra £15.00.

If you are paying by cheque or postal order you should make it payable to ‘The Registrar General’.

  • Order a birth certificate

Finding a Justice of the Peace (JP) or lay magistrate

Justices of the Peace (JP) and lay magistrates will not ask you to pay anything for witnessing your application form.

You can find a JP or lay magistrate in your area by contacting the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service – Management Support Branch

Change your name by deed poll

You can also change your name by deed poll(external link opens in a new window / tab). A deed poll is a legal document that proves a change of name. You can change any part of your name, add or remove names and hyphens, or change spelling.

This is a legal document that you can use to prove that you have changed your name.

Source: NIDIRECT


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