Our guide to changing your name (if you want to!)

01 / 03 / 20

change your name after marriage

There are many things to think about and plan before your wedding day, but what about your name? Some couples quickly assume that the bride will take the grooms name (the most common and traditional approach still) but there are other option available...

Once you are married you have three options

1, Continue using your own surname

2, One partner takes the other partners surname

3, Both partners can change their surnames to a new surname altogether or double-barrel them

Based on what option you go for there are different next steps. If you wish to continue using your own name you don’t need to anything. Your marriage or civil partnership certificate does not in any way change your name.

newly wed couple*Photo Credit: Copper & Blossom Photography

If you wish to take your partners surname you can use your marriage or civil partnership certificate to prove your new name. You just need to fill in any relevant change of name forms and present certificate to anyone you wish to advise. (There is a list at the end for you of who you may wish to contact)

You need to figure out what you want to do before you book any travel, as your passport name needs to match the name on the booking. If you’re keen to take your first trip away in your new name, or if your passport is due to for renewal before your honeymoon you can apply for it to be issued in your new name within three months of your wedding date. Your new passport will be post dated to the date of your wedding and your existing one will expire then too. It’s worth noting though that some countries won't issue visas with post dated passports so check out any visa requirements with your travel agent.


If you are a married man taking your wife's surname or if you are double-barrelling or meshing your surnames you may prefer to change your name by deed poll.

Changing your name by deed poll

A "change of name deed poll" is simply a document that confirms you are no longer wishing to keep your old name and you wish to use, and be addressed by your new name going forwards.

There are agencies who can arrange this for you and there is a DIY option too so have a look for the best option for you (and of course see how comfortable you feel changing your name without any help)

For more information, consult your local Citizens Advice bureau.

How to cut costs…

You don’t need to do anything immediately if you still want to figure things out or don’t have the time. To change your name on your passport you have to renew it which costs £72.50. You can keep using your passport until it expires which means you can change your name at renewal and still just pay the renewal fee. Just remember the name on any airline tickets must match the name on your passport or you may not be allowed to travel.

Your driving licence is free to update and you need to change you name immediately if that is what you want to do or you could end up fined up to £100.


You should also update your details (for free) on the electoral roll or you may be turned down for credit in your new name.

You can register a name change at the Land Registry for free by yourself so avoid any solicitors or agencies offering to charge for this.

It shouldn't cost you a penny to notify banks, doctors, dentists, employers, nurseries, schools, HMRC, insurance companies, TV licensing, local councils, PayPal, utility companies and loyalty card schemes.

When you send your original documents in the post, obtain a free certificate of posting from the post office, as then you are entitled to claim up to £46 compensation in case it is mislaid in transit. There is a charge of £9.25 to replace a marriage or civil partnership certificate (although extra copies usually cost less if you request them at the ceremony so perhaps ask for them then just incase!).

Cheques in your old name

If you receive a cheque made out to your previous name, most banks will let you cash it as long as you present it with documentation proving you used to hold that name. If you're asking for money for your wedding make it very clear who to write the cheques out to so it's easier to pay them in.

If you decide to change your name here is a handy list of who you need to advise of your new name-

  • Passport
  • Driving license
  • Bank accounts
  • Credit, debit and store cards
  • HMRC
  • Your employer
  • Car registration
  • Electoral roll
  • Local council
  • Utilities (gas, electricity, water)
  • Communications (home phone, mobile, internet, pay TV)
  • Mortgage
  • Insurance (home, contents, auto, health, life)
  • Health (doctor, dentist, specialists)
  • Will
  • You might also want to update your online name settings etc.

And don't forget that all important Facebook status update, and how about a new Instagram name too if needed?

Check out helpful links to the following- Deed Poll, Driving Licence, Passport advice, Change of Name for more info on any of the above.

Happy planning!