A Step-By-Step Guide To Changing Your Name After Marriage - Eternity

A Step-By-Step Guide To Changing Your Name After Marriage

18th September 2023

Planning to change your name after marriage? You’re in the right place!

The decision to change your surname after marriage can be quite overwhelming, but definitely an exciting one as you embark on this new chapter. Forbes found that 8 in 10 women change their name after marriage, with some of the remainder choosing to double barrel. It’s also becoming increasingly common for husbands to change their name, to that of their partners or a double-barrel, after marriage nowadays too.

Traditionally, in our South Asian culture, it has always been extremely common for women to change their name after marriage; as seen by our parents and grandparents. Ultimately, the choice is yours and it comes down to your personal preferences & beliefs.

If and when you choose to change your surname, you will likely be faced by the enormous mountain of post-wedding admin; such as informing the government, your workplace, your bank, and so much more.

That’s why, we’ve partnered with NameSwitch: the go-to service provider that helps you change your name with ease in the UK.

in this blog


The different name changing options

First things first, there is no legal requirement to change your name after marriage in the UK. Whether you opt to is a personal choice and one that should be made by you as a couple. Your decision will undoubtably be influenced by cultural or familial expectations as well as practical and personal preferences. Below are some options for you to consider – the decision of whether or not to change your name, and if so how, should be yours.

Take your partner's last name

This is the most traditional & common route that couples opt for, and one that we have seen historically through generations. In heterosexual relationships, it is often most common for the woman to take on the man’s surname, however, we have increasingly seen instances where the man takes on the woman’s surname too.

Hyphenating your surnames

Most commonly known as double-barrelling your surnames, this consists of combining both partner’s surnames to create a new hyphenated one. This is exactly what the global Desi influencer, Diipa Büller-Khosla and her husband, Oleg Büller-Khosla opted for.

It’s important to note that this option means you both have to change your names, but that’s where NameSwitch is twice as useful!

Creating a new last name

An increasingly common option, nowadays, is for couples to form a completely new last name.

However, have a think, how many stories have you heard from your desi grandparents where an ancestor randomly decided to change their family name one fine morning? So, I guess South Asians have technically been doing this one for decades. Often, it’s a completely new & unrelated name!

Meshing surnames

With that being said, the above can sometimes be done with two related names. Some couples opt to mesh their surnames together, kind of like Kimye or Brangelina; but as your surname instead. Trust us, it’s becoming way more common and often makes each partner feel equal.

Changing your middle name

Another growing option is where women are choosing to change their surname to their partners, so that they have a common family name, but they choose to keep their maiden name as their middle name.

There is also the option for brides to adopt their husbands first name as a middle name (or even as a surname). Note any changes (removal or additions) to a middle name/s requires a deed poll. More on this later.

Changing your name in certain scenarios

Keeping your maiden name professionally and changing name in your personal world is becoming and increasingly popular choice for modern couple’s. Particularly favoured by those whose name is so heavily associated with their professional career – Doctors and Lawyers for example. It’s perfectly legal but requires some discipline in ringfencing your professional and personal worlds. If you want to explore this option check a dedicated blog from our partners, Name Switch.

Honouring a parents / family name

In some particular cultures, ie . Tamils, individuals will often take their father’s first name, which could cause a change in family name at any point in your life. A deed poll is necessary for this name change.

who should you notify of a name change?

Who you notify will largely depend on if you are blanket changing your surname after marriage, or if you are choosing to change it in certain scenarios.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC): Inform HMRC of your name change for tax purposes. You may need to update your tax records and national insurance information.

Passport Office: If you have a UK passport, you should apply for a new one with your updated name. You’ll typically need to submit your old passport, your marriage certificate / deed poll, and a passport application form.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA): Update your driving licence
and vehicle registration documents with your new name. You’ll need to
pick up a DVLA D1 paper form from the post office to update your drivers
licence and also send off your VSC (log book) to update your vehicle
registration – you can not do this online or by mail.

Banks and Building Societies: Notify your banks, building societies, and other financial institutions where you have accounts or investments. They will update your name on your accounts, debit/credit cards, and statements.

Employer: Inform your employer of your name change so they can update their records, including payroll information, tax records, and your employment contract.

Electoral Roll: Update your name on the electoral roll to ensure you can vote in local and national elections.

Utility Companies: Inform your utility providers (gas, electricity, water, etc.) of your name change to update your billing information.

Council Tax: Notify your local council of your name change to update your council tax records.

Insurance Providers: Contact your insurance providers (health, car, home, etc.) to update your name on your policies.

Schools and Educational Institutions: If you have children in school or attend an educational institution, inform them of your name change so they can update their records.

GP, Dentist, and Other Healthcare Providers: Notify your healthcare providers of your name change to ensure your medical records are accurate.

Professional Organisations: If you belong to any professional associations, update your name with them to reflect your new legal name.


what documents do you need before changing your name?

Alongside the specific forms that each institution will require, there are some blanket documents that you should definitely have to hand initially.

First things first you will need to have your legal document that entitles
you to adopt your new name. Depending on your choice this will either be
A or B:

A) Marriage Certificate/Civil Partnership Certificate: If you’re changing your surname to that of your other half’s or double-barrelling surnames. You’ll need at least 1 copy original marriage certificate as evidence of your name change.


B) Change of Name Deed (Deed Poll): A Change of Name Deed (commonly referred to as a Deed Poll) can be used if you’re changing your name to something other than your spouse’s last name/double-barrelling surnames. For example, if you are creating a new surname or making any changes to your first or middle names also. A Deed Poll is a legal document that confirms your intention to use your new name/name combinations.

Not sure if you need a Deed Poll? check out this helpful guide from our partners NameSwitch.

Proof of Identity: For any in person requests (normally banks), you’ll typically require a valid UK passport, UK driving license, or another government-issued photo ID as proof of your identity.

Proof of Address: Some organisations may request proof of your current address. You can usually provide utility bills, council tax statements, or a bank statement as evidence of your address.

How does nameswitch work?

Okay so, you’ve probably had a bit of an information overload, but don’t worry we’re here to help.

NameSwitch believes that a new chapter in your life should be a time of excitement – not drowning in paperwork and procrastination. They reduce your workload and save you roughly 15 hours of time that you would have spent on the admin.

NameSwitch have made it super easy. You simply login to their website, tick their list in choosing exactly who it is you want to notify of your name change and enter your basic details.

Then, in the click of a button, all of your pre-filled letters & forms are instantly accessible for you to access from their secure server. It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Here's a breakdown of their packages.

Get instant access to your secure portal where you’ll find your personalised name change notification letters, forms and instructions ready to print.

Complete the remaining fields, sign and send!

Printer out of action? Leave that to NameSwitch. Get instant access to your personalised name change notification letters, forms and instructions.

Receive your printed pack – including passport & drivers licence forms – 1st class recorded delivery.

Change your first, middle, surname or any combination of names with our standalone Adult Deed Poll package.

Legally change your name without the cost of a solicitor, and with no hidden fees at checkout.

The UK’s only deed poll bundle that includes a name-change toolkit!

Legally change your name without the cost of a solicitor, and with no hidden fees at checkout.

Send a loved one an eGift card and give them the gift of time. eGift cards valid for 12 months. Select your choice of package at checkout.

As your reward for being a highly valued Eternity member, NameSwitch are offering £5 off each package with the code ETERNITY-FIVE.