signing name

Applying to change your name

To make an appointment to change your name and/or the name of a child at Bath and North East Somerset Register Office, you will need to make an appointment. Please telephone 01225 477234 or email

What does a change of name document do?

 A Change of Name by Deed is a document recognised by all official government departments, companies and organisations and will allow you to change your name on your passport, bank accounts and other official documentation. An applicant may choose to change forenames or surname by Change of Name Deed

 There remain however documents which cannot be changed and these include birth certificates, marriage and civil partnership certificates, decree absolutes and dissolution of civil partnership documents. 

IMPORTANT:  A Change of Name Deed does not replace a birth certificate.  For all official purposes the Deed would need to accompany a birth certificate i.e. for obtaining a passport in the newly adopted name.

 Changing your name by Deed means that you will completely revoke the use of the former name and will at all times thereafter use only the new name as shown on the Change of Name Deed.  The document is signed by the applicant and witnessed by two others and commits the applicant to using the new name in all future proceedings.

When you attend the Register Office you only need to provide one witness – the officer handling the change of name will be the other witness.

What can I change my name to?

You can change all or part of your name to whatever you wish to be known by. 

You may not obtain a Change of Name Deed for

  • Fraudulent purposes
  • To provide the applicant with a title not legitimately bestowed to them or inherited by them including Lord, Lady, Duke, Duchess, His/Her Royal Highness, Prince/Princess, Sir, Dame, Earl, Marquis, Viscount or Baron/Baroness
  • To adopt a name which can be deemed to be rude or offensive, suggesting sexual innuendo or mocking particular religious groups
  • To adopt or include a numeral or a symbol to replace a name

What do I need to bring?

Completed application forms (blank forms can be sent to you by email or post to complete prior to your appointment) for everyone applying for a change of Name Deed also: -

  • Your Birth Certificate
  • Your Passport
  • A Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificate (where applicable)
  • Death certificate of spouse/partner or Decree Absolute or Dissolution Document (of Civil partnership) where applicable

For a child: -

  • Child's birth certificate and passport if applicable
  • Parent(s) passports or photographic ID
  • Signed consent from the child's father or mother to the change of name if they are not attending together**

  **Parental responsibility:  Parental responsibility is the legal term used for those that have a legal responsibility for a child under the age of 18.  The signed consent of that/those parent(s) is required to enable a Change of Name to take place.

Fees for drafting the deed and providing one original copy






Additional children

£33 per child



Family (2 adults and 2 children)




Extra signed copies can be produced on request and can be kept in our strong room for a maximum of ten years:


Purchased at the time of completion


Purchased at a later date



















Changing your childs forename within 12 months of registration.

Parents can change their child’s forename without having to complete a Change of Name Deed as long as it can be proved that the new name has been used within 12 months of date of registration or the child has been baptised under the new name. A fee is payable for a new birth certificate, if required. This procedure can only be used once.  Full details, including the relevant forms, are available from your local registration office.

Under the Children Act 1989, parental responsibility is automatically given to the mother of a child regardless of whether or not she is married to the father.  A married father is also automatically granted parental responsibility for his child.  However things progress and under S111 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, a father has full parental responsibilities and rights if his name appears on the birth certificate, giving him the same legal rights as a married father would have.  This is applicable to residents of England and Wales.  Different legislation governs Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

A father with parental responsibility is required to give his consent before his child’s name can be changed.  The father’s consent is required even if he is now divorced or separated from the child’s mother or if he has remarried.  The mother’s consent is needed in all circumstances unless she is deceased. The only exception to the above is if sole parental responsibility has been granted to one or other parent by the courts.

 Children aged 16 – 17

When changing the name of a child who is aged between 16 and 17, the consent of the child is also required in addition to those with parental responsibility.  A child in this age bracket cannot change their own name without the written consent of those with parental responsibility and would have to wait until they have reached the age of 18 to execute their own Change of Name Deed.

Absent fathers/Refused Consent

Some people may wish to change their child’s name without the consent of the father as they are unable to contact him or do not know his whereabouts.  The mother of the child would be required to provide written information regarding the steps she had taken to try to contact the absent father.  This would need to include evidence of contact with his last known address/family relatives/workplace etc.  Once this is provided the Change of Name Deed can be completed however you must be aware that the father could contest this name change through the courts at a future date.

If one parent with parental responsibility refuses for any reason to give their consent the only course of action to allow the change in name to proceed would be by obtaining a court order.

If there has been a court injunction involving a child’s name change then you should ask the solicitors involved in the injunction to change the child’s name.


you adopt a child, the name change will be organised by the Children’s Services Department responsible for organising the adoption and a new birth certificate will be issued for the child.

Changing your name after Marriage or Civil partnership

If you have married or entered into a civil partnership and wish to take the surname of your spouse, you do not have to complete an official change of name deed. However, you should contact the passport office, and all other institutions such as banks and building societies and the DVLA to let them know you have changed your name. Your marriage or civil partnership certificate is your proof of change of name.

If you intend to be married abroad, overseas authorities will wish to see both your passport and your birth certificate. If the passport and the birth certificate show different names, then you will need to prove that you have changed your name and that you are the same person. This is when you may be required to produce your Change of Name Deed.

If you have divorced or are widowed and you no longer want to be known by your former spouse’s surname, you have the option to revert to your previous name, but if you chose to change to another name or if an organisation requests it, you will need to complete an official Change of Name Deed.

Customer Survey

Here at the Bath Register Office we aim to uphold the highest standards of customer care. If you have recently used our service we would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete our Customer Survey. Your feedback will help us identify what we are doing right and where there is room for improvement.

Thank you in advance for your time and if you have any specific complaints/compliments please email us at the email address .


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