Legal English: Peter’s Pills – Lesson 2 – Deed poll

Legal English for Notaries - By Federnotizie

Deed poll



Today we look at “deed poll”.

Changing your name in most common law countries is very frequent, really easy and even minors can change their names themselves from the age of 16 without parents’ consent.

In the UK the instrument that is used to change name is called a deed poll.

There are two types of deed poll, namely (vale a dire) an unenrolled deed poll (non registrato) and an enrolled deed poll (registrato).

The first type of deed poll is called an unenrolleddeed poll, because it is not put on public record enrolled with the courts. You can make an unenrolled deed poll free of charge (gratuitamente) by yourself, from the comfort of your home. To make your deed poll valid, you just need to sign it with your old signature and with your new signature and ask two witnesses (testimoni) to attest (attestare) the deed. After that you are done (hai fatto), and you can start using your totally new name or the changes that you have made to your old name, such as spelling changes or the elimination of a hyphen (trattino). Many organisations like banks and so on (e così via) will accept an unenrolled deed poll as proof of your new name. Templates (modelli, schemi precostituiti) for a DIY (Do-It-Yourself – fai da te) unenrolled deed poll are easily available online as well as (e anche) from the official UK Government website.

If, however (comunque), you would like to change your name on your passport or driving licence, then you will need to apply for  (fare richiesta) an “enrolled” deed poll. This means using the deed poll process offered through the Royal Courts of Justice every time you want to, or decide to, change your name on these types of documents. There is a small fee to pay for the service which is currently around £40.

Most people in the UK will change their names at some point of their lives. It is still customary for wives to take their spouse’s (coniuge) surname and many people who enter into civil unions do the same. The name a woman has before she takes on (assumere) her husband’s surname is called her maiden name (cognome da nubile). However (tuttavia), a deed poll is not necessary for the process of changing name in the case of marriage or civil union. All you need to do is to send a copy of your marriage or civil partnership* certificate to organisations that have a record of your name and your documents will be updated (aggiornati) for free.

Thank you, and see you next time for more Peter’s Pills to improve your legal English.

* A civil union is also known as a civil partnership.

See what the restrictions are for choosing your new name here: “Restrictions“. Generate your own free online deed poll here: “Instant free online UK Deed Poll to print and use“.

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