Changing your title
Changing your title is a relatively simple process. When you change your title by Deed Poll it is also possible to make other changes to your name. These could include changing your surname or forenames, rearranging your current names, or even just altering the spelling of a name. If you decide to change your title when you change your name by Deed Poll, make sure that you specify this when filling in your application form.
There are several different types of title including social titles (which most of us use), professional or academic titles, and honorary titles. Further information on each of these can be found below.
Social titles (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Miss)
For those wishing to make changes between common titles (‘Mr', ‘Mrs', ‘Miss', or ‘Ms'), we do not require any documentation to show your entitlement to use such a title. You can simply apply to change your title when filling in the standard adult application form. This title change will then be incorporated into your Deed Poll document as a part of your name change.
If you would like to change your title upon divorce it will not be necessary to do so by Deed Poll - you can simply use your decree absolute to notify organisations of your title change. Under other circumstances, for example, separation or transgender people, your title change can be included in your Deed Poll. For those wishing to change their title upon marriage more information can be found at Changing your name upon marriage.
Professional or academic titles
If you would like an academic or professional title to be incorporated into your Deed Poll you must provide us with evidence of your entitlement to use such a title. For example, if you wanted to use the title ‘Dr.' (not in the medical sense) we would require sighting of your PhD certificates before issuing you with a Deed Poll.
The title change you require can then be included as part of your name change, and will make the process of updating your records easier and quicker.
Please note that we will not accept a purchased title as sufficient evidence, as it is not possible to buy a genuine British title.
An honorary title is one that has been granted to an individual or organisation as a public recognition of their service to society. Sometimes the title is similar to, or the same as, a title of authority but the person who carries it does not have to perform any of the duties usually associated with it (except possibly ceremonious ones). An example of an English honorary title would be ‘Sir' (the female equivalent being 'Dame') which is formally associated with knighthood.
If you have a genuine honorary title you must send evidence to us of such entitlement to have the title on your Deed Poll. We will not accept a purchased title as sufficient evidence, as it is not possible to buy a genuine British title.
Hereditary titles are those that are bound to a particular family. There are several different types of hereditary titles. For example, titles of nobility, hereditary monarchy, and court titles.
Most hereditary titles are only passed to certain members of the family but this is dependant on the kind of title. For example, with the majority of titles of nobility, the eldest son is the only child it is passed to, or in the absence of a male heir, the eldest daughter. However, some titles can be shared and are passed to all children equally, although these are rarer.
If you have a genuine hereditary title you must send evidence to us of such entitlement to use the title on your Deed Poll. We will not accept a purchased title as sufficient evidence, as it is not possible to buy a genuine British title.
There are many websites across the internet claiming to sell titles of nobility. These are in fact complete fabrications since no genuine British title can be bought. They are not recognised by any governments and never have been in the past.
Many people are taken in by such fraudsters, despite the increase in media attention that these schemes have created.
It is for this reason that we require you to send us evidence of any entitlement to use a particular title, be it academic or honorary. For obvious reasons we would not accept a purchased title as sufficient evidence.
To change your name...
- Fill in our online application form
- Receive your Deed Poll in the post
- Sign and date your Deed Poll
- Update records into your new name
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