Double-barrelling surnames upon marriage

Although the traditional option of a woman taking her husbands surname upon marriage is still by far the most popular, other variations of name change are becoming increasingly common.

Possibly the second most widespread option is to ‘double-barrel' a couples surnames. Both partners' surnames are hyphenated together to form one double-barrelled surname. This option moves away from the traditional idea of a wife taking her husband's surname, while allowing couples to share surnames. It also avoids the issue of ‘sexism' some people associate with a woman having to take her spouses name.

If you decide to double-barrel your surname upon marriage, the use of a Deed Poll is often necessary. Certain organisations will accept a marriage certificate as sufficient evidence to change their records. Government departments in particular, for example the DVLA and Passport Office, have been accepting marriage certificates since 2005.

However, many banks, building societies, and other companies, will not change their records to show a double-barrelled surname upon the presentation of a marriage certificate alone. Such organisations will require sight of a Deed Poll document, and therefore we advise that you check what their policies are, in order to decide whether or not a Deed Poll will be necessary for your change of name.

In the future, it is likely that almost all organisations will follow the lead of government departments and accept marriage certificates as evidence for double-barrelled surnames amongst wedded couples. However, at present most people apply for a Deed Poll when double-barrelling to avoid any confusion or time-delays.


To change your name...

  1. Fill in our online application form
  2. Receive your Deed Poll in the post
  3. Sign and date your Deed Poll
  4. Update records into your new name

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Our Deed Polls are accepted by all UK government departments including UK Passport Service, DVLA and HM Revenue and Customs

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