Changing a name on a Birth Certificate in Northern Ireland

In most cases it is not possible to get the name on a birth certificate changed since it is a historical record of the facts as they existed at the time of birth. In this case you will need to apply for a Deed Poll which allows you to be legally known by a different name. A Deed Poll document allows you to get all records and documents changed to your new name. If you then apply for something that requires sight of your birth certificate, for example a passport, you can simply enclose your Deed Poll along with it. The name on your Deed Poll will then override the one shown on your birth certificate.

However, in the few circumstances that you can get your own or your child's birth certificate details amended, a new document will be issued by the Register Office. In such cases it is obviously not necessary to apply for a Deed Poll. The new birth certificate will be accepted by all organisations as suitable documentary evidence of a change of name, allowing you to have your records and documents changed to your new name.

Changes of surname of people born or legally adopted in Northern Ireland can be recorded in the appropriate entry in the birth or adoption register. Changes can only be made if the new name has been in use for two years prior to the application.


Changing a child's name on their birth certificate

If the child is under two years of age and has had their forename (but not surname) changed, an application can be made for a change of forename on their birth certificate.

Applications for children over two years of age must be made by an adult with parental responsibility and all those holding parental responsibility must agree to the name change. Changes can only be made on the birth certificate if the new name has been in use for two years prior to the application. Only one change of forename and one change of surname can be recorded.

Two forms of documentary evidence must be shown in order for the change to be made. For more information see the section on Documentary Evidence.

Changing an adults on the birth certificate

Adults can apply to have a change of surname recorded at any time. Adult applicants must fill in the appropriate application form for themselves. One change of forename and up to three changes of surname can be recorded for adults. Five years must elapse between changes of surname.

Changes can only be made if the new name has been in use for two years prior to the application. Two forms of documentary evidence must be shown in order for the change to be made. For more information see the section on Documentary Evidence.

Where to apply

Application Forms can be obtained from any Register of births, deaths and marriages within Northern Ireland, or from the General Register Office. There are two different types of form available, one for those between the ages of 2 and 18, and one for those aged 18 and over. All applications along with documentary evidence should be sent to the General Register Office.

Reissued birth certificates

When the birth certificate is reissued the original forenames and surname are shown in addition to the new names. 

Documentary evidence

In order for the change to be made, two forms of documentary evidence must be shown. However, only one needs to show that the forename and surname have been in use for the two year period. Ideally one should show the date of birth.

After changing your name by Deed Poll you will be able to have your details changed to your new name and so subsequent documents will be issued in the chosen name. Such documents will then be accepted as evidence for the use of your name over a two year period. Examples of suitable documents include:

Changing the gender on your Birth Certificate

The name and gender on your birth certificate can only be changed once your full legal status has been confirmed by the Gender Recognition Panel.

In order to apply for this you must prove that:

  1. You suffer from, or have suffered from gender dysphoria
  2. You have been living in your acquired gender for the last two years
  3. You intend on remaining in your new gender permanently

Providing your application for a Gender Recognition Certificate is successful, your amended birth certificate will be issued to show your new name and gender.

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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What Our Clients Say...

I am very satisfied with my experience of Deed Poll, both the website and the customer service phone line.

I wanted to change my name to my married name, as I live in Italy and they have no way of allowing anyone to do such a thing here. I had to do this in a hurry, as I needed to renew my UK passport before it expired.

The website was easily navigable and I was able to find all information. I chose to call to clarify what I needed, just in case. The Customer service representative was well informed, and very patient with me, understanding exactly what the issue. I felt confident I could book my passport renewal, and would have all documents required. The Deedpoll certificate arrived promptly and was easy to fill out correctly. The cost of the service is reasonable and I would recommend it to anyone .

Joanna Mallin-Davies, Italy. June 2013

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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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Apply online to change your name by Deed Poll! Find out how it works or call us on 0800 983 0143 for more information