Changing a name on a Birth Certificate in Scotland

In Scotland, in most cases it is possible to have your own or your child's birth certificate details amended. If you choose to do so 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.

In certain cases it is not possible to have the name on a birth certificate changed. In such a case you will need to apply for a Deed Poll which allows you, or your child, 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.


Changing the forename of a child who is under twelve months old

If a child's name is changed in their first year the forename shown on their birth register can be altered. If the application is made after the twelve months it must be proved that the new forename was in use within the twelve month period. Any such application must be made within two years of the birth of the child.

The application must be made by somebody with parental responsibility and all those with parental responsibility must give their consent to the name change.

Changing the name of a child under 16 years of age on their birth certificate

In order to change the name of somebody under 16 years of age, the application must be made by the appropriate person. Applicants must have parental responsibility for the child whose name is being changed, and must also have consent from any others who hold parental responsibility. Only one change of forename and one change of surname may be recorded for those under 16.

Recording a change of name when over 16 years of age

Anybody over 16 can apply to have their change of name recorded. He or she must sign the application themselves. One change of forename and up to three changes of surname can be recorded. A period of five years must pass between changes in surname. When the birth certificate is reissued the original forenames and surname are shown in addition to the new names. 

Reissued birth certificates

When the birth certificate is reissued the original forenames and surname are shown in addition to the new names. However, this does not apply to an application for a change of forename(s) for a child under the age of twelve months.

Where to Apply

An application form can be obtained from any registrar of births, deaths, and marriages within Scotland. The address of your local registrar can be found in the telephone directory. All completed applications along with fees must be sent to the General Register Office, Change of Name Unit, New Register House, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT.

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. Therefore it will not be necessary to apply for a Deed Poll since the birth certificate will provide documentary evidence that your name and gender have changed.

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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