Changing your Name in the UK? Student Changes Name by Deed Poll To Evade Ryanair Fees

Changing your Name in the UK? Student Changes Name by Deed Poll To Evade Ryanair Fees

Student Adam Armstrong changed his name by deed poll last because it was cheaper than paying Ryanair's "ridiculous" charge for a booking error. Adam's flight was booked by his girlfriend's step dad, who mistakenly used his Facebook name "Adam West" when making the booking.


When Mr Armstrong (now Mr West) sought to change the name on the booking with Ryanair so that it would match his passport, he was told there would be a £220 administration fee.

Armstrong, thus changed his name by deed poll for free and then drove to Liverpool to rush through a new passport for £103 - less than half the cost of the Ryanair admin fee.

Whilst this is quite the novel situation, many people need or wish to change their names for a variety of reasons. Today at Unlock the Law we look at when you can change your name, when you should change your name and how to do it.

How do I change my name after marriage or a civil partnership?

Having a marriage or Civil Partnership certificate does not mean that your name has automatically changed, however you can use this to prove that you have changed your name.

In order to change your name to your spouse or civil partner's name, or to double-barrel you last name on your passport or driving license, you will need to fill out the requisite forms for doing so. You must also present your marriage or civil partnership certificate with the request form.

Normally, banks and building societies will accept your marriage or civil partnership certificate as proof that you have taken your partners name where you are a married woman or in a civil partnership. However, this may be more difficult if you are a married man taking your wife's surname or where you are double barrelling your name. In these circumstances it may be simpler to officially change your name by deed poll.

Can I travel under my new name on my honeymoon?

If you have your heart set on travelling under your new name on your honeymoon, it is possible to change your name on your passport up to three months before your wedding ceremony. You must use the form 'Passports for Newlyweds and Civil Partners' to do this.

How do I change my name by deed poll?

Where you change your name by deed poll you complete a document that contains the following three declarations:

  • I am abandoning my previous name.
  • I will use my new name at all times.
  • I require all persons to address me by my new name only.

In order for the deed poll to be valid, you must sign and date the declaration in both your new name and your old name.

Furthermore, the new name you have chosen must contain both a forename and a surname and be pronounceable. There are also 'common sense' restrictions specified by the Home Office.

Two witnesses, who are not related to you, must also sign the deed poll specifying their name, occupations and addresses.

You may prepare the deed poll yourself, using the legal phrases shown in Ministry of Justice form LoC020, or you can pay a solicitor to help you.

The UK Deed Poll Office and the Legal Deed Poll Service charge under £15 for their service and you can get a free template from Free UK Deed Poll, which is accepted by the DVLA, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, the Co-operative Bank, First Direct, HSBC, CallCredit and Nationwide.

If you decide to prepare the deed poll yourself, after you create the declaration you should print off a few copies and have them witnessed and signed. You should then present the deed poll certificate to all relevant government authorities and financial institutions in the same way you would a marriage certificate.

For extra peace of mind, it is possible to have your deed poll witnessed in front of a solicitor for a fixed "oath fee" of £5.

How do I change my name after divorce?

To change your name back to your previous name before marriage, is your decree absolute and a marriage certificate. You may also change your name by deed poll if you wish.

Do I have to renew my passport right away when I change my name?

Renewing your passport can be costly, however it is entirely legal for you to continue using your passport in your previous name until it expires. However, you must ensure that all airline tickets booked are also in your previous name as airline tickets must match the name on your passport - bas seen in the Adam Armstrong/West scenario.

Do I have to renew my driving licence right away when I change my name?

On the other hand, if you change your name you must change your name on your driving license immediately. This change is free of charge using form D1. However, if you fail to notify DVLA of your name change you could be fined up to £100.

What should I do if I receive a cheque in my old name?

If you receive a cheque made out to your old name, the bank will usually let you cash it so long as you can provide proof that you used to hold that name.

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