Enrolled Deed Poll – What’s The Advantage of Enrolling It And What Happens If You Don’t?

One of the most confusing things about Deed Polls are the terms "enrolled" and "unenrolled". If you've never had a Deed Poll before and you're researching how to get one, you'll probably have come across them! Here I'll explain what it means, and if you need to bother having it enrolled.

What We’ll Cover

  • What the difference is between enrolled and unenrolled

  • How to enroll a Deed Poll

  • Is enrolling a Deed Poll worth it?

  • Who will accept unenrolled Deed Polls

What is an enrolled Deed Poll?

Okay, so first off let’s cover the basics. I’m pretty sure I can safely assume you know what a Deed Poll is if you’ve made it to this page, and you’re looking to change your name in England or Wales. So let’s move on to what an enrolled Deed Poll is.

This type of name change document will go through a process with the Royal Courts of Justice and once completed, will become a public document. This means that anyone who has your basic information can access this document and see what you changed your name from, and when you made the change. This is much the same as birth certificates in the UK which are also public documents and can be viewed by practically anyone who knows some basic information about you.

Part of the enrolment process is that your name change will be announced in the London Gazette online, too, for everyone to see.

Essentially, these are the only differences between an enrolled and unenrolled Deed Poll. Enrolled: public document and unenrolled: stays private.

If you do choose to enrol your Deed, you’ll have a wait of several months for this process to be completed, as well as an additional fee of over £42.00 per name change.

How do I enrol a Deed Poll?

You will need to get your Deed Poll completed and fill in several forms to send to the King’s Bench Division of the Royal Courts. Once you have all of the paperwork ready, write a cheque (remember those?) and enclose it with your documents, ready to post.

You’ll then have a wait of several months for this to be processed. Once your request has been dealt with, you’ll get your notification of enrolment and there’ll be an announcement online.

Do I need an enrolled Deed Poll?

Well as you can see, there is very little difference between the two when it comes to usability of the Deed; enrolling it doesn’t make it more official or any more recognised than an unenrolled name change. If you have a Deed Poll which hasn’t been through this additional process, you can still use this for any name change requests within the England or Wales, including your passport, driving licence, bank accounts, GP, and whatever else you need to update.

So that begs the question, why bother enrolling it? Practically, there isn’t any benefit to going through this long process and paying an additional fee if all you want to use your Deed for is updating your name on your records and official ID, which is why most people apply for a Deed Poll!

Maybe you’d quite like to have your new name announced in the London Gazette; if you’d like to see it published for all to see, go for it! But to most people this isn’t a big deal and in many cases, they’d rather keep their name change private.

enrolled deed poll name announcement in london gazette

Are unenrolled Deed Poll accepted everywhere?

An unenrolled Deed Poll is accepted by all UK businesses and organisations, as long as it’s worded correctly and has been executed in the right way, too. This means:

  • two witnesses have signed the Deed along with you
  • they meet the guidelines for a witness
  • you’ve signed the Deed in their presence
  • the wording of the Deed is legally valid
  • it’s been dated
  • it hasn’t been edited or damaged since it was produced
  • you haven’t chosen a name which won’t be accepted by the passport office or DVLA

As long as you’ve ticked all of these boxes, your Deed will be useable to update all of your official ID and records within the UK. The change of name Deeds created here at Vital Certificates are 100% guaranteed to be accepted, and we haven’t had a single rejection to date.

Not only are they checked through by our specialists, before being professionally bound and sealed, we also send you a helpful digital guide on how to execute your Deed Poll to ensure it’s done correctly and offer as much friendly support as you need to get it done right first time!

Can you change your passport name with an unenrolled Deed Poll?

Yes, you can, though it’s worth bearing in mind that you don’t have to update your passport as soon as you start using your Deed Poll. You may have a few years left on your passport and don’t fancy spending more money on updating it just yet!

It’s not a legal requirement to update your passport with your new name as soon as you start using it, but just remember to book any tickets and reservations in the name on your passport! If you book a plane ticket in your new name but don’t update your passport, you’ll have issues travelling.

When it comes time to renew your passport, you will then need to start using your new name. Just complete the renewal process either via a form or online and post an original copy of your Deed Poll to the passport office in order for them to make the change.

Do the DVLA accept unenrolled Deed Polls?

Yes, the DVLA accept unenrolled Deed Polls to update driving licences. This ID must be updated as soon as you start using your new name, unlike your passport. There is no cost to update your name on your driving licence, you can simply complete a D1 form which you can get from your local Post Office or order one online here.

Once you’ve completed the D1, you can post this along with an original copy of your Deed Poll to the DVLA who will then make the necessary updates to your licence. As you will likely be updating your name with several companies and organisations at once, we always recommend getting additional copies of your Deed when ordering. This helps speed up making the changes and also prevents you from being left without an original copy if it becomes lost in the post.

Are there any names I can’t choose?

Although there aren’t any specific laws in the UK for names, there are guidelines imposed by individual companies and organisations. For example, HM Passport Office have their own rules relating to which names will be accepted. As this is an official government document, they don’t want to issue anything that’s deemed offensive.

To find out more about which names you can and can’t use read our blog post here.

How can I get my Deed Poll?

Ready to get your name change started? Great! You can submit a name change request to Vital Certificates and our specialists will check all of your information and draft your Deed for you. You’ll receive it within a few days and once it’s been signed, you’re ready to go. If you’ve still got questions, get in touch with us on 0330 088 1142, or email us at certificates@vitalcertificates.co.uk.

Declan Ramsden
Declan Ramsden

Declan is a Content Creator at Vital Consular. He studied English Literature for 4 years before joining the company. Outside of work, he enjoys listening to retro music and reading classic novels – particularly Charles Dickens!

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