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Do I have to change my name when I get married?

Posted: Friday November 28, 2014

The simple answer is no, as there is no legal requirement for anyone to change their name after getting married. It is completely up to the bride/groom to decide whether or not he or she wants to change their name.

Traditionally women tend to change their maiden name to their new husband’s surname, so if they were to have children together,the whole family would have the same surname.

In order to complete this process you simply send your marriage certificate off to any organisation that might be interested in your identity, such as the passport office, bank, DVLA etc. A deed poll is not required, as long as the marriage certificate states both party’s surnames - that is sufficient evidence to change a name.

Another option for women is to keep using their maiden name but change their title from Miss to Ms, this is something often done by business women who do not want to change their name in the office. Similarly some opt to keep their maiden name at work but change to their husband’s surname for their personal life.

Double-barrelled or hyphenated surnames are becoming more and more popular, incorporating both surnames. This is a good option if neither party want to lose their name, however if you choose to do this, you’ll both have to change your name by Deed Poll.
Even more modern than that is to lose the hyphen and create a brand new name out of the two surnames, known as blending or meshing two names. For example Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston could become Justin and Jennifer Theriston and Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes become Ryan and Eva Mendling.

Whatever you decide to do, you have to ensure that you notify the right people when your name has been officially changed - and there is a long list of people! Here is a list of the main ones:

  • Passport office
  • DVLA
  • Doctors and Dentist
  • Utility companies
  • Employer
  • HMRC
  • HM Land Registry (if you own land or property)
  • Banks / credit card companies

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