Changing your name in Scotland can be quite a cumbersome affair. You need to have an exact idea of the procedures to follow, the places to go, and the documents to sign. To make this process easier, we will delineate in this article all the steps to follow and all the possible scenarios you need to be aware of for changing your name.
How to check whether you are eligible for a name change in Scotland?
You are eligible to apply for changing your name in Scotland if you were born in Scotland or a part of Scotland’s Adopted Children Register, Gender Recognition Register, or the Parental Order Register.
For changing your name, if you are 16 years old or over, you have to apply for it yourself. If you are below 16 years old, your application will be made by either one parent, both parents, or guardians.
Changing your name
If you want to change your name, you are legally permitted to change it to any name you want as long as you are not deceiving anyone or partaking in fraud. You will have to submit your application along with the relevant documents, either to the Government Registry office or private deed poll offices. After changing your name, you are well-advised to get it recorded in the public register by visiting the office of the Registrar General.
Once you have legally changed your name, it can be utilised for all purposes, but in some situations, you might be asked to show additional documents as evidence.
Changing your surname in case of marriage or civil partnership
In Scotland, either partner can avail the surname of the other, or combine their surnames or retain their own. It’s completely a matter of their personal choice.
If you decide to change your surname, you need to file a deed poll. Once your surname change is completed, you must ensure that the change is communicated to the important people and institutions that hold information about you. For example, you must inform your employers, your bank, the passport office, and your doctor about your name change.
Changing back to your maiden surname
In case of separation, divorce, or an end to civil partnerships, people might want to go back to their maiden surname. The procedure is the same in this case, filing a deed poll application with the necessary documents. Again, you must ensure that you communicate this change to the concerned parties, as mentioned before. Some institutions might even ask for your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate to validate your name change.
To be kept in mind, unless you previously changed your surname in the National Records of Scotland, you do not need to file any application to change back to your maiden surname.
Helpful documents for name change in Scotland
- Information Leaflet RCN1: It records the changing of names and surnames in Scotland
- Form 21: It is the application for changing the name of the child who is below twelve months old.
- Form 23: It is to be availed for changing the name for children below sixteen.
- Form 26: You have to file this application if you are over 16 years of age and intent on changing your name.
- Form PRF: It is a questionnaire that is to be filled up in the scenario that parents were unmarried during the birth of the child and had not married after the birth of the child.
Changing your name in Scotland can be quite a hassle-free process if you know all the necessary information. The cost is quite less – 40 pounds for the first family member and additional 10 pounds for each additional member if they apply together. However, this doesn’t include the costs you incur if you apply in a private deed poll office.