How to go about changing your maiden name after you get married. By Rachel Sandall (not Vowels)
I have a slightly difficult attitude towards changing my name. My name has been with me for 26 years. It was on the back of my basketball jersey in secondary school, it’s on my college diploma and everything in my work portfolio: how am I supposed to suddenly drop it and become something else? On the other hand, I love the idea of sharing my name with my husband. We are a family now and I want my name and identity to symbolise that.
Besides the psychological and emotional baggage of changing my name, there are seemingly endless practical and legal hoops to jump through. Every association, doctor’s office, video store and government agency has my maiden name, so it will probably take years to fully make the switch, but where to start?
Obviously, if you choose to keep your maiden name there is no need to change any of your documents. This is a good idea if you are in a profession where your name is well known, and to change your surname could be damaging to your career. Many brides like to use both maiden and married names in different circumstances but this can create financial and legal confusion, which is why many brides eventually choose to take just one name. Others might feel that changing your maiden name is out of kilter in today’s society.
Luckily in Ireland, there is no such thing as "officially" changing your name after marriage. You can just start using your married name (or not). But you need your marriage certificate to start changing name on all other documents, like bank accounts/passport etc. How you earn your name is by use and repute. Effectively this means for most purposes, if someone wants to be known by their married name (or any other), then they just use this name and ask people to call them by it.
For alternative name changes like using a double barrelled surname, changing your husband’s name to your name or using your maiden name as your middle name, needs to be done with a document called a Deed Poll, defined on Citizens Information site as “a signed declaration by a person that binds him/her to a particular course of action from the date of signing.”
Essentially a Deed Poll is a form stating that you are abandoning your old name and intend to change to your married name. It is the quickest and cheapest way to legally change your name. The deed poll will be filed with your birth certificate; it registers the new name in the High Court and should be sufficient proof for most companies that your name is legally changed.
What you need for the Deed Poll:
1. The Deed Poll
The Deed Poll must be printed on Judicature Paper, Deed Paper, Parchment Paper or a good quality strong paper. This paper can be purchased from any legal stationers. But the easiest option is to go to the Judgments Section in the Four Courts Building and ask for the necessary documents. You cannot download the form online!
2. The Affidavit of Attesting Witness
The Affidavit of Attesting Witness is a sworn statement made by somebody who witnessed the signing and sealing (filling out) of the Deed Poll by the person who wants to change his or her name. This affidavit must be lodged together with the Deed Poll.
3. The Original Birth Certificate
The Original Birth Certificate must also be lodged together with the Deed Poll and the Affidavit of Attesting Witness.
The Deed Poll must be delivered in person, it cannot be posted (convenience is not part of the name change process). The cost is €30 and there may be a small fee for the Attesting Witnesses.
Passport and Driver’s License
You will have a whole host of companies you need to inform about your new name, but your identification documents should be first on the list. You will need to apply for a new passport with the Passport Office. If you have a current driver’s license, you need to file a Full Application or Learner Permit Application form with the Motor Taxation Office with a copy of the marriage certificate and two passport sized photos.
You should inform the Revenue office of your marriage. Simply do this by sending a copy of your marriage license, the date of marriage and the PPS numbers for you and your spouse. You will still be taxed as individuals for the first year of marriage, “However, if the tax you pay as two single persons in that year is greater than the tax which would be payable if taxed as a married couple, a refund of the difference can be claimed,” according to the Revenue website.
Each of the below should be notified of the name change. They will might have different forms but the best idea is to send a copy of your Deed Poll, marriage certificate and passport to each, which should cover all the bases.
Bank (Laser Card, Statements, etc)
Building society (mortgage and/or savings accounts)
Clubs and societies
Department of Health & Social Security
Driving Licence Association
Colleges, universities etc
Investment companies including premium bonds and shares
Tips for changing your name:
- Order plenty of marriage certificate copies.
- Write up a master list of all the companies you need to notify and check them off as you go.
- Make copies of everything you submit.
- Get your Deed Poll first.
- Change your passport and drivers license second.
- Don’t forget to notify your employer.
- Contact a solicitor if you have more questions.
For more information:
Deed Poll Information - CitizensInformation.ie
Deed Poll Section - Central Office, Four Courts, Dublin 7. Tel: (0)1 8886000
Drivers License Information - rsa.ie
Passport Office - dfa.ie
Revenue Office - Revenue - Marriage
Here's what people have be saying about the name change on the WeddingsOnline Forums:
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