Deeds, indeed!

This is doing my head in.

The wording on a deed poll is a little akin to a sort of Masonic oath…you know: the bit about never divulging secrets, under penalty of having your throat slit and being disemboweled…only in the case of the deed poll, you do not so much keep a secret, as call on all and sundry to recognise that you have foresworn your previous name, and require them to call you by your new name. Or else.

Or else what?

This is the bit that has me puzzled,and here therefore are a few questions I would be grateful for answers to (with references where poss) from people of a legal mind.

You do the deed poll (or stat dec).

Are these documents registered anywhere? Compulsorily? Voluntarily?

Is there somewhere I can go view a load of deed polls?

Next up: would I be allowed to use my old name after I’d done a poll?

Or any other name?

And if I did, what would be the penalty for me doing so?

Last but by no means least, what are the penalties if someone else does so?



About janefae

On my way from here to there
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5 Responses to Deeds, indeed!

  1. andrea says:
    says there is no national register of them but they can be enrolled (or something) see:
    (interestingly this second link from hmc talks about your legal name)
    ….go get em girl 🙂

  2. Helen B says:

    I know the answer to the first. Deed polls have to be published – typically in the London Gazette – in order for them to take effect. That’s the distinction between them and a statutory declaration, which you only need to make in front of a magistrate or (I think) a commissioner of oaths. Either way, both are public declarations in their own way.

    • janefae says:

      I’m sending this by e-mail and also responding on the site. I am not 100% sure that this is correct. Check out the HMRC site, which appears to make it clear that they MAY be published…but don’t have to be.

      Rather, this only occurs if you decide to “enroll” your deed poll…which will make the process that much more expensive.

      Are you aware, btw, of the ruling (1946) – which appears to be an unchallenged precedent – by a certain Judge Vaisey, to the effect that there is no way short of an Act of Parliament that a first name can be changed. Intriguing…especially if it means in principle that a large chunk of the deed polls currently lodged have no legal effect.


    • Liz Church says:

      I’m not satisfied with this either. Publishing in the London Gazette is optional and certainly wouldn’t appeal to most transgender individuals. Indeed, Section 22 of the GRA may have some impact here, particularly as it is recent legislation and likely to overrule anything older in the statute book.

  3. Liz Church says:

    “Or else what?”

    The call me “Lump-hammer Liz” 🙂

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