Public Guide 22 – Keeping your name in the register up to date
Updated: May 2013
This edition of the guide replaces the February 2012 edition. Section 4.1 has been amended and section 4.2 has been added to clarify our requirements on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.
What this guide covers
This guide explains why you need to keep your name in the register up to date and how to apply to have the register updated when you change your name.
When you buy a property or lend money under a mortgage we will enter your name in the register as owner of the land or the mortgage. We may also enter your name in the register in other situations, such as to show that your consent is required before we can register a disposal of the land.
It is important that you keep your name in the register up to date. If you have not told us that you have changed your name and we receive a deed signed in your new name, we cannot register it unless we have evidence to account for the different names in the register and the deed.
Keeping your name in the register up to date can also help to ensure that you receive any letter we might send to you if we receive an application affecting your interest. This can help to prevent fraud.
For more information about preventing property fraud, please see:
2 Can anyone change their name?
Under the law of England and Wales an individual can use any name they wish, provided it is not for criminal purposes.
Most official bodies require evidence of change of name before updating their records. Land Registry requires evidence of change of name before we can update the register. This is particularly important to prevent identity fraud.
Companies are also free to change their names by resolution registered at Companies House, but there are certain names that cannot be used.
3 What should I do if I change my name?
It is important that you let us know if you change your name, so that the register can be kept up to date. The evidence you will need to lodge differs depending on whether you are a private individual or a corporate body.
You can either make the application yourself or you can use a conveyancer (such as a solicitor).
4 Change of name of private individuals
4.1 Change of name on marriage or on entering into a civil partnership
You need to send us the original or an official copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate together with application form AP1, showing the nature of application as ‘Change of Name’. There is no need to enclose a covering letter as well.
We will always return an original marriage or civil partnership certificate.
A conveyancer sending the application to us does not need to enclose a UK marriage or civil partnership certificate where they are certifying in writing that you have changed your name. The conveyancer should at least confirm:
the names of the couple including the wife's/civil partner's former name, and
the date and place of marriage/civil partnership.
We will, however, require the original or a certified copy of the certificate if it is from outside the UK.
4.2 Change of name on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership
If you have returned to your original surname and you would like us to alter the register to reflect this you need to send us the original or an official copy of your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate together with application form AP1, showing the nature of application as ‘Change of Name’. There is no need to enclose a covering letter as well.
We will always return an original marriage or civil partnership certificate.
Please note that you must be changing your name back to exactly what was on the relevant certificate.
4.3 Change of name by deed poll
The most common way of changing your name, other than on marriage, is to execute a change of name deed. This is called a deed poll. Sometimes people record these deeds officially by enrolling them at the Supreme Court of Judicature in London. In England and Wales, enrolled change of name deeds are advertised in the government newspaper The London Gazette.
If you have changed your name by deed poll, you will need to send us the original or a certified copy of the deed (we will return any original sent to us), together with application form AP1 showing the nature of application as ‘Change of Name’.
Please note that a copy of the notice from The London Gazette relating to the change of name is not sufficient evidence for Land Registry to alter the register. We will always require the original or a copy of the deed poll.
4.4 Statement of truth or statutory declaration
We will also accept a statutory declaration or a statement of truth as evidence of change of name. You must always lodge the original statutory declaration or statement of truth and a certified copy if you want the original returned.
4.4.1 Statements of truth
A statement of truth should contain details of your change of name and end with the following statement:
"I believe that the facts and matters contained in this statement are true."
You should then date and sign the statement and print your full name below your signature. You do not need to make the statement before a lawyer.
4.4.2 Statutory declaration
These are similar to statements of truth, but with different wording prescribed by law. They have to be sworn before someone able to take oaths such as a practising solicitor or magistrate.
4.5 Identity evidence
We will always require evidence of identity for all changes of name by deed poll, statement of truth or statutory declaration.
If you are making the application yourself, you will also need to supply evidence of identity in form ID1. The evidence will need to be checked by a conveyancer or one of our staff at a customer information centre. See Public Guide 20 – Evidence of identity – non-conveyancers for details as to its completion.
You should complete form ID1 preferably in your former name. If you complete the form in your new name, you will need to send copies of official documentation to establish a link to the person named in the register or deed. This might, for example, be a passport, driver's licence or utility bill that shows your former name.
If you are using a conveyancer to make the application, the conveyancer will have to confirm your identity and they can do this by either providing a certificate as follows:
“I confirm that I am satisfied that sufficient steps have been taken to verify the identity of ………………………… and that they are the registered proprietor or the person named in entry number [x] in the register of title(s) …………”
or by lodging form ID1.
4.6 How is the change of name registered?
We will amend the existing entry in the register but keep the original registration date. There will be no indication in the register that you have changed your name, but please note that someone can apply for a copy of the previous edition of the register or documents kept by the registrar showing your former name.
5 Change of name in transgender situations
People who identify as transgender often want to change their names.
You will need to apply in form AP1 enclosing any one of the following as evidence of your change of name.
Change of name deed (deed poll).
Statement of truth.
If you wish to use your gender recognition certificate as evidence, we will also accept the original or a certified copy. We will always return an original certificate.
We will retain electronic copies of the application form AP1 and evidence lodged, but access to the evidence of identity will be restricted.
A conveyancer sending the application to us does not need to enclose the evidence of change of name where they are certifying in writing that you have changed your name.
If your conveyancer sends the application to us electronically your former name will be recorded as part of the application as that information is a mandatory part of the electronic application form.
5.1 Identity evidence
The requirements for evidence of identity set out in section 4.4 Identity evidence also apply in transgender cases if your change of name is evidenced by deed poll, statutory declaration or statement of truth. We will not, however, require further confirmation of identity if you choose to lodge your gender recognition certificate as evidence of your change of name.
If you need to lodge evidence of identity in form ID1, we will accept verification of your identity by someone other than a conveyancer or one of our staff, such as a health or other verifiable professional.
If you choose to have your identity verified by one of our staff you should first telephone the customer service manager at the local Land Registry office to make an appointment.
5.2 How is the change of name registered?
Unlike other changes of name we will create a new entry with a new registration date. This is to preserve confidentiality as far as possible. There will be no indication in the register that a change of name has taken place, and no connection is implied to previously registered documents.
5.3 Will anyone be able to find out from Land Registry that I have changed my gender?
Land Registry recognises the sensitivity of such information and the law grants wide protection from improper disclosure. However the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and Equality Act 2006 do not override existing statutory rights of access to information, including requests for information made under section 66 of the Land Registration Act 2002. This means that anyone can apply for former editions of the register and documents kept by the registrar that could give rise to information on matters such as gender and the former names of owners, although no connection to the current registered proprietor will be implied in the register. We do not record gender in the register.
Your former name will appear on any documents kept with us. We are not allowed to alter your name on these, but you can apply to exempt the information in documents from the general right of inspection using forms EX1 and EX1A, if appropriate to do so. There is a fee for this. See Practice Guide 57 – Exempting documents from the general right to inspect and copy for details of the procedure involved. You cannot exempt former editions of the register.
If you have not informed us of your change of name, then any correspondence from us will inevitably be addressed to your former name. If you change your name and apply to us to alter the register to reflect the changes, please note we generally serve a notice on the former name as a fraud prevention measure.
Please also see section 9 Where should I send my application?
6 Change of name of corporations
6.1 Companies and limited liability partnerships
A company registered in Great Britain may change its name by company resolution, but it is not effective until the change of name is registered at Companies House. Once this is done you should send us a copy of the certificate of incorporation of change of name issued by Companies House, and application form AP1.
We require the same evidence for a change of name of a limited liability partnership registered in Great Britain, but the procedure at Companies House is slightly different.
6.2 Trading names
An individual, partnership or company that carries on business in Great Britain does not have to use the name of that individual, partnership or company as its trading name. Within certain limits, anyone can choose any name under which to trade. The limits are prescribed largely by the Business Names Act 1985 and the Companies Acts.
Land and mortgages cannot be registered in the name of the trading name, but if you wish you can ask us to add it to the register in addition to your registered name. An entry might look like:
Sunlocator Limited (Co. Regn. No. 08292442) of Fahrenheit House, Celsius Street, London WC5N 1AA, trading as Max Sun Holidays.
To change a register entry relating to a trading name, you need to apply on application form AP1.
7 Is any fee payable?
There is no fee to alter the register to show a change of name at Land Registry.
8 Where can I get the forms?
Copies of forms AP1 and ID1 can be downloaded from our website www.landregistry.gov.uk and can be obtained free of charge from Customer Support (see Contact details).
9 Where should I send my application?
You should send it to the office that deals with the area where your property is. Please refer to our website www.landregistry.gov.uk or ask for Practice Guide 51 – Areas served by Land Registry offices.
Where section 5 Change of name in transgender situations applies, please mark your envelope ‘Private and confidential – For the attention of the customer services manager’.