The right time is now.
If you’re a British citizen, you should change your legal name by July 1.
But if you’re not, you might have to wait a year or two.
The government has said it’s taking a “principal deterrent” approach, while some lawyers and academics argue that the current rules are outdated.
Here are some things to consider when you’re changing your name: What if you don’t have a British passport?
You can change your first name, but you won’t be able to change the surname if you haven’t had a British citizenship for 10 years.
Why is my surname being changed?
The name you choose will affect your legal status and your chances of getting married, divorced or separated.
What about other surnames?
Some surnames are listed as being considered too risky for people with serious mental health problems.
You’ll have to check whether your surname is listed as one of the more serious mental illnesses.
If my surname is already taken, will it be changed?
If you change your surname without the permission of your legal guardian, your name will be automatically changed.
You won’t have to apply for a new name.
Can I have my own surname?
You’re entitled to one of your own names if your mother’s name was given to you as part of the process of registering a new surname.
How will my new name affect my pension?
If your name is not on your current pension, you’ll be asked to provide evidence of a legal name change to your employer.
Will my name change affect how I can buy a house?
You’ll be able buy a property or an annuity only if you can show you’re still legally living at the address where your name was registered.
You’re not allowed to buy a second home or move into a new house.
Is there a limit to the number of people who can change their surname?
There are no restrictions on the number you can change in one go.
I can’t change my surname, but I’m not married.
Will my marriage change my name?
The British legal system is a marriage contract, and you can’t be married if you are legally a different person’s surname.
If your marriage was not recognised, you could be asked for permission to change it.
Should I change my first name?
Most people are OK with changing their first name without any extra fuss, but if you want to, you can do so if you: are a British person (i.e. you’re in the UK and are a resident of Britain)