Pele - Image coutesy of Agência Brasil, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License

Brazilian professional footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé

With the FIFA World Cup 2014 now up and running, you might wonder how some footballers come by their names and whether their names are ‘legal’. It can’t just be so that they can fit their names on the back of their shirts! For example, many pundits’ choice as the best footballer ever is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, whilst one of the current Brazilian team is Hulk, real name Givanildo Vieira de Souza.

We may not be so flamboyant with our names in the UK, but people have changed their names by deed poll to all sorts of things, including King Arthur Uther Pendragon and Lianne Madonna Vogue On The Cover Of A Magazine McHale Dawson and her twin sister Emma Madonna Confessions On A Dance Floor McHale Dawson. Three hundred men have even changed their names to John Smith!

Being known by a different name is fine, but if you want to change the name you were born with, namely the one shown on your birth certificate, then there are a variety of ways to do this: through deed poll or marriage or civil partnership, or upon divorce. In some cases, you don’t need any legal proof of the change, but simply evidence that you can be identified by your chosen name. There are some circumstances, however, such as applying for a passport or dealing with your land/property, for which you do need additional evidence, such as the deed poll, marriage certificate or a statutory declaration or statement of truth.

Ensuring that your name details on the land register are up to date is especially important, as when you come to sell or remortgage your property the buyer/lender will want proof that you are who you say you are, and that you are the person named on the registered title. If you changed your name to Horatio  Hornblower Keary the Third, Simon Cadillac Ali Buick, Gazza or perhaps Rooney (if he scores the winning goal on July 13th…we can dream a little longer surely!) then make sure you let us know.

Find out what to do when you change your name to update or correct the register.

By AdamH,
Customer Service Representative at HM Land Registry Head Office