In Ireland, a deed poll is a signed declaration by a person that binds him/her to a particular course of action from the date of signing. A deed poll for a change of name contains declarations (in other words a sworn statement or affadavit) that you are abandoning the use of your old name, that you will use your new name at all times and that you require everyone to use your new name.
There is no legal or other obligation on anyone in Ireland to change their name on marriage. The fact that some people do, is purely based on tradition and culture. They may for example wish to signify they have joined a new family, etc. and therefore take the new name - but this is purely a social/cultural choice and has no legal basis.
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.
The use of the title 'Miss' or 'Ms.' or 'Mrs.' in Ireland are cultural ones that indicate whether a woman is single or married. There is no basis in law stating you are required to use an appropriate title whether you are married or single. As people earn their name by use and repute, a woman is free to use whichever title she wishes before her name. Therefore, she is free to call herself Mrs. (single name) if she so chooses.
The surname of a child can be changed in the Register of Births but only in certain circumstances. However, the surname of a child can also be changed by deed poll or common usage. Children aged between 14 and 17 years can execute the Deed Poll themselves but need the consent of both parents. Where a child is under the age of 14 years, one of the child's parents must execute the Deed Poll with the consent of the other parent.
The advantage of changing your name by deed poll is that a record of the change is kept for future identification. This can be attached to your birth certificate, is acceptable for most administrative procedures and provides an easy and inexpensive solution to most of the difficulties that can arise when you change your name.
You can get a solicitor to do the deed poll for you or you can do it yourself.
If you apply to officially change your name in Ireland, your deed poll enrolls or registers your name change with the High Court.
If you are doing the deed poll yourself, you will have to call in person to the Deed Poll Section, Central Office, the Four Courts (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 12.30pm). It is not possible to apply online for this service. You will need your original birth certificate (and marriage certificate if applicable), together with photo identification such as your driving licence or passport.
As every case involving an official name change is different, staff in Deed Poll Section will provide advice and information to you on an individual basis.
Under Sections 8 and 9 of the Aliens Act 1935, a foreign national aged 18 or over must get a change of name licence from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) before executing a deed poll. You can obtain an application form for a change of name licence by writing to the Change of Name Section in the INIS.
A British citizen does not require a change of name licence but is likely to need a letter to that effect from the INIS. Sometimes an Irish citizen requires such a letter. In order to obtain the letter you will need the following:
If you do the deed poll yourself, you will have to pay Stamp Duty of €35.
There may also be small charge to have the declaration (affidavit) sworn at a Commissioner for Oaths or practising solicitors. (There is no fixed rate of charges for legal fees in Ireland, so enquire in advance for information on this charge).
There are no pre-printed forms available to apply for a deed poll for a change of name. Instead, Deed Poll Section will provide you with appropriate written precedents on the type of wording you should use on your deed poll. Your application must use this wording together with your own particulars and be written on deed paper (available in stationery shops or from your solicitor).
After you have completed your application you then have your declaration (affidavit) sworn at a Commissioner for Oaths or practising solicitors. You must then lodge your application together with the long-form of your birth certificate with Deed Poll Section. You must bring these documents back in person (you cannot post them) to the Four Courts where you will have to pay the Stamp Duty.
Central Office of the High Court
Ground Floor (East Wing)
Opening Hours:Personal callers Tuesdays and Thursdays 10.00am to 12.30pm
Tel:(01) 888 6000
Fax:(01) 888 6125
For a change of name licence apply to the Change of Name Section of the
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.