Changing your name
How do I change my name?
Irish law does not set out how to change your name. This means you can change the name you commonly use by simply using a new name.
However, you might have difficulty proving your new name to public and private bodies (for example, your workplace, school, Revenue or the Passport Service) without an official document referring to the change.
Getting proof of a name change
If you want written proof that you have changed your name, you can sign a Deed Poll. A Deed Poll is a legal document saying you will take a particular course of action from the date you sign it. This means from the date you sign the Deed Poll, you can legally declare you:
- Are no longer using your old name
- Will always use your new name
- Want to be called by your new name
You do not need to sign a Deed Poll if you are changing your name after marriage – see below.
Changing your name after marriage
You do not have to change your name when you get married. However, you may want to change your name for traditional, cultural or practical reasons.
If you change your name when you marry, you do not need to sign a Deed Poll. Most organisations will accept your marriage certificate as proof of your name change.
You earn your name by 'use and repute'. This means for most purposes, if you want to be known by your married name, then you just use this name and ask people to call you by it.
Changing your name after separation or divorce
You can change back to your pre-marriage name after separation or divorce. You will need to contact organisations to update your personal details, for example, your bank, your employer, the Motor Tax Office, and your healthcare provider.
Every organisation has different requirements so check what is needed to complete the process. You usually need a valid form of identification and certified evidence of your previous name. You may need to show a certified copy of your separation agreement or divorce decree.
Public Services Card (PSC)
To change your name on your Public Services Card back to your pre-marriage name, submit either:
- Divorce, dissolution or legal separation agreement documents
- Correspondence from a solicitor showing that a separation, divorce or dissolution has been initiated
To change your name on your passport back to your pre-marriage name (or pre-civil partnership name), you need to apply for a new passport. You can apply using Passport Online.
You must submit:
- Your previous passport
- Your birth certificate
- A judicial separation court order, separation agreement, or divorce decree. This must be certified by a solicitor or by the court
- Your original marriage or civil partnership certificate
Otherwise, you must show ‘proof of usage’. To do this, submit 2 official documents showing you have been using your pre-marriage name for 2 years. The Passport Service does not accept deed polls to change the name on your Irish passport.
See more information about changing the name on your passport, and the documents you need, on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.
How to change your name by Deed Poll
You can get a solicitor to carry out (execute) the Deed Poll for you, or you can do it yourself.
Download a template of an adult Deed Poll from the Courts Service website. The Deed Poll must be printed on deed paper (which is available from legal stationers), or any high quality paper.
In this form, you declare that you have given up your old name and adopted a new name for all purposes.
You sign the Deed Poll in your old name and your new name. You must sign it in the presence of a witness. Your old name must match your birth certificate. Make sure you include your middle name.
The witness must be at least 18 years of age. They must sign the Deed Poll as your witness.
They must also swear an Affidavit of Attesting Witness in the presence of a solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths, stating they witnessed you signing of the Deed Poll. Download a template of an Affidavit of Attesting Witness from the Courts Service website.
There is a small fee for swearing the affidavit before a solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths.
You can then sign a Request to Enrol form (doc), giving consent to the Courts Service to publish your name change on their register. See ‘Enrolling the deed’ below. However, there is no requirement to enrol it.
Change of Name licence for non-EEA nationals
If you are a non-EEA national aged 18 or over, and you want to change your name by Deed Poll, you must first get a ‘Change of Name licence’ from Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) – see ‘Contact details’ below. This rule is set out under Section 9 of the Aliens Act 1935.
To get an application form for a Change of Name licence, write to the Change of Name section in ISD. Once you have been granted a change of name licence you must apply to the Deed Poll Office to legally change your name. Include the original Change of Name licence with your Deed Poll documents. If your application is successful there is a €13 fee for your Change of Name licence. Your Change of Name licence will be sent to you by registered post.
British citizens and children under 18 do not need a Change of Name licence to change their name by Deed Poll.
Enrolling the deed
Some organisations will only accept a Deed Poll which has been ‘enrolled’ in the Central Office of the High Court (however, there is no requirement to enrol it).
To enrol the deed in the Central Office of the High Court, you will need:
- To have completed the Change your Name by Deed Poll form correctly
- Your Affidavit of Attesting Witness
- A certified copy of your birth certificate
- Evidence of your previous name (for example, a birth certificate, marriage certificate, previous name change by Deed Poll, certificate of naturalisation)
- A 'change of name licence' if you are a non-EEA national (British citizens do not have to get a change of name licence)
- A certified copy of photographic identification (such as a passport or driver's licence)
You must also complete a form known as a Request to enrol the a Deed Poll in the Central Office of the High Court, acknowledging your change of name will be available for public inspection and published on the Courts Service website. Download an application form to enrol a Deed Poll from Courts.ie.
Post your completed application with all supporting documentation to: Deed Poll Section, Central Office of the High Court, The Four Courts, Inns Quay, Dublin 7. Alternatively, you can enrol your Deed Poll in person by booking an appointment in the Central Office.
Find more information about changing your name by deed poll on the Courts Service website.
Cost of changing your name by Deed Poll
There is a fee to have the Affidavit of Attesting Witness sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths or a practising solicitor. There is no fixed rate for legal fees, so ask your solicitor for information on their costs before you hire them.
If you are non-EEA national, you will need a Change of Name licence to change your name by Deed Poll (see above). If your application is successful there is a €13 fee for your Change of Name licence.
If you enrol the Deed Poll in the Central Office of the High Court, you must pay stamp duty of €60 on the document. You can do this at the Dublin Courts stamping office or your local Courts Service branch.
Changing a child's name by Deed Poll
You can change the surname of a child in the Register of Births, but only in certain circumstances.
You can also change the surname of a child by Deed Poll or common usage.
Children aged 14 to 17
Children aged between 14 and 17 years can execute (carry out) the deed poll themselves, but they need the consent of both parents.
Children under 14
If a child is under 14, one of the child's parents must execute the Deed Poll with the consent of the other parent. Consent of both parents is needed.
If the second parent does not consent to the Deed Poll, then the first parent must ask the District Court to make an order removing the need for the second parent’s consent for Deed Poll.
Forms and fees
If you want to change the name of a child by deed poll, get all the necessary documents from the Courts Service website.
There is a €60 stamp duty fee on the Change of Name by Deed Poll and a €20 stamp duty fee on the Supplemental Affidavit. This means that changing a child’s name by Deed Poll has an €80 stamp duty fee in total.