Changing your name in Scotland

February 20, 2023 by QLAdmin

Understanding the Law in Scotland

The law in Scotland allows any person to change their surname, forename or both at any time, provided there is no intention to defraud anyone. Although you can change your name informally, certain agencies, such as the DVLA, HM Passport Office, banks and some schools may ask for proof to demonstrate the connection between the newly adopted name and the original name.

Reasons for Changing Your Name

There are various valid reasons for someone to want or need to adjust their name or part of it. Examples include a change in gender, dislike of an original name, adjustment of a foreign name to make it more easily pronounced, or a discrepancy in the names used in various formal documents, which raises doubts about identity.

Deed Poll: Not Relevant in Scotland

Changing a name by deed poll is relevant in England and Wales but not in Scotland.

Marriage, Civil Partnership, and Divorce

Following marriage or a civil partnership, a person can use their own birth name or that of their spouse or partner. A marriage certificate or a civil partnership certificate is sufficient proof to establish this change. Upon divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, the extract decree of divorce or dissolution is sufficient documentation to enable the use of a previous surname if desired.

Upon divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership the extract decree of divorce or dissolution is sufficient documentation to enable use of a previous surname if that is desired.

Legal Change of Name in Scotland: Statutory Declaration

One method of providing proof of a change of name is a signed document, called a    statutory declaration, making a formal declaration that from a particular date, an individual will use or has been using a new name. This document is normally prepared by a Notary Public and should include an appropriate reference to the relevant statutory provision. It must be signed and dated in the presence of a Notary Public, who must also sign and add their seal.

Changing a Child’s Name

A parent can sign a statutory declaration on behalf of a child under the age of 16 years.

Recording a Change of Name on a Birth Certificate

Recording a change of name on a birth certificate is a separate process and details can be obtained using the following link:

If you have any questions about changing your name or would like to discuss any other notarial work or the making of a Will or Power of Attorney please get in touch  with Kay Blaikie : or 0131 564 1044

Kay Blaikie

Principal of the Firm

Get in touch with me when you need reliable legal advice on any aspect of Executries, Wills, Powers of Attorney and Notarial services.

Telephone: 0131 564 1044