It is common practice for a woman to take her married name after her wedding or for one or both partners to change their name(s) after a marriage or civil partnership ceremony.
When to change your name
You should think carefully about whether you wish to change your name on your passport before your ceremony date or afterwards, when you have returned from any honeymoon or foreign trip. You should ensure that the name on your passport matches the name in which you have booked your travel. Even if you have your marriage or civil partnership certificate with you, some countries may not let you in and some travel companies may not let you board their flights if your name is different on your tickets than on your passport.
Check with your travel agent or the consulate of the country you plan to visit before changing the name on your passport in advance, particularly if visas are involved.
Changing your name before your ceremony
If you do decide to change your name on your passport (to your future married or partnered name) in advance of your ceremony, you can do so up to three months before the ceremony date. The Identity and Passport Service will cancel your old passport and issue you with a new one. But please note that the new passport will be dated to become valid on the day of your ceremony and therefore cannot be used before. Similarly, when your old passport is cancelled, any visas on that passport may become invalid.
To amend your passport before your ceremony, you need to complete a standard application form but also a form PD2 which you can obtain:
- by downloading it from the www.gov.uk website
- from any Post Office that offers a check and send service
- from any Regional passport office
- by calling the IPS passport advice line on 0300 222 0000 who will send it to you
There is also a leaflet (PD1) entitled 'Passports for Newly Weds and Civil Partners', which explains exactly what to do.
After you have completed your section of the PD2 form, the superintendent registrar conducting your ceremony will also need to complete part of the form. Please take the form into the Surrey register office providing the registrar for your ceremony during opening hours and we will gladly do it for you – you do not need to make an appointment. The charge for this service is £18.
Changing your name after your ceremony
If you decide to change your name on your passport after your ceremony when you have returned from any trip overseas, you need only complete a standard application form and send your marriage or civil partnership certificate to IPS with your application – form PD2 is not required.