Is this site really free?
The short version: yes.
When I changed my name by Deed Poll, some years ago, I was ripped off by one of the many companies on the web that will produce you a very "official-looking" document for £30+. There are plenty of them nowadays that'll do the same service for a tenner; but to me, that's still a tenner too much.
Subsequently, I did a little research and I learned that in actual fact, you don't need to spend a penny to make a Deed Poll. Do you know what Deed Poll actually means? It means that it's a contract with straight edges and it's only signed by one person. That means that, legally speaking, you can write on the back of a napkin "I, [old name] of [address] have given up my name [old name] and have adopted for all purposes the name [new name]. Signed as a deed on [date] as [former name] and [new name] in the presence of [witness name] of [witness address]," sign it with your name (twice - once with your old and once with your new name), have a friend witness it, and that's completely legitimate.
The UK doesn't mandate any kind of central registry of names (if you live in England and Wales, you can optionally register your Deed Poll in the Central Office of the High Court, but I wouldn't recommend it to most people). The UK also doesn't have any significant restrictions on what name you can choose (see here for information on what you can't do), unlike some European countries, so if you want to take a silly name, that's your right.
However, there are a few things you really ought to do. After all, when you send that Deed Poll you wrote on the back of a napkin to the Passport Office or the DVLA, they're just going to laugh at you and send it back. That's why it can really help to make it look a little bit more official, and make sure you've got the right wording that covers all of the legal bases. That's where this site comes in. I've done all of the dull background reading so that you don't have to.
There are other sites that will provide free Deed Polls - there are links below. But this site is the only one I'm aware of that's completely ad-free, doesn't require your email address, doesn't restrict how many times you can use it or how often, and provides an easy-to-use wizard that should suit pretty-much every case. If you really want to make your own Deed Poll, that's fine: but I suggest that you make one here, first, and take a read, so you know what you need to put on it.
Why am I doing this? Because I think that everybody has the right to change their name easily, cheaply, and without the risk of getting ripped off, like I did. It's your name, and you should be allowed to do with it whatever you like. If you enjoyed using this tool and you think that it was good enough to be worth paying for, please instead consider making a donation to Samaritans, instead. Thank you.
Other sites that do the same thing:
free deed poll
If you don't mind looking at ads, having limits on how many Deed Polls you can request, having to give away your email address to get a password to unlock the Deed Poll you asked for, and you don't need any of the special options offered, you could use these guys instead, I suppose.
- Flash Wilson's guide Here's a really great "do it yourself" guide to changing your name. There's no wizard, though, so you'll have to be happy to copy-and-paste and then make the changes yourself.
- Wikipedia article of "Deed of change of name" Another great guide to "doing it yourself": just copy, paste, adapt, and print. But if you'd rather make it even easier, just fill in the form on this website.