Free Deed Poll

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About the project

When I changed my name back in 2007, I did it the wrong way. My name ended up changed, so I didn’t go too-far wrong, but I paid for the service from one of the premium Deed Poll companies, who charge you £30 or more to do what you can basically do for yourself. It’s not an extortionate fee, but it is a rip-off. These companies get you to fill in a web form, then they print out a template response and post it to you. They scam people with strong SEO techniques and liberal use of the word “official” plastered around their websites. Once I learned better (and after I’d helped a few friends to successfully change their names using home-made Deed Polls) and done a little research, I realised that there were several free guides, online, to making your own Deed Poll. But the only wizard-driven service I could find was riddled with advertisements, required that you give them your email address, and delivered password-protected documents. That’s when I realised that I could do something better. Use Just go to www.freedeedpoll.org.uk and fill in the form to generate yourself a free Deed Poll document. Sign it (in both your new and old names), have your witnesses sign it, and you’re done: you have a brand new, legally-recognised name. The website also has tips on the laws regarding the names you can choose and on who you need to inform once you’ve changed your name.

Open Source

Because I’m passionate about open-source software, I’ve released the entire source code for this project – you can get it here, on GitHub. It’s developed using Sinatra, an awesome (and lightweight) web framework for Ruby. Prawn, the majestic sea creature of PDF generation, is used to generate the resulting Deed Poll. I hope that by releasing this project and its source code “into the wild” that I’ll be able to enable others to:

  • Legally change their names simply and without cost, as is the right of every British adult.
  • Learn to develop web applications using Ruby and Sinatra.
  • Raise awareness about how easy it is to change one’s name, in order to undermine the greedy scam artists who sell little more than a piece of pretty paper for an insane premium.

If you enjoy this tool, please get in touch and let me know.

License

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

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