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What’s in a name?


Every year, we send more than 200,000 requests for information (requisitions) in relation to variations in names in applications, such as spelling discrepancies or the order of first and second names.

Most could be avoided with a few quick checks in line with one simple principle:

Names must match exactly across all documents lodged for registration, in the identity panels of the application form used and with the names as they appear in the register.

This requirement applies to all name variations, including spelling errors and the order of names.

What goes wrong?

It could be that the names in deeds sent to us for registration don’t match. Or that names in deeds sent for registration don’t match the names of the registered proprietors in the register and/or the identity panels of our application forms. In rarer cases, a name variation can be an indicator of fraud. In each of these cases, we have to send a requisition to account for the variation(s).

This causes a delay to your application’s processing time, so you can see that a few simple, pre-submission checks will reduce the delays that are caused when we have to seek further information.

What steps can I take?

Check every name as early in the transaction process as possible, and if there is a variation in any deed or form, or between any deed or form and the register, take action to resolve it before sending the application to us.

If your application involves deeds that have been signed electronically, refer to Practice Guide 82: electronic signatures accepted by HM Land Registry for further information and guidance on how to amend them.

See our useful Variations in names flowchart to find out what action you need to take to resolve variations in names when lodging an application with us.

What if there is a variation?

When there is a variation in the name in the deeds you send us and the name in the register, you’ll need to send us evidence to account for the variation before we can process the application and update the register.

The documents we will accept as evidence are:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • driving licence
  • marriage certificate
  • civil partnership certificate
  • decree absolute
  • deed poll
  • statutory declaration
  • statement of truth

The conveyancer must either represent the registered proprietor or provide the proprietor’s signed authority to apply to update the register on their behalf.

Alternatively, conveyancers can provide a letter that tells us the following information:

  • the evidence held by or that the conveyancer has seen
  • the correct name
  • confirmation that they have the registered proprietor’s authority to apply to update the register on their behalf

When sending details of your authority to us, you can use the suggested wording below. You can also use it for changes to deeds signed in wet ink sent for registration which may contain other errors, such as spelling mistakes that need to be corrected on behalf of the registered proprietor.

For changes made to a deed signed with a conveyancer-certified electronic signature, please see section 3.3 of Practice Guide 82: electronic signatures accepted by HM Land Registry.

I/we [registered proprietor name] authorise [customer name] to:

  • make minor amendments to transaction documentation lodged for registration at HM Land Registry and initial those amendments on our behalf; and
  • apply to update the proprietorship register where a variation in name has been identified and appropriate evidence to account for the variation has been supplied.

If the address of the registered proprietor also needs to be updated in the register you can also include this wording in the authority.

I/we [registered proprietor name] authorise [customer name] to:

  • apply to update our address for service in the proprietorship register, where the current address is not correct.

What if I simply want to correct a name?

You can make an application to change or correct a name using our e-con service, subject to some limitations. See HM Land Registry portal: change of name (e-CON).

Further help and guidance

For more information, examples of common errors in relation to names and expert guidance on what to do, watch our customer webinar.

And finally

Fewer requisitions mean faster processing, so remember one simple rule:

Always check names match across all documents and the register before submitting your application.

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  1. Comment by caron millar posted on

    Can photocopies be sent as evidence?