There is a long list of reasons by why someone might change their given name, surname, or both. Perhaps the most common reason for a name change is because someone has got married or divorced and wishes to change their surname. However, there are lots of other reasons too, ranging from adding another name for religious reasons, or changing the spelling of a name which is complicated to spell or pronounce.


DBS Certificates

If you are already in work, and have obtained a DBS certificate at basic, enhanced, or standard level in the past, then simply deciding to change your name doesn’t mean that you have to automatically apply for a new certificate. You can’t ask the DBS to send out a new certificate with your new name listed on it either. In most cases, this won’t cause any issues with your employer, who will be aware of your name change and will have updated its payroll and HR records accordingly. They will easily be able to match up both identities as belonging to the same person. The name change only comes into play when you start to think about applying for a new DBS check.


New DBS Check or Renewal

If you’re in a job which asks you to have a new DBS check every three or five years, then you don’t need to be worried about the name change until either your employer tells you it’s time to renew, or you look for another job.

When you fill in the DBS form, you are asked to list all your previous names on the form, so the police can search their database under all the names you have potentially used. It is very important to take care over this section, completing all the names you have used in the past, and giving the dates when you used each. With a formal name change by deed poll or marriage this is easy, as there is a set date for the change.


Problems Caused by Name Changes

Changing your name isn’t illegal, and thousands do it every year. It’s a common misconception that people change their names when they have something to hide, but this just isn’t the case. Always be very open about your name changes on your DBS form, as completing the form incorrectly will mean that it is automatically rejected when it arrives at the DBS, and you’ll have to pay the fee to make another application.

The other thing to bear in mind is the risk of changing your name either from, or to, a name which is very common. If you have a name such as Sarah Brown or Thomas Jones, shared with many hundreds of other people in the UK, then there is the chance that you might be confused with another person of the same name, with a similar birth date. Check you have given all the identifying information you can to the DBS to minimise the possibility of this happening.