My partner and I migrated from Poland to England four years ago, and here we got married. Wife wants to take my name, and while this is a simple procedure in England, Poland is very problematic, and to sort all the paperwork would be time and money consuming (would require at least two trips just to get that done) so we are looking at alternative routes.

What we've considered is for her to change the name on English documents (drivers license, doctor offices, etc. ), and leave polish ones alone, but I am not sure what will be implications of that. Namely, we are expecting a second child, and our worry is that we won't be able to get Polish passport for that children as wife's name on the birth certificate will be different from the one on her Polish documents.

Does anyone have experience with a situation like that, and know whether it's worth the hassle? Our second option is to wait for two years when we can take the test and become British citizens, in which case we won't need Polish passports anymore.

  • Birth certificates often mention the mother's "maiden" name -- her name at birth -- though I do not know whether that is the practice in the UK.
    – phoog
    Jan 20, 2017 at 3:23
  • @phoog it does state current name and maiden name, but I am simply not sure if that will be enough, so posted here hoping that someone was in similar situation.
    – Aida Paul
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Note: Assuming your wife is a Polish citizen. Things might be more complicated in case of dual citizenship.

This is something that should be handled by the Polish embassy in your country of residence, the UK in this case. Assuming you have the required paperwork, the process shouldn't require you to travel to Poland and will be handled by your embassy in exchange for a fee.

Since you already got married in another country, what you're looking for is not a name change, as you should first request that the marriage certificate be recorded in the Polish register of marriages. Unfortunately, I failed to find any information on this on the website of the London embassy, but there is a useful article on the website of the one in Edinburgh. This bit should be of interest to you:

When a Polish citizen gets married in a foreign registry office, he or she must submit a statement regarding his or her surname, together with an application requesting that the marriage certificate be recorded in the Polish register of marriages.

According to this, it seems possible that your wife can request a name change in the UK and then provide proof of this when recording your marriage in the embassy. However, I strongly recommend contacting the embassy in London to get more information about the whole process before taking this route.

  • Thanks for the answer. Sadly we have explored that route to the bone, and while it's easy on paper in reality we have a lot of hoops we would have to jump through to get the marriage registered in Poland. And quite frankly cannot be bothered, so looking for a way to not do that, and still for her to take my name, and what problems may come from it.
    – Aida Paul
    Jan 20, 2017 at 0:23
  • If you are Polish citizens (and intend to remain so), I'd say this is the route you're obliged to take. Not doing so, depending on laws in Poland, may cause anything ranging from minor inconvenience to actual legal trouble, so keep that in mind. That said, I'm not a lawyer and this is pure speculation and I also haven't personally been in a situation like this. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance.
    – fstanis
    Jan 20, 2017 at 9:13
  • No problem at all, thanks for the try! And we have no plans to go back, as we've already cut ties with the old country in terms of residency/taxation etc.
    – Aida Paul
    Jan 20, 2017 at 16:04

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