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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have changed my name several times, but have forgotten what

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I have changed my name several times, but have forgotten what name i was using when i last applyed for my driving license. How can i get the DLV to let me know the past names i have used. How do i use The Freedom of Information Act on them?

Sabita Gurney-Branford

Dear Sabita,


Your problem is much better dealt with by writing to the DVLA, rather than by way of telephone call. Explain in a letter to them as clearly as you can your request (Consider asking for copies of your prior applications) and the chronology of your changes of name and when you applied for your driving licence.

You should obtain certified copies of Changes of Name Deed for each change of your name (and a certified copy of your original birth certificate and up to date passport) and attach these with the letter you are to write tot the DVLA. Take the documents to a local solicitor and they will certify them for you for a small fee (Approximately £2.50 per page)

In the letter you should state that you wish for the DVLA to take the letter as your formal s.21 Freedom of Information Act 2000 request (perhaps use this as an emboldened heading at the top of letter and marked “URGENT”).They are then bound to respond to you within a "reasonable" period (eg. either before 21 or 40 days of the date of the request). They will either disclose the information or provide a reason for the delay.

I hope this helps, if so please kindly click accept.


Kind regards



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Sorry, your answer is not very clear. If i write to the DLVA (with out knowing the dates & change of names) are they under a legal obligation to give me my past names?

When i write to them regarding the above do i enclose my passport/driving license application/birth certification etc, or should i wait for them to reply to my letter of above than enclose my documentation?


The DVLA are under an obligation as a public body to provide you with any information about you held by them (under s.1 FOIA 2000), but they obviously require sufficient information to search their records.

Do you not know the dates of your change of names? These will be on the Change of Name Deed you executed for each change of name. The Change of Name Deed is very important as this is what is required by public bodies/institution to recognise a change of name.

If you had any of your change of names registered with the General Registry Office then you will be able to obtain a copy of the appropriate deeds from them. Alternatively, if your change of name(s) was drafted by a solicitor, you could contact the solicitor and ask for a copy. They will almost certainly have kept copies.

If you do not know the dates of your changes of name then you should include the documentation (certifed) you do have and ask them to search their records.

You should enclose certified copies of the documents (ie. Change of Name deeds, Birth Certificate, Passport) and set out the chronology. For example

" 1. 27/01/1981 - Birth (please see attached Certified copy Birth Certificate)
2. 01/01/2000 - Change of Name (please see attached certified copy Change of Name Deed)
3. 01/01/2003 - Further Change of Name ( Please see attached certified copy Change of Name Deed) "

State that you are not sure under which of the names you applied for your driving licence but ask that they refer to their records and provide you (as a s.21 FOIA 2000 request) with copies of the appropriate application(s) (which will obviously state the name and dates under which you made the application).


If you provide as much information as possible it will make it easier for them to find and provide you with the relevant information you are after.

I hope this helps, if so please click accept.

Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

Dear Sabita,


Thank you for your acceptance and kind bonus.


I wish you all the best in your correspondence with the DVLA.


Kindest regards.