In this post we will explain about one of those things that are quite different in Spain and that can cause doubts.

I’m referring to the possibility to recover the maiden name once personal circumstances changes (divorce, decease, etc).

Perhaps it may convenient to introduce the subject. In Spain wives do not take the family name from the husband when they become married. This does not happen in Spain. Spanish wives keep their full names though in in the past it was common to call the wife “Mrs. Of” (Señora de) and then the husband first family name.

Here another difference. Spanish names are made of a first or given name (can be two) and then the first family name of the father plus the first family name of the mother. Legally this can be modified but the default or traditional way is the one explained.

So what to do if, as an example, it is desired to recover the maiden name after a divorce?

The married name is included in many different places: land register, local town hall, companies that supply electricity or water, owners association, etc.

There isn’t a fully ruled process to change names but its accepted to produce a document before a Public Notary where to include enough evidence about the change of the name.

The process to follow is the following one. It all begins at the country of origin. The first thing to do is to obtain such change in the country of origin and bring the evidence to Spain so it’s made public.

So first, obtain in Britain a deed of change of name (Deed Poll) for your new name from the UK Deed Poll service. Once this is applied for you should receive with a number of “certified copies” from the deed. You can find further information at the link below:


Then, you should apply for the change at your passport so your maiden name is included. This is important: before changing your passport keep a good picture or copy of your old passport or go to any Public Notary to get a true and witnessed copy of your old passport.

Then it’s necessary to adapt the document to the formalities required in Spain otherwise it will not have access to the Land Register it is required (this is important otherwise the Spanish property will remain under the married name). You can either visit a British Public Notary (we can help you to find one) and ask him to help you to include the “Hague Convention Apostille” at one of the deed poll certified copies or you can do it yourself if you wish. You will find all the necessary information at the following link:


Once you have your Deed Poll duly legalized with the Hague Convention Apostille it can be used in Spain. In Spain, the Deed Poll has to be translated into Spanish by professional translator.

Once it has been translated, then we need the help of a Spanish Public Notary. The document to prepare could be identified as a “deed of public acknowledgement”, in Spanish “Acta de notoriedad”.

This is a document that the Spanish Notary will prepare where it will be included:

– A clear copy of your old passport with your married name. If you did your Notarial witnessed copy this is the ideal document to provide the Notary with.

– A clear copy of your new passport. Since you must be in front of the Notary you just need to show the original.

– The original of the Apostilled Deed Poll for the name change.

– And finally, you will need to bring with you two people to witness that the pictures and name at the old and new passports copies included at the Spanish deed belongs to the same person.

Once this is done the Spanish deed could be sent to the Land Register, the Town hall or where ever may be necessary to change your name at all archives and bills.

Finally just mention that the Land Register will charge a small fee to do the necessary changes, same and the Spanish Notary.

If you find yourself with the need to make these changes we would be delighted to guide you throughout the process.

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