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Transgender Legal Name Change

December 28, 2022

Are you trying to find out how to officially change your name as a transgender person? If so, you may want to keep reading.

In this article, we will show you how a transgender individual can change their name via a deed poll, Gender Recognition Certificate, and/or a new birth certificate.

How to change your name if you are transgender?

If you are transgender and want to officially change your name in the UK, you may do so through a deed poll.

To clarify, a deed poll is a legal document that allows you to formally update your name on your passport, license, and other official records so that it aligns with your new title.

To use a deed poll to change your name, you need to fill out an application (which is available both online and in paper) and pay a fee. 

More specifically, here is what the process looks like:

  1. Fill out the online application for £18 or use a paper form for £28. If you request a paper application, you will receive the form in the mail within 5 days.
  2. After you submit the application, it takes up to 2 days for it to be processed if you fill it out online and 4 days when you submit a paper version.
  3. When you obtain your deed poll, you also get instructions on how you and your witness should sign the document.

Alongside your deed poll, you will receive an email with a cover letter that you can print as many copies of as you'd like. You want to use this cover letter to update your name and records with official government agencies so that they reflect your new identity.

What if you are non-binary?

In the same vein, transgender individuals who are non-binary may change their name with a deed poll.

However, it must be noted that the UK government doesn't include any genders other than 'male' and 'female' on official documents.

If You Haven’t Been Issued a Gender Recognition Certificate

Transgender individuals that didn't apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) after they transitioned have to fill out a deed poll application to formally change their names.

In fact, if you want to apply for a GRC, getting a deed poll beforehand would help because it confirms that you fully adopted your new gender identity, especially when you use it to update your name on your license and passport.

Changing Passport Records: Your Name vs. Gender

The HM Passport Office will let you change your name when you simply provide them with your deed poll. With that being said, changing your gender on your passport requires an extra step.

First of all, just as with updating your name, you need to give the HM Passport Office your deed poll to demonstrate that it's related to your new gender identity.

Secondly, the HM Passport Office will ask you to prove that your gender transition is "likely to be permanent". Here, they only accept medical documents or records, such as those issued by a consultant/GP or a psychologist that specializes in gender dysphoria.

Remember, these steps are merely required for those who haven't been issued with a GRC.

If You’ve Been Issued a Gender Recognition Certificate

Those who already got their GRC, on the other hand, can change both their name and gender by using this document. Since the HM Passport Office recognizes GRCs as proof for a gender transition, transgender individuals that have them won't be asked to provide a deed poll.

The same thing applies to people with an interim GRC. They could update their name and gender without a deed poll.

GRC applications are sent to the Gender Recognition Panel, which is composed of different medical and legal experts. It may take the Gender Recognition Panel up to 22 weeks to either approve/deny your application or request additional details from you.

A GRC allows you to change your name and gender on the following records (and more):

  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Drivers license
  • Passport
  • Bank account information
  • Medical records
  • Employment paperwork
  • Death certificate (upon passing away)
  • Birth or adoption certificate

There are other situations that also don't require you to obtain a deed poll to update your official documents and records.

If You’ve Been Issued a New Birth Certificate

Those that obtained a new birth certificate after their transition don't need a deed poll, either. Instead, they can use their birth certificate to update their name and gender on all types of documents, including their passport.

Apart from that, if you don't have a GRC or a new birth certificate, you must fill out the application for the deed poll and pay the fee in order to start the process of officially changing your name.

After your application is processed, you may update your passport, license, and other records so that they accurately reflect your new name and identity.

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The UK Deed Poll Office is not a government agency. Our function is purely as a document provider for the self-declaration of an unenrolled deed poll. We are here to assist in your name change journey, as we have done for over 100,000 UK residents.

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Join the thousands who have trusted the UK Deed Poll Office to help change their name. Fill out our fast, simple, and affordable online application to receive your Deed Poll in no time!
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