Transgender change of name – How do I change my name when I no longer identify with my birth name?
For many transgender people, a change of name is an essential and symbolic part of their transition. If you are transgender or non-binary you may already be using your preferred name, and this may have been adopted by your friends, family, and colleagues. If this is the case, you may be wondering whether you should legally change your name.
Should I legally change my name?
You will face difficulties if you wish to apply for a new passport or update any official bodies or organisations such as your GP and bank with your preferred name without a deed poll or statutory declaration document. It is therefore recommended that you do legally change your name if you intend for this to be permanent.
If you are aged over 16 you do not need parental consent to change your name and the documentation for this can be drafted by a solicitor. You can then send certified copies of the deed poll or statutory declaration to any organisations required to update their records.
A change of name deed/statutory declaration will only change your name and not your gender. You will need to separately apply for a gender recognition certificate if you want your acquired gender to be legally recognised in the UK.
What if my child is aged under 16?
If your child has expressed that they would like to change their name by virtue of gender identity issues or otherwise, consent is required by everyone who has parental responsibility for your child. If you do not have the consent of everyone with parental responsibility, then an application will need to be made to court
What about my passport?
A change of name deed/statutory declaration can be used to change your name on your passport but it will not change your gender unless you also send one of the following to the passport office:
-A gender recognition certificate or;
-A letter from your doctor or medical consultant confirming your change of gender is likely to be permanent.