This page dates to the early 2000's, although a few
subsequent updates have been made it is esentially historical in
Much of the information on this page is
derived from Adele's excellent but now off-line Bird Cage website
of c.2001, with some revisions and additions based upon my own
experiences up to 2003.
Since 2004 it has been possible in the UK to change
the "sex" on a birth certificate under the Gender Recognition Act
- subject to a successful application to the Gender Recognition
Panel. This is a major development which occured
after the transition of Adele and myself, and is thus not reflected
in this page.
Most of the information on this page is not relevant outside
the United Kingdom, although a few changes have been made based on my
experiences after moving to the Republic of Ireland.
An EU report published in 2020 included this
diagram showing how easy or hard it is change
documents to reflect a
change in legal gender. The results are roughly correct in my experience.
Many of the communications suggested below will require
a covering letter, this is a template similar to that I used:
[appropriate reference number, account number, etc., if any]
Sir or Madam,
Change of Personal Details
have the condition transsexual syndrome and am undergoing sex
reassignment to female. I have changed my name by statutory
declaration to Miss [insert your new name] as part of this
process. Your assistance in making the relevant changes to your
records, and in preserving full confidentiality, would be appreciated.
I enclose copies of my name deed, and confirmation of treatment.
Alter and add to it as required in each case.
Your New Name
choosing your female name try to keep your initials and surname the same
as before - for example "Allison Beverley Smith" is a probably
a better name for an "Allan Brian Smith" to adopt than
"Jane Helen Monroe" would be. Avoid over-the-top drag
queen style names or names that are too obviously derived from a male
form - these might help confirm slight suspicions about your gender and
help "out" you. Avoid very unusual names which may make
you stand out. Also avoid names that are trendy at the moment but
were rare when you were born. Unfortunately boring, common and
traditional girl names are undoubtedly the safest choice.
there are three methods for legally changing your name in the UK:
in practice we need only consider a Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration
as it takes too long for Common Usage to take effect, and bodies such as
Banks will not always change your name without legal
documents. Most people opt for the Statutory Declaration
because it is quick, easy and cheap. A Deed Poll from a solicitor may be necessary
if you encounter a very fussy organisation which refuses to accept
anything else, but the Statutory Declaration is normally sufficient, and
at around £10 it costs much less than the £40-50 needed for a Deed Poll.
following is the pattern I used for making my Statutory Declaration,
just type into a word processing package like MS-Word in the
layout as below.
[insert new name here], of [insert address here]
SOLEMNLY AND SINCERELY DECLARE AS FOLLOWS:-
was formerly called [insert old name here] and am a citizen of the
United Kingdom and colonies by birth.
absolutely and entirely renounce, relinquish and abandon the use of my
former names of [insert old name here], and assume, adopt and
determine to take and use the names of [insert new name here], in
substitution for my former names of [insert old name here].
shall at all times hereafter in all records, deeds and documents and
other writings, and in all actions, proceedings, as well as in all
dealings and transactions on all occasions whatsoever use and
subscribe the said names of [insert new name here] as my name in
substitution for my former names of [insert old name here] so
relinquished as aforesaid to the intent that I may hereafter be
called, known or distinguished not by my former names of [insert old
name here] but by my names of [insert new name here] only.
authorise and require all persons at all times to designate, describe
and address me by the adopted names of [insert new name here].
I make this solemn Declaration conscientiously believing the same to
be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations
AND DECLARED at:
the County of [insert county name here]
day, the [insert date here]
Before me, [insert Solicitor's name/stamp here]
the brackets and italics which I added just to indicate where you need
to add your own details, don't change the format or punctuation.
Print it out on heavy, good quality, A4 paper of say 150gsm, use margins
set to one inch (25.4 mm) all round, 12 point Times New Roman for the
body text and 14 point Times New Roman for the title. I did
10 copies knowing that some places wouldn't return them - and I still
your carefully produced Statutory Declaration forms to a Solicitors
Office, a name change is a standard procedure so anywhere that does
family law or has a legal aid logo in the window should be able to
process it. You sign the copies in the presence of a solicitor,
and they countersign and add their official stamp. This costs
about £10 - I suppose you can shop around by phone to get the best price if you
really want to.
the statutory declaration, the next essential is a letter from a medical
practitioner certifying that you are undergoing sex reassignment
treatment. You will need to send this to various organisations to
help facilitate your name and gender change.
you are not under psychiatric or clinical supervision then this letter
is probably most easily obtained from your local GP where you are
registered. I actually for a long time used a letter provided by a
surgeon at an overseas hospital, however this was on occasion queried
(although never refused), and a letter from a UK based practitioner is
Your medical files have to changed in to your new name, and ideally to
those of a female patient. A recent (2006) correspondent says "...
I went to see my GP, she change[d] the name for me. Therefore,
from now on, both electronic noticing board and prescription will show
Ms. XXXX. Due to the database check, as long as the gender is
M[ale], “Miss” can not be select. This is before any doctor’s
letter and Deed poll signed. Therefore, it is possible to change
this item before any other documents."
is a standard letter for your doctor to use as a Letter of Medical
Evidence, there are many slight variations of it in common use. To
avoid confusion and unnecessary hurt and embarrassment it is
deliberately worded to omit any use of the words he, she, him, or
her! It must be printed on headed paper to be of any use.
paper with address of GP, Consultant Psychiatrist or Clinic)
whom it may concern,
This is to confirm that my patient, Mr [insert previous name here] is
currently undergoing gender reassignment to female, and as part of
this process has changed their name by Statutory Declaration [or Deed
Poll, whichever is applicable] to Ms [insert new name here]. Ms
[new name] intends to live permanently in her reassigned gender.
assistance in making the relevant changes to your records and in
preserving full confidentiality will be appreciated.
or Psychiatrist's signature:
I asked my GP to write this letter for me I gave him an original copy of
my Statutory Declaration. You can expect your doctor to make a
small charge (£7-£12) for the letter. Make a good number of
photocopies of this letter, send out the original only when you have to
- and with a return SAE! The same correspondent reported
that when visiting a psychologist in the UK for an initial consultation,
he gave her three similar letters for the Passport Office, DVLC, and
some form of identification is needed as a woman, this is normally best
met by the production of a driving licence or a passport. The
good news: These and other identity documents may according to
prevailing practice be issued to you in an adopted name with a relative
minimum of formality. In the case of transsexuals, the documents
are issued so as to be in all respects consistent with the new
identity. Thus, the practice is to allow the transsexual to have a
current photograph in his or her passport, etc, and the prefix
"Mr", "Mrs", "Ms" or "Miss",
used as appropriate.
your new name carefully (see above). If
you expect to eventually transition, avoid when ever possible using the
prefix "Mr" or full forenames on documents, e.g. have "A
B Smith" on your cheques rather than "Mr Allan
Smith". Avoid using a forename in your signature, so the
credit card of "A B Smith" can then be used by either Allan or
Allison. If you have to give a photo with an application, use the
most androgynous picture of yourself that you can find, ideally slightly
unfocused (difficult with modern cameras!).
up a financial background and credit history in the years before you
transition can be very helpful. In my experience, your bank
will happily issue a second credit card for a fictional female partner
at the same address - in this instance use a prefix and forename (e.g.
"Miss Allison Smith") and submit an en-femme photo, making it
a useful form of emergency ID. Also, open a joint bank account
(e.g. Allan Smith and Allison Smith) or change an existing account in to
both names. If possible change a utility bill over in to your new
fictional partners name - this bill will become a very handy proof of
residence immediately after transition.
A final but useful option is
to open a bank account for a daughter, e.g. "Miss Jane Smith", who's
nearly 18. No evidence is required to open the account, and
it will generally roll-over to a standard account, which can be very
bad news: Unfortunately in the UK and Ireland it is still not
possible under the "Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953"
for a transsexual woman to get her birth certificate legally changed to
indicated a sex of "Girl" (if born before 1969) or
"Female", rather than "Boy" or
"Male". Although some of the lesser effects caused
by this have been mitigated by officialdom over the years, you should be
aware that marriage between a transsexual woman and a man remains
unlawful (it would be in law void by reason of the parties not being
respectively male and female), adoption and fostering of children by a
transsexual woman is effectively prohibited, and rape of a transsexual
woman by a man is not chargeable as such.
[Note - this situation has now
changed in the UK and a new birth certificate can be issued even without
surgery. But I'm unfamiliar with the new processes.]
passport is possibly the most important document to get changed when you
transition, and perhaps surprisingly it's actually one of the easiest to
do. An altered passport is extremely useful when getting other
documents or records changed, updated or issued, and is often accepted
as an alternative to the unchangeable Birth Certificate. [Warning:
Since 2001 the Passport Office has apparently preferred confirmation
that the change of sex is physically permanent, i.e. it may now be hard
to get your passport changed until after SRS. However they do have
discretion and surgery is not absolutely essential - good medical
letters and a personal visit may make all the difference. Please contact
me if you have a recent personal experience.]
a revised passport, obtain
the correct UK Passport Application Form, usually C1, which is available
from Post Offices. I believe that an on-line
version is also now available. Send the completed form along with
a covering letter, a copy of your Statutory Declaration or Deed Poll,
your Doctors/Medical letter,
your current passport (or your Birth Certificate if you don't have an
existing passport), and two passport sized colour photographs in the
envelope provided to the appropriate Passport office, which for me was
in Peterborough. The application can also be submitted through
participating Post Offices for a small charge.
new passport should arrive about two weeks later, it should have both
your changed name and photo, and the "Sex/Sexe" field marked
as "F". It may also have a machine readable
passport (MRP) field which again should contain an "F" after
what appears to be the date of birth reversed. The Passport Office
will return all the original documents you sent to them.
you change your name and hold a current UK driving licence you must
inform the DVLA without delay or you are committing an offence.
the Form D1 from a Post Office. If you have a paper licence send the completed form with a
covering letter, a copy of your Statutory Declaration, a photocopy of
your Doctors/Medical letter, your current UK driving licence, an original
identity document (Passport or Birth Certificate), and a certified
passport sized colour photograph to "DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BY".
If it's a Photocard it should be post to SA99 1AB. If you
have a valid UK digital passport you can just fill in Section 6 Part A
on the D1 form without sending your birth certificate or passport.
that you cannot use the Post Office Checking Service in this instance.
The covering letter should quote your current driver number at the top
and state that you wish your legal name on the licence to be amended to
that of your new legal name and that the gender indicator code be
altered to show female.
Within a couple of weeks you should receive back your new photocard driving
licence, and the original identity document. On your new licence, check
that the gender code has been changed -your date of birth and gender are
shown in the middle, 6 digit, part of your driver number, e.g. if born
on 8th September 1969 the old number as man would be 609089 [First/last
digits = year; Second & third = month; Fourth & fifth = day]. As a
woman, the 2nd digit has a 5 added, thus the new number should be
of its photo, the new driving licence is actually a very useful form of
the UK the Department of Social Security will not change your unique
permanent National Insurance (NI) Number and I'm unsure if this includes
some hidden format "male" or "female" sex code in
the same way that temporary NI numbers and the Driving Licence do, but
if it does then it is not clearly evident or well known.
However, the DSS will change the name related to the NI number.
an original of your Statutory Declaration and a photocopy of your
Doctors letter, together with a letter from yourself quoting your NI
number to the central DSS office.
following is what I wrote to them, (include a reference to your previous
name and N.I. Number):
am writing to request a change to my NI card, to reflect my gender
change as a male-to-female transsexual. I have enclosed an
original copy of my statutory declaration, and an open letter from my
GP confirming my treatment for gender dysphoria, along with my NI
card. I understand that the card name can be changed but that
the number will remain the same. Also, that I may be regarded as
female for some purposes, and male for others such as pensions under
the current legislation. Please could you arrange to change my
name as below."
to: Department of Social Security, Special Section D Room 105H,
Contributions Agency Central Operations, Longbenton, Newcastle upon
Tyne, NE98 1YX.
will reply with a standard form letter stating that your liability to
pay NI contributions, and your entitlement to benefits, will not
alter. This means, for example, that your retirement age will not
alter. Later, in a few weeks, you should receive a new plastic NI
card with the new name, but there will be nothing on the card indicating
any alteration. The NI Number will remain the same, and the
central office will still keep a record of your previous name as well as
the new one, which may be viewed on the DCI computer by any authorised
employee of the DSS. All employees of the DSS are bound to keep
information confidential unless required by the police or the courts.
The DSS central index will also be flagged to show that you are to
be treated as female for some purposes and male for others (e.g.
warning - do not try to sort out your tax details until you have
informed your employer of your transition!
a letter addressed to the HM Inspector of Taxes at the Tax Office which
deals with your affairs, mark the envelope 'Private &
Confidential'. In the covering letter quote your N.I. number
and tax reference, include an original of the Statutory Declaration, a
photocopy of your Doctors letter a photocopy of your medical card
(couldn't quite understand this one!), and a recent payslip.
following is what I wrote to them:
Insurance Number: [my NI number]
Current Name: [new name]
Former Name: [old name]
Tax District and Reference: [from payslip or P60]
Change of Personal Details
Sir or Madam,
am writing to request a change to my tax records, to reflect my gender
change as a male-to-female transsexual. I have enclosed an
original copy of my statutory declaration, and an open letter from my
GP confirming my treatment for gender dysphoria, a copy of my NHS
medical card, a copy of my latest P60 and the most recent payslip from
my employers. Please could you arrange to change my name as
above, and gender to "Female" where allowable.
in doubt, post to: HM Inspector of Taxes, East 1, Cheviot House,
Washington, Tyne & Wear, NE37 1HE.
to your local Family Practitioner Committee or Family Health Services
Authority (check your current Medical Card), requesting a medical card
in your new name, and enclosing copies of the Statutory Declaration and
Doctors letter. The new card will have a new number except that
the last 3 figures (the ID suffix) will remain the same and supposedly
the new number will also have a special prefix of an A or a Z to
indicate that some sort of alteration has taken place, although this
suffix is not on my card.
banks and building societies will ask for some proof by way of a
Statutory Declaration or Deed Poll before changing the name of your
account for security against fraud. Take along an original and
most banks should be able to take a copy and give you the original back
and then ask how you would like your name to appear on your account.
the course of my life I have accumulated many certificates in various
fields - education, professional qualifications, interests ... . A
few of these I judged of sufficient importance to try to change.
In general the approach was to write to the relevant body requesting the
certificate to be reissued in my new name, and copies of the Statutory
Declaration and Doctors letter. A prior phone call to identify any
fees or forms that had to be completed was best.
a small fee Education Boards and Authorities will re-issue or provide
certified statements of examination awards which incorporate the change
of name. They will require the original certificates, a photocopy
of the Doctors letter, a photocopy of your Birth Certificate and a copy
of the Statutory Declaration. It is best to first write
an enquiring letter to the relevant Examination Board or Authority,
wonder if you could help. Between the years of 19XX-XX I
obtained [certificates] from the [name of board] for [type of
examinations] that I undertook at [school name]. Three months
ago I began living full time as a woman, as part of a process of
gender reassignment. I have changed all other documents that
previously referred to me with the exception of my birth certificate,
which I am currently prevented by law (though under government review)
from doing. So I would like to know if:
replacement certificates can be issued in my new name (as most
exam boards in England do)?
there is a charge for replacement certificates?
do I send my original certificates to?
additional information would you require, e.g. statutory
declaration of name change, letter from GP, birth certificate?
2007 the State Examination Commission and the Department of Education and
Science agreed to re-issue Leaving and other Certificates in the legal
name and preferred gender of a transsexual applicant - SRS is not
To my eternal
Church of England is co-operative in regards of
replacing a "lost" baptismal certificate. Your choice on what precisely
you tell them!
Normally a universities Registry Office sends out degree
certificates, and they should be the first point of contact for an
initial enquiry. In my case the letter and several follow-up phone
calls had no quick result, and as I needed my certificate urgently for a
new job I ended up visiting the university's Examinations Office
personally (a 5 hour train journey!). Within 20 minutes of
arriving an efficient but very embarrassed girl had checked their
records, printed off my new certificate, and got it signed!
says of her experience concerning a degree obtained at a College of
Higher Education, which was authorized by the now defunct Council for
National Academic Achievements (CNAA):-
was led to believe that the Open University has taken over some
of the CNAA role and in December 2000 sent the following
Awards and Ceremonies Centre
The Open University
PO Box 123
Milton Keynes MK7 6DQ
CNAA Degree Certificate.
am writing to request a change to my degree certificate, to reflect
gender change as a male-to-female transsexual woman. During the
period 1987-90 I studied at my local College [college name], for a
Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Modern History. Under reforms of
the Higher Education system in the UK all colleges were given
University status and the Council for National Academic Awards was
abolished in the early 1990&'s.
1998 I began psychiatric evaluation and hormone therapy for
transsexualism. Once I began living full time as a woman in 1999
I sought to change all official records relating to me. This was
quite difficult as the University that was created from the
reorganisation said they could do nothing. A year later,
following my recovery from Sex Reassignment Surgery this summer I am
trying again, assured by friends on the internet that this is really
have enclosed an original copy of my statutory declaration, degree
certificate, and letter indicating degree classifications and
confirmation letter from my surgeon. Please could you arrange to
change my name. I understand there may be a charge for
replacement certificate and that this will mean a delay until it is
received the following reply three weeks later:
Open University Validation Services
344-354 Gray's Inn Road
London WC1X 8BP
you for your letter of 5 December which has been forwarded to us by
the Open University's central Registry. I confirm that gender
reassignment is the one case where we are prepared to issue award
verification documentation in a revised name. I regret that we
are unable to provide you with a replacement certificate as such.
However, I enclose an Open University document which has the
appearance of a degree certificate and certifies that you are indeed
the holder of a CNAA BA Honours Degree in Modern History.
hope that this will serve your purposes. I return your original
CNAA degree certificate herewith and suggest that you retain this as
it is not now replaceable and is the link to the original records.
I also return herewith the original documents which you enclosed
with your letter. Should any employer or institution of higher
education ask if they can approach us direct for verification of your
award, please let us know straightaway and refer to this letter.
are just typical examples. There will obviously be variations
depending on who you deal with.
following organisations do not usually require any official
documentation before changing one's name on their files. Merely
completing the name and address change in the appropriate place on the
payment slip (if there is one) and / or sending your covering letter
often suffices Obviously you do not need to inform them of anything
unless you are their customer!
company (if billed by, or rates paid directly to, them)
(book clubs, catalogues, support group, etc.)
following will each probably need a covering letter, a statutory
declaration, and a copy of your doctor's letter.
above list is far from comprehensive, as an individual you will almost
certainly have other organisations to add to the list and some to remove
moved to Ireland only four months after transitioning in the UK.
Thankfully most of my just-changed UK documents remained applicable
there, including my driving licence. The one important exception
was that I had to obtain a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number, the
equivalent of the UK's NI Number. The PPS card includes the
holders "sex" on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card,
and also possibly hidden in the PPS number itself.
had not previously been issued with a PPS number and had no problem
obtaining one as a "female" based upon my UK passport (which
had already been changed), and my employment offer which used my female
name. If I had already had a PPS number, then
I believe that like like the UK NI Number it could not have been changed.