Statutory Declarations and Deed Polls for Transgender People
A guide to Statutory Declarations and Deed Polls
Your name can be legally changed by usage alone, but when dealing with official bodies such as the Passport Office, Inland Revenue, Banks and Building Societies etc they will generally always require proof of your name change by either a statutory declaration or a deed poll. Banks have been notorious in the past for being obstructive in this respect (especially the National Westminster Bank from anecdotal evidence that I have read). Please make sure that they change your gender marker at the same time as changing your name otherwise you will receive letters addressed to “Dear Sir” (…… or “Dear Madam” for f2m people).
Generally, most organisations will be happy to accept just your deed poll or statutory declaration as evidence of name change, but the Passport Office in particular will also require that you produce medical evidence in the form of a letter from your GIC or GP before they will issue you with a new passport. This letter must state that you are living permanently in your new gender role (it is important that this wording is included in any letter otherwise your application will be rejected). You will also need to provide evidence that you’re using your new name (for example a payslip, or a letter from your local council). The Passport Office also has a separate booklet about what documentation is required in various circumstances which you can download from their website here.
Deed polls can be done either by yourself or by a solicitor (and can cost a fair amount of money if you go to a solicitor) – but there are actually some online sites which will do them for less than the cost of Statutory Declarations (see the two links below). However, there are two websites that advertise deed polls for as little as £15 and one of them offers a money back guarantee if your deed poll is not accepted by any organisation. One of the differences between a Deed Poll and a Statutory Declaration is that with a Deed Poll, anybody can witness the document (see here), whereas a Statutory Declaration needs to be sworn before a Commission for Oaths or Justice of the Peace and although free to obtain, the cost is when you have to pay to get the Statutory Declaration officially signed.
Transfigurations can supply you with a PDF copy of a deed poll in your name if you fill in the form on our website (this is the version for people aged 18 or over). Alternatively you can also do it for free online here or here (this link also contains some good information).
If you are between the ages of 16 to 18 you can use this form here. If you are under the age of 16 you will require your parents’ consent to change your name and your mother/father/legal guardian can do it via this form here – alternatively if you would like us to produce a PDF of your child’s deed poll, please visit our page here so that you can provide us with the required details to create the deed poll.
Please note that this will be a digital file which be sent to your email address and which you can print out yourself. We will endeavour to do this within 3 working days of receipt of your details (sickness or holidays not withstanding). Please note that you must be a British citizen born in the UK and residing in the UK to take advantage of this offer. Please also note that Deed Polls cannot be backdated.
An example of a deed poll which we produce is shown below (click on the image to see it larger in a new window):-
Some useful advice may also be gleaned from this site regarding deed polls and statutory declarations
Please note that once you have changed your name by deed poll or statutory declaration it is illegal for you to continue using your old name and could constitute grounds for fraud if you did.
The cost for a solicitor to witness a statutory declaration should be around £5 to £10 per copy (at the time of writing – 2015)
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