Advice for transgender and non-binary adults and children

This article provides information and advice about the additional services we provide for transgender and non-binary adults and for parents of transgender and non-binary children.

We define transgender as adults and children who identify with the gender opposite to that assigned to them at birth. Non-binary is a term used to describe adults and children whose gender identity does not sit comfortably with the gender assigned to them at birth. Non-binary identities are varied and can include adults and children who identify with just some aspects of binary identities while others reject them entirely.

Sections in this article

1. Advice for transgender adults

If you are at the stage where you are ready to permanently live in your acquired gender, you will want to change your name.  We provide a confidential service for transgender people who wish to change their name by Deed Poll.  Your Deed Poll document will enable you to get all your official documents and records changed to your new name including your passport, driving licence, bank account and medical records etc.  Furthermore, we can also change your title when we change your name.  For example, if you are male-to-female, it is perfectly legal for you to change your title to Miss, Ms or Mrs when you change your name.

The Deed Poll process is the preferred choice for transgender people who wish to change their legal name and title.  Unlike a Statutory Declaration, which needs to be sworn before a Commission for Oaths or Justice of the Peace, the Deed Poll document we post to you simply needs to signed in the presence of an independent witness such as a friend.  This can be done in the privacy of your home, which most people prefer to having to make an appointment and visit a firm of solicitors to have a Statutory Declaration sworn.
change my name
It is important to bear in mind that changing your name and title does not change your gender.  This can only be achieved by obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate from the government’s Gender Recognition Panel.  However, as you are probably aware, changing your name and title is part of the required process of demonstrating to the Gender Recognition Panel that you are permanently living in your acquired gender.

Similarly, changing your title does not change your marital status.  If you are a single male and you change your title to Mrs, your marital status remains as single.

When you are ready to change your name and title, please click on the How to apply link below to read a summary of the Deed Poll process and the ways you can apply to us for your Deed Poll.

2. Advice for parents of transgender children

If your child has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, you will probably want to change your child’s forenames by Deed Poll, which will enable you to get all your child’s official documents and records changed to your child’s new name including your child’s passport and school register. When we issue your child’s Deed Poll documentation, we can modify it so that it is gender neutral i.e. we replace words such as ‘son’, ‘daughter’, ‘he’ and ‘she’ with the word child. For example, the beginning of a sentence on your deed poll document will say: “On behalf of our son [name] who was born on [date], we absolutely renounce and abandon the use of his former name of…” This will be changed to: “On behalf of our child [name], who was born on [date], we absolutely renounce and abandon the use of our child’s former name of…” If you wish this modification to be made, an additional fee of £4 is payable.

In addition to making your Deed Poll gender neutral, we can make a further modification to include a change of title from Master to Miss or from Miss to Master. Changing a child’s title on their official documents and records can be a problem but we find if we include it on the deed poll document, record holders (government departments, companies and organisations) will recognise it. If you wish us to include a change of title, an additional fee of £4 is payable.

Please use the comments box on the application form to let us know if you require either or both of the above mentioned modifications to be made to your deed poll. Please say either “Please issue a gender neutral deed poll.” or “Please issue a gender neutral deed poll with a change of title from Master to Miss (or Miss to Master).

3. Advice for non-binary adults

If you are non-binary, you will probably want to make your forenames gender neutral. Changing your forenames by Deed Poll will enable you to get all your official documents and records changed to your new name including your passport, driving licence, bank account and medical records etc. Furthermore, we can also change your title to Mx when we change your name. We introduced the title Mx (pronounced Mix) as an option on our application forms in 2011 for people who believe a gender specific title such as Mr or Miss is inappropriate or unsuitable for them.

4. Advice for parents of non-binary children

If your child is non-binary, you will probably want to make your child’s forenames gender neutral. Changing your child’s forenames by Deed Poll will enable you to get all your child’s official documents and records changed to your child’s new name including your child’s passport, school register and medical records.

When we issue your Deed Poll documentation, we can modify it so that it is gender neutral i.e. we replace words such as ‘son’, ‘daughter’, ‘he’ and ‘she’ with the word child. For example, the beginning of a sentence on your deed poll document will say: “On behalf of our son [name] who was born on [date], we absolutely renounce and abandon the use of his former name of…” This will be changed to: “On behalf of our child [name], who was born on [date], we absolutely renounce and abandon the use of our child’s former name of…” If you wish this modification to be made, an additional fee of £4 is payable.

In addition to making your Deed Poll gender neutral, we can make a further modification to change your child’s title to the non-gender specific title of Mx (pronounced Mix). Although we have been changing the title of adults to Mx since 2011 we only recently starting changing children’s titles to Mx and are awaiting feedback from parents about how successful they have been getting the title changed on their child’s documents and records to Mx. If you wish us to include a change of title to Mx on your child’s Deed Poll document, an additional fee of £4 is payable.

Please use the comments box on the aplication form to let us know if you require either or both of the above mentioned modifications to be made to your deed poll. Please say either “Please issue a gender neutral deed poll.” or “Please issue a gender neutral deed poll with a change of title to Mx.

5. Changing gender

Throughout the United Kingdom, if you wish to legally change your gender, you need to be at least 18 years of age, have gender dysphoria and have been living in your acquired gender for at least two years. If you meet these requirements, you can apply to the Gender Recognition Panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate, which will enable you to obtain a new birth certificate showing your new gender. At the time of writing, the government is in the process of reforming the Gender Recognition Act, 2004 due to the low number of trans people who have changed their gender under the Act (fewer than five thousand to date).