Gender Identity
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Documents to be changed upon gender transition

Very often, the importance of surgery is given exaggerated importance in comparison with the many other factors that have to be dealt with successfully to ensure a happy life for the trans person. A major priority is the changing of official documents to match the new name and gender. This necessarily entails a lot of work and can consume a lot of time as the process required by different organisations vary widely.

The first step is formally changing your name.

There are many legal ways of doing this such as a letter from a “responsible person”; Change-of-name statement; Statutory declaration – a statement witnessed by a magistrate or solicitor (a small fee will be charged); and most formal of all a Deed poll. A deed poll is the only evidence accepted for a new passport or driving licence so in general this is the best choice.

It might be helpful to have a simple letter to hand from your GP (or other medical person who knows you) stating that you are:

“a female-to-male transsexual person who is living permanently as a man”; or

“a male-to-female transsexual person who is living permanently as a woman”.

Other documents

Credit Record

The three UK credit reference agencies (Experian, Equifax and Callcredit) hold information about virtually every UK adult. Under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act, you are entitled to see a copy of the information the CRAs hold about you. This is called your credit report.

Because your credit report may show a link between your current and former names, the agencies have each arranged a special service to help you manage the information on your report. They have also produced an advice pack that contains information to help you order your report and begin the process of updating your information.

Once you have your credit report and if there is any record of your old name, you may be able to choose to have some or all of the information in your old name changed into your new name and any links (known as &squo;aliases’) between your old and new names removed from your credit report. Alternatively, you may choose not to update your information and to keep the link to your old name. Both these options have advantages and disadvantages. If your old name is not shown on your credit report, you do not need to do anything else.

You do not have to wait for your Gender Recognition Certificate to be issued. In fact, is suggested you make contact with them as soon as possible to maximise the level of protection.

The Experian website gives more information and contact details.