How to Guides

How to change your name

This section covers documents and processes for changing name and gender markers, including passports.

The basic process is that someone will need to complete a ‘Deed Poll.’ There are various websites (for British Citizens) from which Deed Polls can be downloaded for you to print or which can be ordered and are already printed.

You can choose to only do a free Deed Poll, which will allow you to legally update things like your passport and bank accounts etc. Unless this is lodged with the Greffe, which requires an advocate to prepare and file it for you, you may find circumstances where your old name may be used (i.e. should you find yourself in court for any reason).

Within Guernsey, an advocate can prepare a Deed Poll for you and register it with the Royal Court (this is equivalent to enrolling it with the Royal Courts of Justice in London). The Greffe will hold a copy of your Deed Poll  in a register in the strong room, from where it can be viewed by anyone (who may be doing family history research, for example).

It is not compulsory to enrol the documents at the Greffe using an advocate to change your name but it will “dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s.” The need for an advocate to lodge these in the Royal Court is wavered for Under 18’s, you will need to complete a CF1 from that you can obtain from the Greffe – it is best to contact them and talk through this process.

We have worked with local advocate firm Babbé LLP to offer a reduced set rate of £343.50 (including court fees) to the LGBTQ+ community to lodge the paperwork with the Royal Court. We had some quotes of £850! Please do shop around.

A Deed Poll can be used to change your name and you can always request a change in gender marker for anything which uses an acquired gender.

A passport needs an additional letter from a GP which states that “the change is intended to be permanent.” The correct wording is essential. We have created a template in the ‘How To Guide’ to make this easy, you can ask your doctor to copy it. For places to update your details, organisations may need other documents to prove identity, which may include photo ID.

We would always recommend changing name and gender marker on your passport first – don’t forget the letter from your Doctor – as this should make all the other changes much easier and smoother.

The States also has a comprehensive guide to changing your name which will contain any changes in policy since we wrote our guide.

Template for GP Letter

To whom it may concern,

This is to confirm that my patient, previously known as Miss Jane Bloggs (edit as appropriate), is currently undergoing gender reassignment and as part of this process has changed her name by statutory declaration/deed poll to Mr Joe Bloggs (edit as appropriate). Mr Bloggs (edit as appropriate) now lives as male (edit as appropriate) and this change is intended to be permanent. 

Your assistance in making the relevant changes to your records and in preserving full confidentiality will be appreciated. 

Yours faithfully Dr G Practitioner (edit as appropriate) 

What next?

You’ve changed your name: What now?

You ought to start by contacting all of the people with whom you do business and inform them of your new name.

This is a legal necessity: You can’t “forget” to tell your credit card company and hope that they’ll never find you, because they probably will and you would be guilty of fraud!

The top two you’ll want to contact are right at the top of the list included below. They’re at the top because doing these early on will give you photographic ID in your new name which you can use to prove your identity (and which may streamline the process of changing your name with the others).

Tips from our team

Try and be patient with staff when trying to change your documents. 

As much as it would be lovely if everyone had training about Trans and Non-Binary people changing their name and gender markers, most people won’t have and they might put their foot in it. You are helping pave the way for others in the future to have a smoother experience. 

You might be the only person who has ever asked them to do this, so bear with them if they don’t know the process. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to accept any discrimination, but try and give them the benefit of the doubt – 99% of people will be doing their best to help.

  • Passport Office
    • They’ll want an original Deed Poll (not a photocopy). Make several ‘originals’ so you can get started with this earlier. You’ll need to pay for a renewal of your passport, and it’ll take time to issue a new one, but this will give you photographic ID with your new name, which can be used to accelerate the process of changing your name elsewhere.
    • You will also need a letter from your GP which states that the ‘change is intended to be permanent’. The letter can be addressed to the Passport Office, White Rock, GY1 2LL.
    • This letter – along with the passport form, photos and deed poll – needs to go to the Passport Office. They accept the free Deed Poll as well as the Greffe one. In the UK instructions, it says to also take another document with your new name on. The Guernsey office didn’t actually request this, but it is worth taking anyway if you have one (e.g. Tax Coding Notice or a utility bill). The Passport Office have experience of this, but if you are there in person, it is worth asking them to double check the form is filled out correctly whilst you are there. If you need to hold onto your old passport whilst waiting for the new one, so that you have photo ID of some description, they will allow you to do so but you will have to take it in to collect the new one. If you don’t need this, then you can just leave the old one there and they will post out the new one.
  • Driving Licence
    • The Guernsey DVL will accept a deed poll to change name and title. The driver reference number does include a marker which reflects gender (in the number part of the reference, a 5 is added for women to the third digit). This is not something that many people are aware of and it would not be obvious to anyone looking at the document, but if you want this to be changed then you would need to provide a passport with the application in your acquired gender.
    • Getting your driving licence changed gives you another form of photographic ID with your new name.
    • Don’t forget to have them update your Vehicle Registration Document, if you own a car, too.
  • Other photo ID
    • Got a Prove It! card or other widely-respected photographic ID? Get these changed too, as the sooner you do this, the easier everything else is.
  • Right to Work Permit
    • You will need to provide your new photo ID as well as your Deed Poll.
  • Banks, building societies, credit cards, mortgage providers, Paypal and Co-op Dividend account.
    • You will need to provide photo ID in your new name and address verification. The alternative to photo ID is to have your Deed Poll registered by the court. This is required due to security and fraud prevention related to financial information.
  • Your employer, school, college, or university.
  • Child’s school and anyone professionally involved with your child (if a minor)
  • Electoral Roll
  • Insurance companies (buildings, contents, pet, health, travel, etc)
  • Finance and loan companies.
  • Pension plans
  • Utility companies (gas, water, sewerage, electricity, telephone, mobile telephone, internet, etc.).
  • Social Security / Tax (Edward T Wheadon House upstairs) and Inland Revenue (ensure that they update your National Insurance records, too).
  • Doctor, dentist, optician, hospital/MSG and other health professionals (gender clinic, physio, chiropractor, counsellor, etc.)
  • Any disability cards or registrations – e.g. blind registration document, CEA card, etc.
  • Vet, Pet microchip
  • Organ donor registration
  • Professional bodies, memberships, gyms, clubs and societies
  • TV Licensing
  • HM Land Registry (if you own land or property in UK)
  • Local authority (for council tax payment, electoral roll, etc.)
  • Investment companies, premium bonds, pension funds, etc.
  • Store cards and reward schemes, e.g. Boots, Waitrose, etc.
  • Subscriptions e.g. magazines, food delivery, etc.
  • Library
  • Online accounts and social media profiles e.g. Amazon, eBay, Facebook, etc.
  • Travel related – Railcards, any name changes for travel already booked, bus pass registration
  • Police (if you have outstanding criminal convictions or are on the Sex Offenders’ Register).

Don’t forget to practise writing your new signature!

You can save the above information for when you need it by downloading our handy ‘How To Guide’ on changing your name.

How to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) Guernsey

The Gender Recognition Act (2004) under UK law gives Transgender people the ability to change the name and sex on their birth certificate to reflect their identity and be recognised as such in law through applying for and obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Guernsey-born residents need to apply for a UK GRC, which will change their legal gender, and then this can be used to apply for a ‘correction’ to their birth record at the Greffe via the Royal Court, after which a new birth certificate can be issued.

The actual document which needs to be signed is the ‘GRC Stat Dec’ and it does contain explanatory notes.  On the application form as a whole, the applicant has to complete the details of the witness to the Statutory Declaration in Part 7.

There is a little more to it than just that but you can find all the information you need in our ‘How To’ apply for a GRC document.

You’ll need to get a ‘notary’ to witness a Statutory Declaration as part of this process. We have a long standing partnership with the local branch of Mourant and they have kindly offered to do this service for free for anyone applying to get a GRC. Notary Republics – Rachel Guthrie and Alison Wood are happy to do this, please get in touch with them or contact us for their details.

We’d also recommend checking out the Gender Recognition Guide, produced by UK Trans Info, and funded by Scottish Transgender Alliance, which in our opinion is the best, more comprehensive one and it does include Guernsey specific things!

How to apply for a DBS without outing yourself

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) offers a confidential checking service for Transgender applicants in accordance with the Gender Recognition Act 2004. This is known as the sensitive applications route, and is available for all levels of DBS check – basic, standard and enhanced.

The sensitive applications route gives Transgender applicants the choice not to have any gender or name information disclosed on their DBS certificate that could reveal their previous gender identity.

The types of checks are as follows:

  • A basic check, which shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions
  • A standard check, which shows spent and unspent convictions and adult cautions
  • An enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role
  • An enhanced check with a check of the barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the adults’ barred list, children’s barred list, or both

The type of check needed will depend on the type of work being done and who it is with etc.

An individual can only apply for a basic check for themselves, but standard or enhanced checks can only be requested by an employer or similar when it has to be shown to be necessary for the role.

DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the check was carried out. It does not cover any time spent abroad.

Information can also be found on the UK Government website