Changing your name
You do not have to follow a legal process to start using a new name, but you might need a deed poll so you can apply for or change official documents like a passport or driving licence.
Please note, if you’re a permanent resident overseas, you cannot change your name by deed poll.
You can get an 'unenrolled' deed poll by yourself (also known as a statutory declaration) or you can apply for an 'enrolled' deed poll to put your new name on public record. An enrolled deed poll will cost £42.44 but is more official and less likely to be rejected by certain organisations.
Telling the University
The Student Experience and Support team can also help if you need to update any of your personal details such as preferred name, title or photo. This information can be updated on your Keele ID and reprinted for you free of charge.
If you're intending to transition you can talk to Student Services to develop an action plan. The action plan will identify an approximate time scale and steps to be taken during the transition. It may address:
- any time off you may need for medical appointments or procedures, and/or possible side-effects of any medication;
- any support arrangements and adjustments during the transition;
- when and how to inform the academic department and/or students on the programme if appropriate;
- any emotional support to be put in place such as counselling or referrals to other relevant agencies.
You can read more about how the University can support you by visiting their website.
Gender Recognition Certificate
You can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate if you want your affirmed gender to be legally recognised in the UK. You can apply if you are over 18, have been diagnosed in the UK with gender dysphoria (though there are some exceptions), have been living as your affirmed gender for at least two years, and you intend to live in this gender for the rest of your life. You do not need to have had any surgery or treatments.
If you have a Gender Recognition Certificate you can:
- update your birth or adoption certificate, if it was registered in the UK
- get married or form a civil partnership in your affirmed gender
- update your marriage or civil partnership certificate, if it was registered in the UK
- have your affirmed gender on your death certificate when you die
You do not need a certificate to:
- update your driving licence
- update your passport
- update your medical records, employments records or your bank account
The application costs £5 but there may be additional costs. You can view a full guide to applying on the Gov.uk website.
Changing your gender on your passport
To change the gender marker on your passport you will need to complete an application form and submit a copy of your name change document, a letter from a doctor confirming that your gender change is likely to be permanent, and proof that you are using your new name (such as a utility bill).
Changing your gender on your driving licence
Driving licences contain two gender indicators: your title and the seventh and eighth characters of the licence number (for men these two digits are their birth month, such as '01' for January, and for women the seventh digit is replaced with a 5, so would be '51' for January). You can ask the DVLA to change this by sending an application form to the DVLA, along with a copy of your name change document. Name changes are free, but there is a small charge to update photographs.
Changing your gender on your NHS records
You have the right to change your title, name and gender marker on your records. You do not need to have undergone any treatment, or have a Gender Recognition Certificate.
When you change gender with the NHS you are given a new NHS number. You will be registered as a new patient at your GP practice and your old medical record will be copied across, minus any information relating to your previous identity. Your GP will then inform Primary Care Support England (PCSE) of the change.
If your medical records are being changed from male to female, PCSE will contact your GP practice to confirm that you do not have a cervix. If your medical records are being changed from female to male, cervical screening becomes the responsibility of your GP practice.