Passport Name Changes, Gender, Titles & Reverting to Previous Names

Applying for a new passport or renewing your existing passport requires a lot of personal information, but as we know your personal details can change over the years due to life changes and personal circumstances.

Changes can happen at any time and many people like to implement these changes on their legal documents, bills and identification as soon as possible, especially when it comes to travel documents including their passport and any upcoming visas. We have all the information you need to decide whether or not you will need to renew your existing passport.


Changes that require a new passport

If you have made any of the below changes recently it is vital that you renew your passport as soon as possible. When it comes to personal details on your passport you will not be eligible to travel if your passport details are different from booking details.

To avoid missing up coming travel plans and losing out on time and money check the information we have provided.


Marriage or civil partnership

If you are due to be married or you are having a civil partnership ceremony there are two ways you can renew your passport and that is either before or after the ceremony.


Before the ceremony

You can apply for a passport in your new name up to 3 months before your marriage or civil partnership ceremony. Your new passport is 'post-dated' this means that you will not be able to use your new passport before the ceremony but as soon as you have your marriage or civil partnership certificate you can then travel.

Your old passport will be cancelled as soon as you make your new application, please do not try and travel on this passport as it will no longer be valid.

Please be aware that some countries will not issue visas for post-dated passports. We would always suggest checking with the country's in question Embassy or Consulate.

You must also send a passport for newlyweds and civil partners form with your application, you can find this here .It must be signed by the religious minister or registrar who will conduct the ceremony. Without this form you will be unable to post-date your passport.


After the ceremony

If you would like to renew your passport after your ceremony it is very straight forward. You simply need to fill in a complete and correct UK Passport application accompanied with the certificate from your marriage or civil partnership ceremony.

Please note: The Passport Office will only accept originals of your marriage or civil partnership certificates. If you supply a photocopy they will refuse your application and may cause delays and extra cost.



Divorce or returning to a previous name

If you would like to return to using your maiden name or your previous surname you can do this by sending the below documents.

• Your birth certificate

• A statement signed by you saying you've gone back to a previous surname - for example your maiden name 'for all purposes' - that is, you won't use your married or civil partnership name at all

• A document that shows you're using your new name for example a payslip, or a letter from a company or bank showing your new name in use.

You also need to send either:

• Your decree absolute showing both names
• A marriage certificate showing both names - if you don't have it you can order a copy from General Register Office

Please note: Only original documents will be accepted by The Passport Office. (No photocopies or scanned documents)



Changing your gender

If you have or will be changing your gender you will certainly need to renew your passport, make sure you leave plenty of time before you're due to travel as you will not be able to travel on your old passport once you have changed your name or gender.

As well as your complete and correct application for you will also require one of the following:

• A Gender Recognition Certificate
• A new birth or adoption certificate showing your acquired gender
• A letter from your doctor or medical consultant confirming your change of gender is likely to be permanent

If you are sending a letter from your doctor or medical practitioner and you're changing your name, you will also need to supply both of the following documents:

• Evidence of your change of name such as a deed poll
• Evidence that you're using your new name for example a payslip, or a letter from your local council

Please note: Only original documents will be accepted by The Passport Office. (No photocopies or scanned documents)



Other name changes

Name changes don't just include surnames, many people decide to change their first name too. This can be for many reasons, but regardless of the reason you still need to ensure you have all the relevant documents.

Along with your application you will need to send one of the following:

• An 'enrolled' or''unenrolled' deed poll
• A statutory declaration
• An affidavit - a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation

You will need to send this with your passport application and both of the following:
• Proof of any previous name changes you've made
• Evidence that you're using your new name for example a payslip or a letter from your local council



Titles and small changes

Sometimes the changes you want to make to your passport can be small changes, like the spelling of your name or perhaps you want to change your title, all changes can be found below along with what documentation you need to send with your application.

• Change the spelling of your name slightly - for example, Ashley to Ashlee
• Change the order of your forenames - for example Sarah Jane to Jane Sarah
• Removal middle names

You will need to fill in and sign your passport application using the name you want to see printed on your passport.

You will also need to send two documents showing your new name, these can include the following:

• Letter from a local council or government department
• Driving licence
• Bank statement
• Baptism or confirmation certificate

If you are applying online, explain the change in the additional information box. If you are using the paper form, fill in section 8.


Titles you can use on your passport

You can include:
• Professional titles - for example, doctor, judge, minister of religion, professor, QC, or JP if you're a magistrate
• Honours or military decorations

Put the details in the 'other title' box of your application and send evidence of your title.

Your title will be on the 'observations' page of your passport - it won't be part of your name, except if it's a title of nobility, for example knight, dame or a lord.



Changes that do NOT require a new passport

There are of course changes and personal details that do not require you to renew your passport, take a look at the list below and if any of these apply to you then you are still able to travel using your existing passport.

You don't have to tell HM Passport Office or get a new passport if you:

• Change your address or contact details
• Get a new job
• Change your appearance slightly - for example, dye your hair or grow a beard
• Change your marital status (divorce, marry or form a civil partnership) but keep your name
• Change your title, for example, doctor or professor
• Become a national of another country as well as the UK
• Emigrate to another country

Applying for or renewing your UK passport can be daunting but knowing which documents you need is vital. If you would like help with your application or more advice click here



Need more information?

Talk to the Passport Office team

Call Passport Advice Line

Lines open 8am-8pm


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Our blog is full of useful tips and interesting facts about the world of Passports and Travel.

Passports Office provides relevant information about new passports, renewing an existing passport, and the contact details of key UK passport offices.

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