What effects does it have?
- ID documents
Changes name and/or gender marker
What is it?
Returning your current passport for one with an updated name, photograph, and/or gender marker.
How long does it last?
Passports are valid for ten years, but can be updated at anytime during their validity.
Any current visa you hold will not be transferred to your new passport. Some countries will allow you to travel with both your new valid passport and your old invalidated passport, but this will out you every time that you need to show your visa. Other countries will require you to have the visa transferred or possibly even apply for a new visa. You are advised to check with any country you hold a visa with before you update your details.
Updating a passport is different depending on whether you already have a UK passport or not.
I already have an existing UK passport
You can update your name and/or gender marker on an existing UK passport either online or by post. Forms for postal updates are available from your local post office. You will need to return your old passport along with the application. If you have lost your passport, you will need to declare it lost.
To update your name on your passport you will need to send your deed poll or statutory declaration. Photocopies are not accepted, so you must either send the original document or a certified copy.
To update your gender marker on an existing passport you will also need either:
- a letter from a doctor (normally either your gender specialist or your GP) saying that they consider this change to be permanent. Your GP will usually charge you money for writing this letter.
- or a gender recognition certificate (GRC).
A GRC is not required to update your passport if you have a letter from a specialist or GP.
I don’t have an existing UK passport
If you already have a gender recognition certificate (GRC) or an updated birth certificate, you can apply for a passport as normal with your updated birth or adoption certificate. Name change documents and letters from doctors are not required.
If you do not have a gender recognition certificate (GRC) and updated birth certificate, you will need to fill in the application for a new passport, and include your existing birth or adoption certificate along with the documents listed above.
Regardless of whether you have an existing UK passport, you will need to send the passport office two passport photographs. If your appearance has changed significantly, or this is your first passport, you will also need to get the photographs countersigned. If you are in doubt, it can be better to get them countersigned, as having to respond to a request to send in new photographs can slow the process down.
You can read more about obtaining or renewing passports on the HM Passport Office website.
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Page last updated: April 2018