What effects does it have?

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.

More information


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 up update your details.

Updating a passport is different depending on your situation with paperwork and if you already have a passport.

You will always need to send the passport office two passport photographs. If you have changed significantly or this is your first passport you will also need to get them countersigned as well. If you are in doubt it can be better to get them countersigned as if they need you to send in new photographs it will slow your application down.

If you already have a passport:

You can update your name and/or gender marker on your 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 or declare it lost if you’ve lost it.

To update your name on your passport you will need to send them your deed poll or statutory declaration. You must send the passport office an original or a certified copy of the document they do not accept photocopies.

To update your gender marker on your passport you need a letter from a doctor (normally either your gender specialist or your general practitioner) saying that they consider this change to be permanent. Or a gender recognition certificate (GRC) if you have one. But you are not required to have a GRC to update the gender marker on your UK passport, it just means that you do not require the letter from your doctor. If you are getting your letter from a GP there is usually a charge for this letter.

If you do not have a passport or a GRC and updated birth certificate:

You will need to fill in the application for a new passport and include your birth or adoption certificate along with the documents listed above.

If you do not have a passport but do have a GRC and 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.

You can read more about obtaining or renewing passports on the HM Passport Office website.

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Page last updated: June 2017