Who would have thought opening a letter from DVLA could make me feel so happy and almost jump for joy, I had received my new driving license in the name Miss Theresa Michelle Sarjeant including a photo with hair, an awful photo but aren’t they always?
This was a big step forward legally affirming My trans identity.
The decision to change my name full time to Theresa all started back in Early December 2020 with a visit to see my GP for a routine check.
I had been living and dressing as Theresa full time for around three months before this doctors appointment but as a result of my overthinking and letting anxiety get the better of me I decided it would be more comfortable to dress as ‘him’ for this visit, the thought of being called out as Mr….. while sat in the waiting room dressed as Theresa worried me.
So finally sitting in the doctors surgery preparing for an examination I felt the overwhelming need to inform the doctor that I would normally present as Theresa and not as ‘him’, the doctor could not have been more accepting and reassuring, from that moment on he called me Theresa without hesitation. I asked the doctor how to go about changing my name on their system but all he could suggest was to contact their practice manager.
A bit of internet searching seemed to confirm the way to legally change your name was by completing a document called a Deed Poll, sounds quite odd but actually found a website providing the correctly worded document entirely for free freedeedpoll.org.uk. The instructions are easy to follow including who to chose for witnessing the document, no need to find a judge or doctor or similar, simply someone who knows you, all quite easy. The website suggested printing onto heavy parchment type paper but I just used regular printer paper and not encountered any issues to date. When searching the internet for Deed Polls there are many offers to provide the service for a fee, ignore these, there is no need to part with any cash to make a name change document.
So next the mammoth task to change my name absolutely everywhere that I exist.
I started with my GP practice because that’s what kicked it all off, Deed Poll document was accepted, apparently Your GP practice is responsible for updating your name and NHS number, I understand that a new name should result in a new NHS number but somehow my GP changed name but kept the same number, I’ve since received an appointment letter for Theresa but then later received a repeat prescription in my old name, still chasing the GP to correct this situation.
Spent many of the following days logging into various online accounts and making changes, I lost count of numbers but estimate 65+.
Name changed at dentist and since received emergency treatment as Theresa. (see image)
Local authority (council tax etc.) was an easy one to achieve online, no proof requested.
Inland Revenue change happened smoothly online after creating a Gateway Account, it is possible to check your National Insurance letter online to check all details are correct.
Have done TV license but some utilities still to do, currently changing providers so best not complicate things right now.
House insurance, pet insurance, car insurance done, will do Campervan insurance at February renewal.
Driving license done, original Deed doc. was required but they did return everything intact.
Credit card name changed after posting Deed Poll copy to head office.
Bank account changed at the local branch, no other option even during lockdown, Deed Poll and newly acquired driving license used as proof of ID.
Vehicle registration document V5C posted complete with Deed Poll copy.
An hour on the phone achieved name change with Aviva pension investment. My occupational pension provider changed name after sending Deed Poll by email.
Another pension investment company required original Deed Poll document, awaiting completion of this one but should be no issue.
NS&I Premium Bonds, have posted a completed form and Deed Poll copy, awaiting a response.
Passport change looks a bit more complex, I think my option needs to be a letter from my GP confirming the gender change is likely to be permanent, will deal with this one once everything else I can think of is done and dusted.
Wow, all so much to do and think about but I have to say for me it has been essential for my inner peace and enabled me to live and function happily and freely as Theresa.
I’m not chasing my NHS number change until I’ve had the COVID vaccine, I can imagine records being lost and ending up at the back of the queue
See you all soon