A rose by any other name…

Yay! I am officially me! That is, i am Jane Fae. Miss! But i’m getting that changed, too (to Ms). And all it took was one phone call.

So what’s up? Those who know me well will be aware of one small bee that keeps buzzing around my bonnet. It has to do with name changes and identity – something that always irritated me long before i began to transition.

Because, in english law, the simple fact is: your name is what you are called. If i happened to go around calling myself Lady Sutch – and so long as i wasn’t doing so for pecuniary gain or fraudulent purposes – then i am allowed to. And if i call myself that long enough and am known by that name to enough people, that IS my name.

Oh, but hang on. What about money laundering? What about banks and boring finance people? Well, they need to know my identity: but i am not at all clear that identity and name are at all the same thing.

Proof of identity is proof that i am me. Huh? Well, proof that i am the person who is entitled to all the things, including benefits, insurance cover, pension, etc. that i – who am currently called Jane Fae – am entitled to. Likewise, that i am entitled to access certain private information when i phone the bank and that i can move money and pay cheques and all that razzamatazz.

I prove that every time i phone my bank…allegedly by quoting my date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and secret information. Hey presto! I am me, and they are happy to do business. But not, apparently, to recognise that i am still me if i should dare ask to be called by another name.

Oh: then the excuses come out! Duty of care. Security. Protecting my interests. What a load of poppycock. If the info i give to them is good enough to trade under, then it is good enough to change name by – and i am not going to go to the bother of getting deed polls, statutory declarations or any other document to prove it.

And today: proof that i am me is good enough for the Inland Revenue. One short call: my name is changed forever (if i wish). And irony of ironies: my bank, that cannot possibly comprehend changing the name on my account without all the aforementioned fuss and documentation would be more than happy to take me on as a NEW customer if i turn up with a current tax document bearing my name.


Now over to my serious column to see what else i am going to be doing about this!



4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] Posted on July 28, 2010 by janefae Today i posted a funny story on my personal blog. It is about how i have changed my name at the inland revenue, with hardly any […]

    • 2

      AJ said,

      I was interested in your story. I changed my name too. I simply went into the passport office and asked for my passport to be changed, and hey presto after writing a simple statement on a bit of paper (it could have been the back of a fag packet for all i know) The statement said I (full old name) of (address) born on (DOB) hereafter wish to be known as Boris Frankgate. I never changed my name by deedpole either, as i lived in scotland and there is no such thing as deedpole there

      Done and dusted. No fuss I went down to the travel agent and booked my trip in my new name. I was able to use the passport to open a new bank account in my new name too.

      The problem is now 10 years on, I want to change my name back to my birth name. Its impossible. My work everyone knows me as Boris, my university qualifications and degree says Boris, my bank account says boris. It is proving more difficult to change my name back, than it was to change it in the first place – its ironic isnt it lo.

      I have a friend who wanted to learn to drive. But her birthcert showed the surname of her father, but as her parents split up, her mum changed her name to her maiden name when she was a child. Her national insurance number etc was all issued in her mothers name. The DVLA refused to issue a driving licence under the new name as it didnt match her birth cert, and they wouldnt issue her driving licence under her birth (fathers) name because she did not have any ID besides the birth cert with that name on it. She argued with them for 8 years and couldnt get a licence. However. when she got married the registrar wrote on her wedding cert “smith formely known as jones” the registrar believed her name change despite the fact she had no ID. luckily my friend was able to use her wedding cert and eventually dvla issued a licence in her husbands surname

  2. 3

    Jenny said,


    I had an account review with my bank a couple of weeks ago. After going over everything that I wanted to my account manager asked if there was anything else I wanted to discuss. I looked at her and told her that I wanted to get my bank cards changed so that they no longer had a Mr/Mrs/Miss etc but just initials and surname.

    Now I was expecting my account manager to tell me that she couldn’t do that but she immediately started to do it. The only problem came when she asked what the reason for the change was as the system needed it in order to complete the update. I simply told her that it was for personal reasons and she accepted it. Hey presto I now have bank cards with no gender indication on them.
    Credit cards have been more difficult as despite her making the request I’ve not had new cards issued. I’ll have to chase this one up when I have a spare hour or two.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the time comes for me to make changes to my bank account details. Mind you one of my neighbours works at the branch so I might discuss things with her when the time comes.


  3. 4

    Liz Church said,

    Jane, I can have your bank change your details by faxing them a section ten notice. Easy peasy.

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