An experiment in helpfulness

As some may have noticed, i have been banging on ad nauseam about name change for quite some time.

Part of that is political: i just don’t see why organisations should be entitled to demand security checks in respect of name change above and beyond the levels that they demand for other trivial stuff (like moving ten grand from one bank account to another…).

A part, too, is simply pedantic. As someone with a lifetime in systems and process design and latterly in linking that to the law, i am just irritated by the way in which some organisations…usually the jobsworths at the bottom of the heap, but sometimes those higher up too…either invent laws on the hoof, or get their own guidelines wrong.

So. I’ve been doing this quietly for a little while. Which is: where individuals are having difficulties with organisations on the name change front, i’ve been giving some guidance, pointing to the right web site, etc. and, on rarer occasions getting on the phone and talking to the organisation.

And yesterday i took a deep breath and started doing that a tad more formally. I shan’t say who for (of course not! the whole point is that this enables that individual to put a bit of pressure anonymously).

Nor, because i think this would very quickly dissipate trust, will i name names of the organisations i am talking to. But let us assume for the purposes of argument that the most likely candidates (since they seem to cause the most difficulty not just for trans folk, but for women who have the gall to marry or divorce, too) include financial institutions, the DVLA, and credit checkers.

Let’s suck it and see…. šŸ™‚



6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Shirley Anne said,

    When I went through my name change many of my contacts only needed a copy of the Deed Poll but others, only a few, insisted on having the original sent together with my new birth certificate for their inspection. I think the worse organisations to deal with are the insurance companies who, given half the chance, would have you start over as a new client thereby losing all previous accumulated benefits. Be careful of that one. I challenged the Pru regarding their need to see proof of my gender switch when all they really needed was proof of name change. It seems that if you change your gender you are considered a completely new person to them, nice in one way but a pain in the duke otherwise. Best wishes on your endeavours

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. 2

    katrina2 said,

    I somtimes wonder, as to wether the name change deed certificate, that the solicitor draws up, is done with All due regard to the laws on notifercation, to thoses that need to know.
    Sometimes, it is possible to pay a fee of around Ā£30 and, one can walk away with your certifficate, with an hour, on the same day. I, on the other hand, payed a fee of Ā£70 and was told that it would take a week to be formalised, as checks had to be made. As I said, I wonder, was that a load of exspensive bull, I don’t think so, I have had no trouble with name change, apart from my phone service provider 3net work, bv this has now been resolved.

    • 3

      janefae said,

      Not sure what your sol was up to, but there are various possibilities.

      First off, the ordinary deed poll has no legal weight whatsoever. Repeat: NONE.

      However, some organisations like to have one in their files for evidential and/or audit trail purposes.

      The ordinary deed poll is recorded nowhere and…well, it is just a form of words with a witness signature. You can very easily do your own.

      However, it is also possible, for a little extra dosh, to have your deed enrolled. That does end up with it on a central register and arguably is a more strenuous form of name change.

      However, since in neither instance are there and penalties in law for ignoring a deed poll, i still don’t get it. Beyond that its a nice little earner for a range of legal and quasi-legal bods.

      The alternative, that some are now going for is the statutory declaration: again, no central register; but these do have the slight advantage from the receiving organisation’s pov that technically, abusing the stat dec route COULD be construed as perjury and therefore subject to criminal sanctions.

      Of course, the real prob that most of us face is NOT “change” but continuity: how do we change name whilst ensuring continuity of financial and other history.

      Equifax and Experian – the two main credit referencing agencies – have very good procedures in place, as i understand them, for dealing with grc’s. They are possibly not so tight on simple name change, espesh if one is trans.


    • 5

      janefae said,

      I hope you are being ironic, Shirley… šŸ™‚ Though i have a suspicion you aren’t. I wouldn’t touch any advice that site gives with a bargepole.

      They are one of the commercial organisations that profits from the current legal confusion around this subject. I put together a paper earlier this year and i did attempt to contact UKDPS for a response before publishing.

      Nada. Their Press Office, apparently, really doesn’t like speaking to the press. At least not when its to answer awkward questions about their money-making activities.

      If you want full chapter and verse, please DO check out the paper i wrote on this subject, which can be downloaded from:


  3. 6

    Shirley Anne said,

    And you are right Jane I wasn’t but of course I am no expert and from what I read in your paper, most people aren’t, even the legal profession! I, like the majority of the populace are ignorant of many of the legal aspects of issues concerning identity. I can understand why we have things like Deed Polls and what they are. The description given on that site I think is accurate but perhaps the site in general is geared toward financial gain. That’s also understandable. However, in the absence of any other meaningful way to protect identity I think Deed Polls go a long way to safeguard third party interests. How else can identity be protected? How else can third party interests be secured without proof of some kind? Perhaps we should all be fingerprinted (literally) or genetically screened as proof of identity instead of using names. I also think that discrimination isn’t the intention when it comes down to the way we, as transgendered folk, are treated. Maybe we are treated sometimes with a little insensitivity by certain organisations but I for one wasn’t really bothered either way. I think many transgendered folk sometimes take things too much to heart. Of course there will be instances of outright discrimination but I really do think they are minimal. As for other groups, as referred to in your paper, there may be a case where discrimination is an issue. It is one thing to talk about Deed Polls not having much legal credibility but what other methods are at our disposal that are any better?

    Shirley Anne xxx

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