Wake-up call

Oh dear. Stopped by the cambridgeshire plod. Again. Which makes my sum total for stops now two in as many months. (well, the last instance was the new year’s eve one, which was really formality, and which, i am sure pedants will point out, makes this twice in THREE months).

Still, no harm done: a wonderfully sensitive handling of a potentially embarrassing situation by a good-natured policeman and…i was back on my way. Chastened. And determined to sort out a few last details of my personal life.

Friday night, i was up meeting folks in London.

Great stuff! And not for the first time, i found myself haring back up the A1 at some ungodly hour, pausing only for coffee at South Mimms, before hitting Peterborough at a little after 4 am.

I was, as you can imagine, knackered – espesh as i’d driven down to London little more than eight hours previously. Coming off the A1 and turning on to one of the many ringroads that surround the city, i suspect it showed. Enough, anyway, for a police van following me to decide i was a worthy candidate for pulling over.

Do not go into the (blue) light!

Though not for them. They summoned a patrol car, and a few scant miles short of home and bed, i had that blue light in the rearview mirror experience.

Aliens?

🙂

Nah! merely Cambridge’s finest, stopping to inquire if i had been drinking.

Nope. I love the fact that i am pretty much teetotal nowadays. It makes such encounters so much easier, so much more confidence filled when you know that, short of something untoward on the rohypnol front, you are going to test 100% negative.

The problem, however, arose as the officer called in checks on the police computer.

Unfinished business

Before i explain, allow me to describe my garage. Its a lot tidier than it was. Last month, i decided i could no longer stand the mess in there and i had a blitz on the accumulated piles of untidy junk. It is now 90% neat and tidy, with a definite 10% of unfinished business. Stuff i need to get back to and sort thru with a fine toothcomb before the job is done.

Now fast forward to the present state of my life, document-wise. Over the last couple of years, i have been slowly but assiduously amending. Tax, NHS, banking. You name it: pretty much everything, now, is in the name of Jane Fae.

There are a few odd exceptions. Stuff i am scarcely aware is still out there and which very occasionally reminds me of its existence via direct mail campaigns. Mostly very low level contacts, which impacts little or not at all on my life.

And three biggies. My passport, driving license and vehicle registration.

First up, the passport. Technically, i no longer have one at all. The old one ran out over a year ago and there was no way i was going fork out £90 to renew with “M” against gender. A new one will be forthcoming in the not too distant: but its complicated because i definitely need to manage not just name change, but an amend to gender marker too.

Vehicle registration is an oversight. Mea culpa! I can change name there whenever i wish – and it will be done by Monday.

Last up is the driving license which i have been putting off. To date, i have tackled and overcome every major bureaucracy known to man in the pursuit of name change without deed poll. So far i have won every time.

My concern, in this instance, from having written about the DVLA over the years, and from intimate knowledge of just how bloody-minded they can be is that this could be the biggest battle yet. Immovable object meeting trans-powered force, with the outcome not yet certain.

Tolerant good-natured policing

Still, to return to the roadside, Friday morning. My police interrogator displayed a remarkable degree of tolerance and restraint as he called in details and found my identity, as far as driving was concerned, was a patchwork of conflicting information.

As he put it: “what would happen if he issued a ‘producer’ and i had to turn up at the nearest police station with my documents?”

Er, yes. Point taken.

He sent me on my way with a lecture (definitely heeded) about the dangers of driving when tired, and a finger-wag in the direction of my documents. Also heard: and next week i will commence what looks like being the last battle: me or the DVLA; who will emerge victorious?

(Wait and see: i do have an ace up my sleeve in that respect!)

In the end, i was more than happy with how the guy dealt with me. Either good old-fashioned tolerant policing.

Or maybe the van hadn’t collected any video evidence so the only thing he COULD have done me for was the documentary offence, which in turn would have been a nightmare for any desk sergeant tasked with dealing with it.

“Ah well”, i said as we parted: “at least you’ll have a good story to tell in the canteen”.🙂

“I don’t do gossip”, was his respectful rejoinder.

As if! I know i would…but perhaps he really is that old-fashioned and decent.

I dunno. However, the event was definitely wake-up call, in more ways than one…and perhaps in future i shall be more inclined to spend the night over in London than make an early morning exhausted return.

jane xx

7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Liz Church said,

    Caught betwixt the DeViLA and the Deep Blue boys… Ah well, I can do you a deed poll for free and at least your change of name will have cost you nought.

  2. 2

    Must admit, i just sent my DL off with the requisite malarkey and it came back with ‘miss’ on it and the female ‘5’ in the driver number… Piece of cake…

    • 3

      janefae said,

      ah…but you miss the point. I am absolutely adamantly opposed to use of deed poll or stat dec, and have campaigned against both in this respect for the last two years.

      And i have so far managed to change every single document without either…thereby demonstrating to ChX, which claimed these docs were “nevessary” that they aren’t. I know exactly how to do the official thing. The real question is whether i want to.

      We’ll see…

      jane xx

      • 4

        pollik said,

        I had the same battle, Jane, for the same reason, except in that case CX said that THEY needed the deed poll. Oh, and a divorce. My legal knowledge is enough to know that there are very few legal requirement for changing your name in England. My biggest battle was with Mastercard, but I won fundamentally because they couldn’t cite any law or contractual agreement in their favour.

        However, one of the situations needing a deed poll is in the transfer of land…and I was selling my house, so I needed a deed poll for that. And since I now had one, I took the easy route for passport and DVLA.

        Let us know how you get on, especially with the gender marker.

  3. 5

    zoebrain said,

    You might find changing your passport might be easier than you think.

    Unless they’ve changed things recently (always a possibility) a GRC isn’t required to change gender marker. A doctor’s note is. I, for example can’t get a GRC, but my UK passport was the first document I was able to change. The Australian one took a 20-month legal fight to get one issued at all.

    Name might be an issue. You’d need to contact the passport office for that.

  4. 6

    Alex said,

    Ah, Jane, you’ve reminded me that I need to change the name on my driving licence, too. Unfortunately, my licence (along with my passport) seems to have disappeared when I moved out of the marital home.

    Good luck with DVLA.

  5. 7

    Emily said,

    I’ve had all too much of the same fun, recently. Most of my details were changed without problems (I didn’t worry about using a deed poll; it’s so much easier than the rigmarole the majority of our European neighbours put people through). However, one piece remains: My driver’s licence.

    Converted from a British one to a French one pre-transition, it’s now stuck in no-man’s land. The DVLA won’t touch it since I live in Germany. The French can’t do anything about it for the same reason. The Germans are at a loss, though. The British deed poll is nowhere near official enough for them and there’s no legal link from my old identity to my new identity but the German police want me to change it ASAP to put a point on it (I was a little naughty).

    It’s amazing how changing ones name and gender marker can break bureaucracies at a single stroke, isn’t it?


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