Please note, you must get a new passport if you change your name, your gender or if your appearance has radically changed (such that you can no longer be recognised from your passport photograph). You DO NOT need to replace your passport if you change your address or contact details, your title, your job, or make minor changes to your appearance (e.g. dying your hair or growing a beard).
:: Your current passport
Unless it is damaged or defaced in any way, the passport office will post this back to you under separate cover, at the address noted on your application form.
If your passport contains any visas with remaining validity, these may become invalid if you change your name. Please check with the embassy of the country which issued the visa. (You can find details on our Embassy Contacts page.)
If your current or expired passport has been lost, stolen, damaged or defaced, you must replace it, rather than amending. Please see our passport replacement service for more information.
:: Completed and signed application form
We can either send you a copy of the printed form in the post OR you can obtain one by visiting a Post Office which offers passport services. Please contact us for further information or to request a form.
Once you have a copy, make sure you read and carefully follow the printed instructions. The form must be filled out using block capital letters, and black ink ONLY. All answers must be written within the confines of the white boxes marked on the form. When filling in and signing the form, you should use the name that you want to see printed on your new passport.
:: Two recent passport photographs
The photographs must be identical and should have been taken within the last month against a cream or light-grey background. They must be printed to a professional standard, in colour with no border. Please click the link on our main passports page to read the full photo guidelines.
If you cannot be easily recognised from the photograph in your existing passport, your application form and one of your photos must be countersigned as proof of identity.
The countersignatory must be someone you have known in person (e.g. a friend, neighbour or colleague) for at least two years. They should be ‘a person of good standing in the community’, or work in/be retired from a recognised profession. You must NOT be in a relationship with the person, related to them by birth/marriage, or living at the same address. He or she must live in the UK and have a current British or Irish passport. It is possible the passport office will contact them for further information in support of your application. If they are not available or easily contactable (e.g. on holiday), this may delay the processing of your new passport.
Your countersignatory should write the following on the back of your photograph: ‘I certify that this is a true likeness of (title and full name of applicant)’. They must then add their signature and the date underneath. Please note, you do not need to sign or date the photograph yourself.
:: Proof of name change
If returning to your maiden name (surname at birth) following a divorce, you must send your birth certificate, a marriage certificate showing both names, your decree absolute and a signed statement confirming you’ve reverted to the previous surname ‘for all purposes’ (i.e. you won’t be using your previous married name at all).
If you’ve changed your name by deed poll, you must submit your original change of name deed.
:: Additional form for newlyweds and civil partners, if applicable
If you are changing your name due to marriage or a civil ceremony, you can do so before or after the ceremony.
To do so before, you must send a ‘passports for newlyweds and civil partners’ form, signed by the person conducting the ceremony. You can apply for a new passport up to three months before the ceremony. Your old passport has to be cancelled in order for the government to issue a new one, and the new passport will be post-dated (i.e. not valid until the date your name officially changes). Some countries will not issue visas for a post-dated passport – please contact us, or the relevant embassy, if you need further information or advice.
Alternatively, you can travel (e.g. on honeymoon) with a passport in your old name and apply for a new passport in your new name when you return. In this instance, you just need to submit your original marriage or civil partnership certificate with the application as proof of name change.
Whichever option you chose, please bear in mind the name on your passport must be the same as the name used when booking to travel.
:: Proof of gender change, if applicable
Applicants must submit a Gender Recognition Certificate, a new birth or adoption certificate showing their acquired gender, a letter from a doctor or medical consultant confirming permanent gender change, or proof they are using a new name (e.g. a pay slip, council tax or utility bill).
Please click here to read guidance notes about passports for transsexual and transgender people if you need further help.
:: Letter of authorisation
Please supply an original, signed letter authorising us to submit a passport application on your behalf. This should include your full name (exactly as written in your passport) and contact details, including daytime telephone number.
The letter must also include the name of the person who will be submitting your application. We will provide this in your order confirmation email.
The 1-day Premium processing service is only available for a change of name when submitted with a marriage or civil partnership certificate.
Please submit original documents, not copies, unless otherwise requested.
You can amend your passport at any time. When you do so, any time left on your current passport will be added to your new one, up to a maximum of nine months.
Please note, the passport office accepts submissions on an appointment-only basis. On receipt of your application, we will make the appointment and attend on your behalf.
All passports issued under the Fast Track service are posted directly to the applicant from the Passport Office within one week of submission. This means that while we are able to attend the appointment and submit your application, we cannot collect the passport on your behalf.
Please contact us before submitting an application from outside the UK. The requirements and services available may differ from those listed above.