As far as changing your name goes, it’s actually pretty simple. All you need to do is find out the cost to change your name, and if you’re ready for that, start the appropriate procedure. Whether it’s a deed poll or a statutory declaration, it’s simply a matter of paperwork and whether or not you’re eligible for it.
However, when it comes to changing your title, things are a bit different. And by different, we mean they’re pretty much out of your control. That’s not bad, by any means, because it actually means that there isn’t a lot you should be doing yourself.
So, if you’re looking at changing your title, what are some considerations to keep in mind?
Some Things Aren’t Controlled by Law
When we say the title, there are two types of titles. Some of them are not controlled by law, while others are, so let’s start with the first category. The titles that aren’t controlled by law are Mr., Ms., Miss, Mrs., and the like.
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Therefore, it’s possible to change your title to any of these, or any other gender-neutral titles, without doing anything special or requiring some kind of special documentation. If you’re only changing your title and not your name, you should just write to organizations and record holders and ask them to update their records. They should do this on request, and these titles are yours to use regardless of your legal gender.
Now, even though it is not required, or necessary in most cases, you could opt for a deed poll or a statutory declaration to change your title. This is actually pretty useful if you’re using a title that’s not that common, such as Mx. With a deed poll, you can do this free of charge, provided you get two witnesses together.
Or, you could have a statutory declaration of title change drawn up, and presented to a regular solicitor. They would witness and sign it, and the cost shouldn’t be higher than 10 pounds. This will also mean you get a couple of legal copies. Note that even though you could have the solicitor draw up the document for you, this is a pretty pricey option that might cost upwards of 70 pounds. Solicitors will seldom require an appointment for this, as it’s a process that takes only a few minutes.
There is actually no need to follow any kind of formal procedure if you just want to change your title. All you need to do is start using it, and notify your record-holders as we mentioned. So, a deed poll or statutory declaration is optional, and if you don’t want to, you don’t have to bother with it.
There are some titles, unlike the ones we mentioned above, that are actually controlled by law. We’re talking about Dr., Prof., Sir, Lord and the likes, and they’re something you can’t change your title to unless you’re actually entitled to use them. Whether it’s a family matter or some kind of education, you’ll need to be ”eligible” to use them.
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While we’re at it, if you are entitled to use such a title, which is gendered and non-inherited, you are actually entitled to use the other gendered equivalent as well. For example, you get to choose between Lady and Lord, or Sir and Dame. This doesn’t apply if you’re using the title because of who you’re married to. For example, if a person is legally the wife of a male peer, they’re entitled to use Lady as their title. However, they can’t use Lord, and the same thing applies to the husbands of Baronesses, as well as same-sex relationships.
Last but not least, we have gendered inherited titles, for example, Lord or Viscount. If you were to change your title, it doesn’t apply legally, unless you have a gender recognition certificate. While this applies to the legal aspect, you could always request that organizations refer to you using the other gendered equivalent. They will oblige because they need to comply with the Equality Act.
Differences to Changing Your Name
Aside from the things we mentioned earlier, there is another difference when changing your title, compared to changing your name. A name change will require a standard Change of Name Deed. However, a title change requires a Master Title Deed.
Also, when you’re completing the application form, you should use your current name in both the ‘current name’ and the ‘new name’ boxes. Aside from that, things should be simple enough, and you should be able to start using your new title in little to no time!