Issues with name change renewal

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    Hello all. I’m seeking advice regarding a possible error the passport office has made with my name change renewal.

    I recently sent off my documents to change the name on my passport – My marriage certificate for the surname and my re-registered birth certificate with my new forenames, along with my current passport, an energy bill with the new name and my council tax bill with the same. This is classed as a renewal, and the documents required to prove I am using my new name.

    The names I will use here are fake for privacy reasons – The birth name I’ll use here is Josephine Bloggs, and my new full name is Topsy Lopsy Turvy.

    I got a passport issued in 2021 – with my birth name as it was at the time, Josephine Bloggs.
    I married in 2022, changing my name from Josephine Bloggs to Josephine Turvy.
    This year, 2023, I changed my legal forenames from Jospheine to Topsy Lopsy, thus making my new legal name Topsy Lopsy Turvy.

    I was born in Scotland, and because of this, I can register a change of forename(s) with the General Registrars’ Office of Scotland and have a new birth certificate issued with the former birth name noted at the bottom in the notes; “formerly known as”. The name on the new birth certificate shows as Topsy Lopsy Bloggs. GRO Scotland confirms that we don’t need to change the surname on this, as a marriage certificate is evidence enough to change a surname. They state on their website (for surnames):
    “No, you are not required to complete a change of name form. It is accepted that partners may wish to assume a surname following marriage or registering a civil partnership.”

    According to the passport office casework guidance (available publicly), “Names: evidence to change a name”, the evidence I have sent is sufficient to have a full change of name and a new passport issued.
    Here is what they say in the relevant section:

    “Customers born (or adopted) in Scotland, can officially change their name by applying to the National Records of Scotland. They will be given a new Scottish birth certificate showing their:
    new name
    old name
    You must accept the Scottish birth certificate as evidence of a change of name.”

    To sum up – Surname changed due to Marriage in 2022, Forenames changed due to the re-registered birth certificate in 2023, both of which should be accepted by the PO as evidence.

    However, I received an email from the PO stating the following:

    We need you to confirm you changed your name before we can continue and print your passport. We have; name at birth JOSEPHINE BLOGGS
    Marriage Certificate received JOSEPHINE BLOGGS to JOSEPHINE TURVY XX/XX/2022
    Re reg as TOPSY LOPSY BLOGGS on XX/XX/2023. (the new birth cert)
    Need change of name deed from JOSEPHINE BLOGGS to TOPSY LOPSY TURVY.

    This seems wrong and completely illogical as, technically, my new name at birth is TOPSY LOPSY BLOGGS, which then became TOPSY LOPSY TURVY in 2022. They are taking my new birth certificate as my name from 2023, but it should count as my name from birth. I can’t go back in time and change my marriage certificate to a name that didn’t exist when the marriage was registered. Deed Polls aren’t typically done in Scotland; we either do Statutory Declarations or Update our name via new-birth cert; both are legal and recognised by the PO.

    I did call them today, but obviously, it’s a call handler who can’t investigate it properly due to their role. A message has been passed onto the office, and if I don’t hear anything in 48 hours, to call back.

    I appreciate this is a very nuanced issue and somewhat complex, but it shouldn’t be. I did email the Passport people on their email address before continuing with the renewal for the new name, and they did state that both name changes can be done on the same application.

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