What Supporting Documents are Needed for a Passport Name Change?

qaQuestion:  I was married this year and when I got married I changed my name using both my single last name and my married last name as so many modern woman do. My question concerns what supporting documents are necessary for a passport name change. My marriage certificate has my first name and my husbands last name. It does not show my middle name which was my maiden name. I now want to get a passport with the name I chose. But, all of my documentation uses the traditional wife’s first name and husband’s last name. I would have thought that in this day and age we woman could retain our last names. What gives?

Answer:  If you chose to change your name, the State Department requires that you submit substantiated documentation of the name change. While you can call yourself anything you wish, you must file with the courts for a change of name. Once it is official, you can use the official court documentation as evidence.

Since the passport application requires several forms of identification we suggest that once you change your name legally you do so on your other documents as well such as your driver’s license, social security card, etc. Otherwise, you will continually have these kinds of problems.

It is sometimes easier if your name was change officially on your marriage.

There is one other possibility, which again does not seem to be the case here. You may have other public records. If so, you can submit at least three that proves you have been using your name for at a minimum 5 years.

For more information regarding applying for a new passport, click the following link.

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