How do I get a pasport if the name on my birth certificate is different than my current name?
(Green River, Wyo USA)
Question: I am trying to plan a trip to Ukraine for the first week of December. I need to get my passport to go. I do not have my birth certificate and am currently on the process of obtaining it. The trouble is that the last name on it is different from my current name. When I was 7 years old, my mother left me with my stepfather. My name at that time was different and he just had me start using his last name. He is dead now. There is no documentation of a name change. My social is in my current name. Also, my drivers license is expired because I need a birth certificate to change it. I moved from California to Wyoming. This is honestly a true story and I am not a crook. :) You look like you know what you are doing, can you tell me how hard it would be to get me a passport? I just decided to go on this trip; not just waiting until the last minute. I am just now applying for a new one.
You must apply for a passport in your legal name. There are a couple of options. The first, and probably most effective, is to apply for a court order name change. The Wyoming Code of Civil Procedure states,
Every person desiring to change his name may petition the district court of the county of the petitioner's residence for the desired change. The petition shall be verified by affidavit setting forth the petitioner's full name, the name desired, a concise statement of the reason for the desired change, the place of his birth, his place of residence and the length of time he
has been an actual bona fide resident of the county in which the petition is filed. If the court is satisfied that the desired change is proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person, it shall order the change to be made, and record the proceedings in the records of the court. Change of Name: Title 1, Chapter 25
However, one of the requirements is that you be a bona fide resident of the county in which you are making the petition for a period of at least two (2) years. Since you mentioned the fact that you moved from California to Wyoming, you may not meet this requierment.
The second option, which is much more difficult due to the increase in identity theft and terrorism, is to request the name change based on use. Basically, you must prove exclusive use of the name for a period of at least five (5) years. If you choose this method, you should submit as many documents as possible which prove the exclusive use of the name. The State Department only requires 3 public records but it is difficult to say whether or not they will accept the ones you send and not request more. To avoid this, I recommend you send more.
Early public records should show your name, date of birth, place of birth, and preferably be created within the first five years of your life. Examples of early public records are:
* Baptismal certificate
* Hospital birth certificate
* Census record
* Early school record
* Family bible record
* Doctor's record of post-natal care
Visit the web page below and click the links for U.S. citizenship and identification documents to get more information.New Passport Requirements
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