This is a privately owned website and not a government agency. Click to learn more.

How does my name appear on my passport?

by Melissa
(Medina, Ohio, USA)

Question: How does my entire name appear on my passport? Is my middle name or initial on the passport? I am asking because I would like to know what my flight ticket should read to match my passport. Do the names have to match up exactly?

Answer: The passport application asks for your first, middle and last name. If you completed the form with your full name, then that is what will appear on the passport.

The Secure Flight Program recommends that the name provided when booking your travel matches the government ID that you will use when traveling.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, small differences between the passenger's ID, the passenger's reservation information, and the boarding pass (such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, hyphens or apostrophes) should not cause a problem for the passenger.

Comments for How does my name appear on my passport?

Click here to add your own comments

First Initial
by: Anonymous

Question: The name on my driver's license has my first initial, middle and last name. this is how I normally sign my name. Should the name on my passport be my first initial, middle and last name or do I need to spell out my first name?

Answer: Generally, the name requested by the applicant on the application is the name that will be written in the passport as long as it is supported by citizenship and/or identification documents.

by: Takapaw

Question: I want to know when I went to take my citizenship test they tell me I don't have middle name but I use to write my name like Ta as the first name, Ka as the middle name and Paw as the last name. They tell me Taka is my first name and last name is Paw but at my oath ceremony they write down my name as Ta Ka Paw.

Answer: Please contact USCIS for questions concerning your citizenship document.

middle name is hypenated
by: Anonymous

Question: My passport reads first name, middle initial. middle initial., last name (John K.L. Smith). Info on airline website (so tix and boarding pass) has my name first name, middle initial (only one), last name (John K. Smith). My driver's license lists only one middle initial (John K. Smith). Is this a problem for international travel?

Answer: The fact that the names in your passport and driver's license should not be a problem. The difference between your passport and airlines may cause a delay but should not result in denial to board. However, we recommend you contact the airlines for confirmation. While TSA recommend the names on your ticket government-issued ID match exactly, they will work with you, if necessary, to verify your identity.

My signature
by: Anonymous

Question: Can you just put your first initial of your first name as that's the way I always sign?

Answer: Please sign your passport with your normal signature.

no middle name
by: Anonymous

Question: I have 2 kids applying for passports which don't have middle namee since me and their father are not yet married. We decided to give my kids my surname but no middle name. Is there a problem getting a passport without a middle name?

Answer: It is not necessary to have a middle name to get a passport. For a list of requirements, click here.

Second Last Name Printed as Middle Name in Passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I have my two parents last names. I turned in my passport book application and when I received it back, my second last name was placed next to my given name and not next to my first last name. I don't have a middle name. Will Gavin (my second last name) in the place where a middle name goes be a problem?

Answer: You should apply for a passport correction. Mail completed Form DS-5504, passport, passport photo, documents showing the two names as last names and a letter of explanation to the address on the form.

given and middle name
by: Anonymous

Question: If my name is Su Mon Htet. Is my given and middle name Mon?

Answer: Your surname is also referred to as your family name. Given names are those names that are given to you that are not your surname (family name). In American culture, the surname is usually the last name and both first and last names are given names. In many Asian cultures, the surname (family name) comes first and the given names follow. The name you request on your U.S. passport must be supported by your citizenship and identification documents.

by: Anonymous

Question: On my passport I only signed my first and last names. Is that okay?

Answer: Yes, it is okay to sign only your first and last names in your passport.

Maiden name vs middle name
by: Anonymous

Question: My sister bought an international airline ticket for my mother using my mother's maiden name. However, my mother's social security card and driver's license have her maiden name as her middle name. Since the ticket has been issued in her middle name, should she apply for a passport using her middle name? Is this going to be an issue when she applies for her passport?

Answer: The passport generally is issued in the name shown on the evidence of
citizenship and identity. A woman can usually get a passport in either her maiden name or married name. Even if your mother chooses to get her passport in her married name, it should not be a problem since she uses her maiden name as her middle name. We recommend you contact the airlines to verify.

I do not recall what last name I used on my passport?
by: Toinette

Question: Need to find out the name I used on my passport. If I can not locate my present passport but would like to book a flight, what is the best way of doing this?

Answer: We recommend you only book your flight when you locate your passport. If you have to report it as lost and replace it, the new passport will have a new number.

What do middle names appear as on passports?
by: Anonymous

Question: This has never come to my attention until recently, since I'm having to renew my passport on my own for the first time. As you know, the passport application form asks for First, Middle, and Last names. I'm sure that my parents had filled out my previous forms correctly. However, when I look at my passport, I see my full name (first middle last) but they're labeled given names and surname. Obviously, the surname is my last name, but my middle names fall under given names along with my first name. Is that how it's supposed to be? If I fill in my middle name in the form, will it appear under given names on my passport?

Answer: Yes, the passport lists surname and given names only. Your first and middle names will be listed under "Given names".

Signature on Passport
by: roxann

Question: I have no middle name so my legal name is first, maiden name, and last name. It's that way on my driver's license and my new passport. I just signed my passport in my usual way using my first name, middle initial, and last name. It appears I may be "in trouble" having not signed my full name. Do I have a problem? Or can I just sign above the signature I've already put on the line in my passport? ... And what name will I need to have on an airline ticket to Mexico?

Answer: You do not have to sign your full name in your passport. You should use your regular signature. When booking a flight, you should use the full name as it is in your passport.

2 middle names
by: Anonymous

Question: I have 2 middle names. They won't fit on the application. What do I do?

Answer: The Travel Document Issuance System (TDIS) and American Citizens Services (ACS) system only allow for a certain set number of characters the line for given and middle names as well as the line for the surname

The Acceptance Agent where you apply will have to determine, with your input, what abbreviated version of the legal name is acceptable to you for inclusion in the passport data page.

Middle name
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi . I'm applying for a passport, and I need to know do I have to write the middle name? I don't want it to be on my passport. What can I do?

Answer: You do no have to include your middle name on the passport application.

Middle Name Issue
by: Jenn

Question: I have a doubt. I didn't print out my full middle name on the passport but just abbreviated it. Is there any way of confirming this while the application is being processed?

Answer: Please contact the National Passport Information Center to speak with a customer service representative. The toll-free number is 1-877-487-2778.

Short Name vs. Full Name
by: Anonymous

Question: What if the difference is that the name on the passport is "Raymond" but the boarding pass has "Ray"? I've read online where some people say it is fine but I've also read that some airlines say that the name on the boarding pass must match EXACTLY to the passport. Would this be an issue for international flights? Is there a solution or do I need to buy a new ticket?

FYI - The airline and travel agent are currently refusing to change the name on the boarding pass.

Answer: The name you provide is used to perform watch list matching before a boarding pass is issued, so small differences should not impact your travel.

Signature question
by: Anonymous

Question: I just received my new passport which includes my middle name. I normally sign my name using my first name, middle initial, and last name. Out of habit, did the same when signing my new passport. Is this a problem?

Answer: Your passport should be signed using your normal legal signature. If using your middle initial rather than the full name is how you normally sign your name, it will not be a problem.

Middle Name Issue?
by: Anonymous

Question: How up to date is this policy? I was able to find 4 different sources both online and off confirming that middle name vs. middle initial isn't a big deal, but all were from 2009-ish. Is this still in practice today?

My driver's license, credit cards and now boarding passes from Chicago to London all say First Name M. Last Name. But my passport says First Name Middle Name Last Name. Had I known this would ever be an issue I'd have registered just an initial...hopefully I won't be punished for trying to be accurate.

Answer: Note, there are two issues addressed above. One, the name that is printed in the passport. Two, the difference between the name in the passport and the one on the ticket/boarding pass.

Concerning the first, the name to be written in the passport is the name which best identifies the applicant as reflected in the citizenship and
identity documentation submitted. Generally, the name requested by the applicant on the application is the name that should be written on the passport.

Concerning the second, small difference in the names such as a middle name in one and the middle initial in another are acceptable. You should have no problem boarding the plan to London.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Passport Name FAQ.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Emergency Passport Renewal
How to get an emergency passport renewal in the U.S. or abroad. Discover the steps to renew your passport the same day.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Make Your Own Passport Photos
Use the online Passport Photo Wizard tool to make your own passport photos in minutes. Save money and time.

Passport Renewal Videos
Watch step-by-step instructional passport videos of how to renew a passport in 3 steps.