How to Add an "Known As" Name to Your Passport
Chances are if you heard the name Paul David Hewson, Alecia Beth Moore,
or Eldrick Tont Woods, you would say to yourself, "Who?" How about
Bono, Pink, or Tiger? Maybe those names ring a bell. Those are the
"known as" names for each of these celebrities' real names,
respectively. So how do you go about naming yourself on your passport
when the world knows you as someone else? Can you legally put your
"known as" name on official documents? It turns out that anyone, famous
or not, who goes by a name other than their given name, can add the
"known as" name to their passport.
If passport applicants cannot demonstrate that they completely
changed their name by court order, or don't otherwise meet the criteria
for a complete legal name change, they must use the same name from
their birth certificate
on their passport. However, if they have assumed a name for
professional or other non-fraudulent purposes, they can list the
assumed name as a "known as" name in addition to their legal name on
To be able to add your "known as" name to your passport, you
have to submit two affidavits from two people who know you by both
names, plus two or more public documents such as tax records,
employment records, military records, or some other public records. At
least one of the two public documents that you submit must show your
current "known as" name and some other identifying data like your
social security number, date of birth or age, or place of birth. If no
one is able to produce an affidavit on your behalf stating they know
you by both names, you can submit three public documents as evidence.
You can sign the passport application
in either name, but you have to present identification to the passport agent in your "known as" name.
You can use a previous legal name as a "known as" name. For example, if you changed your name to your partner's surname when you married
your maiden (birth surname) is a previous legal name. You have to sign
the passport application with both names and submit acceptable current
evidence of identity in the "known as" name such as a driver's
license in the "known as" name.
Keep in mind that if you sign the passport application with
your "known as" name only, and the evidence you submit does not
support that you have been using your "known as" name for at
least five years, you'll be required to sign the passport application
also with your current legal name. The amount of time you've used
your "known as" name matters in the passport application
process. In other words, you'll have to sign the application with both
of your names if you haven't met the length of time criterion for using
your "known as" name.
The "known as" designation is usually used when your
documentary evidence clearly shows that you openly use both names all
the time. You won't be able to obtain the "known as" designation
on your passport if you've only recently begun to accumulate the
documentation for a new name. You have to have evidence that you've
used it for a period of time, so don't bother with it if it hasn't been
at least five years that you've been using the "known as" name.
So, if your friends all know you as "Skip" or "Skeeter" but your given
name is Lowell, you can use "Skip" as your "known as" name, as
long as you can provide two public documents, one of which has the name
"Skip" and another identifying piece of data on it going back at least
five years, and two people willing to sign sworn affidavits under
penalty of perjury that they have known you by both names. If everyone
always calls you "Skip", you'll want to make sure that your "known
as" name is on your passport to avoid problems with border crossing
agents who overhear others refer to you by your "known as" name.
Just be happy you're not "known as" The Artist Formerly
Known as Prince, or an unpronounceable symbol. How much trouble would
Click here to get your passport expedited in 24 to 48 hours
Expedite Your Passport Now!
Click to Call for Expedited Service!