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Is name change in passport after marriage required or suggested?

by Elane
(PA, USA)

Question: After I get married and change my name, is a new passport "required" or just suggested? Also, if an updated passport is required to go to another country, then shouldn't it just be $20, or is there a "government processing fee" attached to that?


Thanks for your help.

Answer: The short answer is that it depends. Some countries will accept your current passport with your name prior to marriage IF accompanied with a marriage certificate. Other countries require the name in your passport match that on your plane ticket or any other document they might request (e.g., driver's license).

Keeping the current name in your passport would necessitate two things. One, you would need to contact the consular section of every country you intend to visit to ask concerning this issue and, two, you would possibly have to take your marriage certificate with you each time you travel.

The only way to avoid this is to change the name in your passport. If your passport was issued less than a year ago, there is no fee for this service (unless you request expedited service). If your passport was issued more than a year ago, you will have to apply for a passport renewal and pay the appropriate fee.

For complete details, visit the following web page.

Passport Name Change

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Renewal
by: Andrea David

Question: My husband and I were married in California on November 26, 2016 and immediately returned to Florida where we live. We planned our honeymoon to Spain in January of 2017. Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of a trip. Since my passport was going to expire sooner than that it was advised that I renew it prior to our travels. I had my passport renewed on December 29, 2016 and paid the fee. I had no way of renewing my passport with my new name because I had not yet been issued my certificate of marriage. I live in a different state then where my marriage took place. I had no way to submit a proof of name change. We didn’t receive our marriage certificate until February, 2017, after returning from our honeymoon. On our marriage certificate there is an issue date of February, 2017.

I received a letter in the mail from the department of state, with my marriage certificate and a DS-82 application, telling me to reapply for a new passport and pay another fee. When I called the National Passport Information Center, they advised me to reapply with a DS-11 application and pay another fee. It has been less than a year since I renewed my passport. I attempted to renew December, 2016 and paid the fee. I don’t understand why I should have to pay another fee? At this point, I don’t understand how I am supposed to move forward since I have been given conflicting instruction from the Department of State and the National Passport Information Center. I would really appreciate any help with my situation.

Answer: Since it has been less than a year since your current passport was issued, there should be no feewhen you apply for a name change unless you request expedited service.

The correct form to submit is Form DS-5504; mail it with the following to the address on the form:

1. Current passport
2. New passport photo
3. Original or certified copy of marriage certificate

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