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Name change after purchasing tickets


(los angeles, ca)

Question: My wife is changing her name because of a new job. However, we purchased tickets to Italy 6 weeks ago. If she legally changes her name through the SSA and the DMV can we still use the passport for her previous name? And if not, the name on our flight won't match up. Will this be a problem? And how do we reconcile this?


Answer: The only way to legally change a name other than marriage or divorce decree that includes this request is through a court order. Using a different name on a Social Security card or driver's license does not constitute a legal name change.

If your wife has not legally changed her name through a court order, then the use of a different name is nothing other than an alias.

If she has legally changed her name, then she should apply for a name change in her passport.

When exiting and re-entering the United States by air, you must present a valid passport. Social Security cards and driver's licenses are not valid forms of identification for international travel.

The name on the passport and the name on the ticket/boarding pass must be identical.

If your wife's name has not been legally changed, we recommend you enter in contact with the airline company to see if they can change her name on the ticket to match the name in her passport.

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