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Can I travel with my passport even though it has my maiden name?

by Christina
( Illinois, US)

Question: When booking my vacation I didn't think about the fact my passport has my maiden name on it. My flight ticket is booked in my married name. My vacation is in 2 days.

Do I have to spend the money to get a new passport or can I bring all of my name change documentation (marriage certificate, SS card, birth certificate) and still travel with my current passport?

Answer: The TSA Secure Flight Program states that "You should ensure that the name provided when booking your travel matches the government ID that you will use when traveling." It goes on to say that small difference such as a middle initial instead of a full middle name should not be a problem. However, a completely different last name may cause problems.

The U.S. Department of State Passport Services website states that "all citizens need to travel in their current, legal names."

To avoid any problems, you should get the name changed before you travel. You can do this in one of two ways, either you submit the application yourself at the Chicago Passport Agency or you go through an experienced expediting service.

Since it may be impossible to get an appointment scheduled before your flight, you might try visiting the regional agency without an appointment. The form and documents you need to obtain the name change depend on when your most recent passport was issued. For more information, click the appropriate link below.

Passport Name Change Information

Chicago Passport Agency

If you would prefer professional assistance from an experienced expediter, click the link below.

Expedite Passport Name Change

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New Passport and name change
by: Lauren

Question: My passport has expired. I need a new one but am getting married in 2 weeks. Can I send in the marriage license and my old passport to get a new one in my name? Or do I need to change my DL and SS card first and then go through the passport process?

Answer: In order to get a passport in your married name, you must wait until the official marriage certificate is issued. This usually takes approximately 6-8 weeks after the correct documents are issued.

You can apply for a passport in your current legal name. Once the marriage ceritificate arrives, you can apply for a name change. There is no cost for the passport name change if you apply within 12 months of your passport's date of issue.

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