Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

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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Passport with Maiden Name
by: Anonymous

Question: My passport has my maiden name on it but my license and airline tickets have my married. I have sent the passport (expedited) to have my name updated before our trip, but it won't be here in time and I cannot get anyone on the phone to help me with it. Will I be able to travel if I bring my marriage certificate?

Answer: Since you do not have your passport, you will not be able to travel internationally.

Name change 2 days before honeymoon
by: Anonymous

Question: I am getting married and then traveling out of the country for my honeymoon 2 days later. Do I need to pay to get an expedited DL and PP before I travel?

Answer: If you already have a passport, you can just book tickets in the name that currently appears in it and use it for travel. You can apply for a name change when you get back from your trip.

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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UPDATE: Mailing delays and high demand are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks excluding mailing times on the front and back end. Current mailing delays are significant. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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