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Do I apply for a passport in my current name or future married name?

by Jessica
(Columbia SC, United States)

Question: I am getting married in March and will be going out of the country for our honeymoon. How do I apply for a passport? Can I go ahead and request one for my married name even though we aren't married yet?

And if i have to get it in my maiden name, what happens when we leave for our honeymoon? Legally, my name will be different than what is on my passport. Totally confused as to what to do?

Answer: I hope I can clear the matter up for you.

You can only apply for a passport in your current legal name. Since you will not be married until March, you need to apply for the passport in your maiden name.

You can travel on your honeymoon with the passport in your maiden name without any problems. You only need to remember to have the ticket printed with your maiden name on it. The Flight Security Program requires the name on your ticket and the name in your government-issued ID (passport) to match exactly.

After you return from your honeymoon, you can request a name change. There is no fee for this service as long as you make the request within one year of the passport's issuance date. If you wait more than a year, you will have to apply for a renewal and pay the appropriate fees.

In summary,

1. Apply for a passport in your maiden name.
2. Purchase airfare in your maiden name.
3. Apply for a passport name change after your honeymoon.

To get started with the passport application process, click here.

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What if I'm running out of time?
by: Ellie

Question: I have a 2 month break between my wedding and my honeymoon. I went ahead and started the name change process. I also already renewed my passport 1 year and 2 months ago. I am not convinced I can get all the paperwork done (without expediting the passport) before we leave on our honeymoon. Can I purchase the ticket under my maiden name (a few weeks AFTER I legally changed it), such that it matches my passport?

Answer: Yes, you can book the flight in your maiden name and use your current passport to travel.

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