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How to get a passport in an assumed name

by Jennie
(Charlemont, MA, U,S,)


I am interested in obtaining my first passport, but I have a possible problem. My first given name on the birth certificate is not the same as the one I have used since I was twelve. All of my IDs are in the name I have used since I was twelve, my social security number, marriage certificate, children's birth certificates, ID in general, divorce legal name change, etc.

I wonder how I can get a passport since I never use my birth certificate because it is not the same as the other IDs and I would never go by that name on the birth certificate, first only. Thank you,




If your divorce decree shows your current assumed name as your legal name, then it may be all you need to submit. Just to be safe, you may want to submit all the documents that are usually required when a person applies for a passport with an assumed name other than the one on the birth certificate.

An applicant requesting the issuance of a passport showing an assumed name, where the name has not been legally changed by Court Order, may have a passport written in the assumed name providing she has been known exclusively by this name for at least five years.

The applicant must present acceptable identification (driver's license) in the assumed name together with public documents as described below showing the use of the assumed name for at least five years.

Acceptable pieces of identification may include:

* School Records
* Tax Records
* Military Records
* Medical Card/Records
* Driver's License
* Federal/State/Local Government Card
* Deeds to Property
* Insurance Records
* Foreign Passport

At least one of the following:

* Employment Records
* Bank Books
* Credit Cards
* Utility or Phone Bills

In addition, the applicant must be able to submit "Statement of Witness in Support of Change of Name" executed by two or more persons who can attest to the applicant's exclusive use of the assumed name for at least five years.

These statements may be executed by relatives, close friends, or business associates. Witnesses will need to accompany the applicant to a passport application acceptance facility in order that their statements may be prepared and sworn to before a Passport Agent.

You might want to present your divorce decree to the passport agent at a nearby application acceptance facility to see if it is sufficient evidence. For a list of facilities near you, click the link below.

Massachusetts Passport Offices

For a complete list of requirements, click the link below.

Getting a New Passport

Best regards,


Comments for How to get a passport in an assumed name

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Need a passport immediately
by: Anonymous

Question: My certificate of naturalization, which arrived this week, has me as "Saurav Rao," as I changed it through the process of naturalization on my N-400 Application. However, my last name before has always had me as "Saurav Jammalamadugu" and that's how all my documents show. I have an emergency and need to leave for Germany in a week and a half. Will my certificate of naturalization and an identifying witness suffice? I know that if you go visit the SSA and do it yourself instead of mailing documents they update your records electronically in 24hrs. But I'm worried if I'll not be able to change my name on social security quick enough. :(( Please help me out here someone!

Answer: The passport will be issued in the name you enter on the application form as long as it is supported by either your citizenship evidence or proof of identity.

Birth Certificate Name Spelled Differently
by: Anonymous

Question: My birth certificate shows my name as Margrite; however, from the time I began school to the present I have been known as Margaret (including school docs, drivers license, SS, etc) When I first applied for a Passport 12 yrs ago, the document required was a birth certificate and the Passport had to reflect the birth name. Since we are traveling out of the country, will there be a problem if my Passport is in my birth name and my airline documents are under my other name? Should I/can I have my passport changed to Margaret so that it matches all my legal documents?

Answer: You should contact the airline concerning the difference in the spelling of your name in your passport and with the airline.

You can apply for the name to be changed in your passport. The most effective way to do this is to first apply for a name change by court order. Then, submit the correct application form, the court order, a passport photo and payment to the address on the form.

You can apply for the name change without the court order but it requires you send multiple documents to establish the exclusive use of the name for more than five years. Frequently, Passport Services requests additional documents which leads to delays in the process.

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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