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Is a passport name change required after marriage?

by Christina
(Odenton, MD, USA)

Question: I kept my maiden name when I got married. My passport still has my maiden name on it. Do I still need to update my passport with my new married name?

Passport says: Christina (Middle Name) (Maiden Name)
License says (new name): Christina (Maiden Name) (New Last Name)

Do I really need to go through all the fees and paperwork for this passport (it is going to expire this august anyway and I won't need it again) for one short trip to Mexico?

Answer: Yes, you do need to change the name in your passport if you plan to visit Mexico. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that went into effect in 2007 requires all American citizens who travel to Mexico to possess a valid passport in order to exit and re-enter the United States.

A valid passport is one that has your current, legal name in it. Although you kept your maiden name, it is no longer your last name. Your name did in fact change.

Since your passport will expire in August, you can apply for a renewal and include evidence of your name change. Your new passport will have your married name in it and be valid for 10 years.

For complete instructions, click the link below.

Apply to Renew Passport

It takes 4-6 weeks to renew a passport. You can get the application processed in 2-3 weeks if you request expedited service. There is an additional $60 fee.

If you do not have time to do this yourself, you can employ a private passport expediter to get your passport fast.

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