This is a privately owned website and not a government agency. Click to learn more.

Is name change in passport after marriage required or suggested?

by Elane
(PA, USA)

Question: After I get married and change my name, is a new passport "required" or just suggested? Also, if an updated passport is required to go to another country, then shouldn't it just be $20, or is there a "government processing fee" attached to that?


Thanks for your help.

Answer: The short answer is that it depends. Some countries will accept your current passport with your name prior to marriage IF accompanied with a marriage certificate. Other countries require the name in your passport match that on your plane ticket or any other document they might request (e.g., driver's license).

Keeping the current name in your passport would necessitate two things. One, you would need to contact the consular section of every country you intend to visit to ask concerning this issue and, two, you would possibly have to take your marriage certificate with you each time you travel.

The only way to avoid this is to change the name in your passport. If your passport was issued less than a year ago, there is no fee for this service (unless you request expedited service). If your passport was issued more than a year ago, you will have to apply for a passport renewal and pay the appropriate fee.

For complete details, visit the following web page.

Passport Name Change

Comments for Is name change in passport after marriage required or suggested?

Click here to add your own comments

Passport
by: Nicol

Question: Hello. My daughter sent off for a new passport with her married name and when she got it, it still had her maiden name on it. So then she went to DC AND THEY MADE HER PAY ANOTHER 170.00 dollars for their mistake. Who can I talk to?

Answer: Passport corrections are processed free of charge. You may file a formal complaint through the National Passport Information Center.

Passport and visa
by: Jay

Question: Please, I need help. My wife (American citizen) and I (Nigerian citizen) got married in Nigeria late last year. Since she went back to the U.S., she has changed her maiden on her ID and now she wants to visit me again because her visa is valid for 2 years. Do we need to re-do her passport because of her name change and if "yes" what happens to the Nigerian visa?

Answer: Your wife may continue to use her passport until it expires. Her ID and passport do not necessarily have to match but her passport and airline tickets do.

Renewal
by: Andrea David

Question: My husband and I were married in California on November 26, 2016 and immediately returned to Florida where we live. We planned our honeymoon to Spain in January of 2017. Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months beyond the completion of a trip. Since my passport was going to expire sooner than that it was advised that I renew it prior to our travels. I had my passport renewed on December 29, 2016 and paid the fee. I had no way of renewing my passport with my new name because I had not yet been issued my certificate of marriage. I live in a different state then where my marriage took place. I had no way to submit a proof of name change. We didn’t receive our marriage certificate until February, 2017, after returning from our honeymoon. On our marriage certificate there is an issue date of February, 2017.

I received a letter in the mail from the department of state, with my marriage certificate and a DS-82 application, telling me to reapply for a new passport and pay another fee. When I called the National Passport Information Center, they advised me to reapply with a DS-11 application and pay another fee. It has been less than a year since I renewed my passport. I attempted to renew December, 2016 and paid the fee. I don’t understand why I should have to pay another fee? At this point, I don’t understand how I am supposed to move forward since I have been given conflicting instruction from the Department of State and the National Passport Information Center. I would really appreciate any help with my situation.

Answer: Since it has been less than a year since your current passport was issued, there should be no feewhen you apply for a name change unless you request expedited service.

The correct form to submit is Form DS-5504; mail it with the following to the address on the form:

1. Current passport
2. New passport photo
3. Original or certified copy of marriage certificate

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Passport Name Change FAQ.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Emergency Passport Renewal
How to get an emergency passport renewal in the U.S. or abroad. Discover the steps to renew your passport the same day.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Make Your Own Passport Photos
Use the online Passport Photo Wizard tool to make your own passport photos in minutes. Save money and time.

Passport Renewal Videos
Watch step-by-step instructional passport videos of how to renew a passport in 3 steps.