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Name Change with Unusual Circumstances

by Raymond
(Martinsville, VA)

Question: My birth certificate has my name as Raymond Lastname, Jr. Years later, after talking with my parents, I found out I was actually the third Raymond Lastname, so I have been using Raymond Lastname III ever since. Who knows why they put junior?

My driver's license, credit cards, financial contracts, tax forms, literally every other legal and financial document in my name has it at the III, not Jr. except my passport.

My current passport expires in June. It has my name as Raymond Lastname, Jr. I want to get it changed to Raymond Lastname III. What is the simplest, most direct way to effect this change?

Answer: The most effective way and one that eliminates complications in any other process is to submit an application for a legal name change. The process is quite simple.

1. Complete Application for Change of Name: Form CC-1411 and have it notarized.
2. File the application in the circuit court where you reside and pay the fee.
3. Appear at hearing to testify before a judge concerning the reason for the request.

You should request a certified copy of the legal name change court order at the time of approval so that you can send it in with your passport application.

If you do not want to go through this legal process, you can try requesting the name change when you apply for a renewal. Complete the appropriate application and include the required documents. To prove the name change, you should submit public records that show exclusive use of the desired name for at least 5 years. Note, using this method is often wrought with delays and requests for additional documents.

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Name Suffix
by: Anonymous

Question: My original birth certificate has 'II' as my name suffix. My first passport also has "II". I have been using "Jr." on every legal form for the last 40 years or so, except my passport. In the last 3 months, I've legally changed my surname to "Jr." Do I have to change my surname on my passport to "Jr." also?

Answer: It is ideal that your passport bear your current legal name. However, it is not absolutely necessary to change the name on your passport since "II" and "Jr" are synonymous.

Name change
by: Anonymous

Question: I applied for my first passport and sent in a court order for a name change with the application and haven’t heard back. It’s been 2 months. I’m worried. Is this normal?

Answer: It usually takes about 2 weeks from the day you apply until your application status is "In Process." During these 2 weeks, your application is delivered to a mail facility, your payment is processed, and your application is scanned and sent to the processing center. If your passport status update says "Not Available," your application and supporting documents are safely on their way to the center.

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Two months is not normal but it can happen. Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 regarding the issue.

Need to change passport to align with name on birth certificate
by: Anonymous

Question: I have an unusual situation. All my legal documents: passport, driver's license, marriage cert, etc. all use a specific spelling of my first and middle name; however, my birth certificate has a different spelling of both my first and middle names. I'm in the middle of some legal paperwork where the name on my passport must match my birth certificate.

What is the best way to deal with this issue? Can I renew the passport using the name on my birth certificate or do I have to go through the circuit court to make a name change?

Answer: You may go to court for a legal name change. Alternatively, you may submit a new application for a passport (as if it's your first time applying) and submit your birth certificate plus ID/s that bears the same name as in your birth certificate.

Current passport has wrong first name
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi! Every piece of legal identification has my correct name Bekah, but my current passport has the incorrect one (Rebekah).

My birth certificate has Bekah on it as well. To change my name for my next passport am I able to use my birth certificate as a supporting document and use form DS-11?

Answer: If your passport is still valid, you may apply for a correction to have Bekah printed on it. You can submit your birth certificate (original or certified copy) as proof of the correct data.

The correction will be processed at no cost to you but the new passport will be issued with the original passport's (with error) expiration date. If the passport was issued less than a year ago, it will be issued with full 10 years validity.

by: Anonymous

Question: In case if he gets a new passport will his current visa be no longer valid?

Answer: Not necessarily. The visa will remain valid. You will need to contact the issuing embassy of the visa if they can transfer it to the new passport. Alternatively, you may travel with both new passport and the old one containing the valid visa.

by: Anonymous

Question: Am I allowed to apply for a first-time passport even if I already have one? They can clearly see that. I thought I can fill out DS-5504 in my case for correction.

Answer: Since there is no error in your current passport and you cannot provide proof of legal name change, you cannot use Form DS-5504.

Once your new application is received, the one you possess will automatically be invalidated and can no longer be used for travel.

Add the second middle name
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi! I have two middle names Frederic Marie on my birth certificate that I just obtained. However, my driver's license and my SSC have only one middle name Marie but my passport has only Frederic. How can I add the second middle name to my passport that is valid for another 5 years? I need to change my passport first and later on my driver's license so they all match.

Answer: You need to submit a new application as if it's your first passport. The new passport will be issued in the name you enter in the application form as long as it is supported by either your birth certificate or ID.

Spelling of first name
by: LD

Question: I want to apply for a passport. On my birth certificate, my first name is listed as Linda spelled with an (i). Fifty years ago, I decided to spell Linda using a (y Lynda) as a personal preference. Will I have trouble getting a passport with this spelling difference? All other legal documents have Lynda.

Answer: Since the names are very common derivatives of each other, it should not be an issue when you apply for a passport.

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Change Name
by: JS

Question: I renewed my passport this year. Went to Social Security Office to change my name to match my Passport, SS told me my name is what is on my "birth certificate" not my passport.
Which form do I fill out to change my name, since I just renewed my passport? Will I have to send my original birth certificate for proof? How much will it cost? Please advise. Thank you so much.

Answer: Since it has not been a year since issuance, you may have the name change at no cost. Please complete Form DS-5504 and mail it with your passport, birth certificate, a statement explaining why the name change is needed and if it has been over 90 days since issuance, a new passport photo.

Please note that due to COVID-19, passport services is extremely limited and processing/mailing will be significantly delayed. We strongly recommend waiting until services normalize before sending out your application.

Current Passport has incorrect first and middle name
by: Anonymous

Question: In preparing for REAL ID the copy of my birth certificate has Olivia Grace Lastname. But my passport has Grace Olivia Lastname. This happened because I used my driver's license name when I applied for the passport years ago. How do I go about correcting my passport name?

Answer: The easiest, most uncomplicated way to do this is to submit a new passport application.

Hyphenated name problem
by: Anonymous

Question: When I got married, our marriage license has my maiden name as my middle name, husband's name as last name. For more than 30 years, I've used a hyphenated version instead, including on my social security card and driver's license. My passport is unhyphenated. How can I change my passport to the hyphenated version without going to court?

Answer: You can apply for a renewal and include the hyphen when you complete the application.

Switching first and middle names
by: Anonymous

Question: I would like to switch my first and middle names to match my drivers license and credit cards. So my first names becomes Fred and my middle name Chuck instead of the other way around. How can I do it?

Answer: You need to have a court ordered name change.

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