Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

Name in passport does not match name on social security card or driver's license

by Carolyn
(New York, NY, USA)

Question: I have been married for 32 years and for that time have used my maiden name as my middle name, as I was given no middle name at birth. The social security office, my TX driver's license and the bank all recognize my full name.

However, when I moved to New York, they would not recognize my passport as a valid ID, since it only contains my first name and my married name,Carolyn Richards. It expires in 2011. How can I make sure I get all three names on my next passport? With heightened security measures, the airports now insist that names match exactly.

Answer: If you cannot legally document your name change (through court order or marriage), you must submit the following in person at an Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency:

- Your current, valid U.S. passport

- A completed Form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport

- Applicable fees

- Two recent, color photographs

- At least 3 public records showing your date and place of birth that show exclusive use of your assumed name for at least 5 years.

Click here to read or post comments

Return to Passport Name FAQ.

Can I travel overseas if my drivers license name and passport name don't match?

by Dawn
(Dallas, TX)

Question: I will be traveling to Europe in April and I recently realized that my drivers license has my married (but now ex) name on it, and my passport has my maiden (current name) on it. Will I be able to travel overseas if the names don't match exactly?

Answer: It depends. As long as the name on your passport and ticket match, there should be no problem. The only document you have to present when passing through customs is a valid passport.

Some countries require you to have at least six month's validity in your passport before they will grant you permission to enter. So, check you passport's expiration date.

The only problem might arise if you plan on renting a car while in Europe. Most car rental companies require you present your normal driver's license and passport.

Since your trip isn't until April, you might consider changing the name in your driver's license. The fee is only $10 for residents of Texas.

Click here to read or post comments

Return to Passport Name FAQ.

Passport name does not match driver's license nor airline ticket name. Can I still travel?

by Lorna
(Lake Lotawana, MO, USA)

Question: I am leaving for vacation to Cancun in 2 days and just realized that my driver's license and airline ticket have my maiden name and my passport has my name from my previous marriage. Will this cause a problem? Is there anything I can do to fix this in time for my trip if it is a problem?

Answer: The Transportation Security Administration website states, "Small differences between the passenger's ID the passenger's reservation information, and the boarding pass (such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, hyphens or apostrophes) should not cause a problem for the passenger."

The problem is that a different last name may not be considered a small difference.

I recommend that you contact the airline you will use and explain the situation to them. They are the ones that will examine your documents and determine whether you are allowed to board or not. Each airline has different procedures concerning the phasing in of the Secure Flight Program. If they inform you that the issue must be corrected, ask them to recommend solutions.

I hope that the airline will provide you with an adequate solution because it is too late to have the name changed in your passport before your departure date.

Click here to read or post comments

Return to Passport Name FAQ.

Click for fast expedited courier service

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering extremely limited in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 72 hours. Those with qualified life-or-death emergencies are prioritized.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 business days).

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 AM to 5PM, call ET 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, 202-647-4000

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Getting a Passport Expedited at a Post Office
Requesting express service at post offices and other facilities that accept application forms from U.S. citizens.

Applying at a Regional Passport Agency
Where processing centers are located. How to schedule an appointment. What documents to take with you.

Using a Registered Courier Service
How to pick a legitimate courier service company to assist in getting your passport quickly.

Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
Guide to help you decide if standard or fast track processing is the best option for your situation.

10 Benefits of Expediters
What are the advantages of employing the services a qualified expediter?

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.

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

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

Travel Warnings
The latest alerts to help you prepare for a safe and secure trip abroad.

Travel Documents
List of the most important travel documents and information about how and where to get them.

Travel Safety
Discover practical advice on how to keep safe during international trips.

23 International Travel Tips to Save Money on Transportation, Lodging & More
Cool ways to make your money stretch farther on travel expenses so that you can go more often and stay longer.

Expedite Your Passport Now!