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Name on my birth certificate is different from my current name

by Tom
(Green River, Wyo USA)

Question: I am trying to plan a trip to Ukraine for the first week of December. I need to get my passport to go. I do not have my birth certificate and am currently on the process of obtaining it. The trouble is that the last name on it is different from my current name. When I was 7 years old, my mother left me with my stepfather. My name at that time was different and he just had me start using his last name. He is dead now. There is no documentation of a name change. My social is in my current name. Also, my drivers license is expired because I need a birth certificate to change it. I moved from California to Wyoming. This is honestly a true story and I am not a crook. :) You look like you know what you are doing, can you tell me how hard it would be to get me a passport? I just decided to go on this trip; not just waiting until the last minute. I am just now applying for a new one.

Answer: You must apply for a passport in your legal name. There are a couple of options. The first, and probably most effective, is to apply for a court order name change. The Wyoming Code of Civil Procedure states,

Every person desiring to change his name may petition the district court of the county of the petitioner's residence for the desired change. The petition shall be verified by affidavit setting forth the petitioner's full name, the name desired, a concise statement of the reason for the desired change, the place of his birth, his place of residence and the length
of time he has been an actual bona fide resident of the county in which the petition is filed. If the court is satisfied that the desired change is proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person, it shall order the change to be made, and record the proceedings in the records of the court.

However, one of the requirements is that you be a bona fide resident of the county in which you are making the petition for a period of at least two (2) years. Since you mentioned the fact that you moved from California to Wyoming, you may not meet this requierment.

The second option, which is much more difficult due to the increase in identity theft and terrorism, is to request the name change based on use. Basically, you must prove exclusive use of the name for a period of at least five (5) years. If you choose this method, you should submit as many documents as possible which prove the exclusive use of the name. The State Department only requires 3 public records but it is difficult to say whether or not they will accept the ones you send and not request more. To avoid this, I recommend you send more.

Early public records should show your name, date of birth, place of birth, and preferably be created within the first five years of your life. Examples of early public records are:

* Baptismal certificate
* Hospital birth certificate
* Census record
* Early school record
* Family bible record
* Doctor's record of post-natal care

Visit the web page below and click the links for U.S. citizenship and identification documents to get more information.

New Passport Requirements

Comments for Name on my birth certificate is different from my current name

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More information required
by: Anonymous

Question: I have applied for my passport but was asked to provide more information. My birth certificate has a different last name than the last name I have used all my life. I was born in 1985 and my mother married in 1986 and I took my new dad's name and have always used it.

Nothing was ever legally changed, I now have to provide documents to show I have been using this name since 1986. I'm not sure what documents to provide. I have already provided my social security, birth certificate, and driver's license. I need help with what other paperwork would work to prove I don't use the name on my birth certificate and I exclusively use my current name.

Answer: You may send mortgage records, tax records, old school records, and other verifiable documents bearing your name.

One of my middle on BC is different from my current name
by: Anonymous

Question: My birth certificate carries two middle names but one of the middle names was replaced with a new name when I was 5 years old. I have been using that name in all my IDs/school info since then. For example, this is what I have on my Birth certificate Mary Anne Adams but my passport and other IDs/school info carry Mary Anne Jones. What do I need to do to prove I am the same person that bears the same name. Thank you.

Answer: A court-ordered name change is your best course of action. If this is not possible, your IDs and school records should be able to prove you are the same person as long as the other details match.

by: Anonymous

Question: I need to get a birth certificate for a passport. Do I use my maiden name or my current married name?

Answer: Please use your birth name to acquire a copy of your birth certificate.

Name change?
by: Reef

Question: I am applying for a passport. I had a situation about 15 years ago where I found out my name was never legally on my birth certificate. So I had no legal first name even though I have been using Sharif since birth.

I eventually had to prove this was my name and got it on my birth certificate. I was rejected for a passport about 3 years ago and they didn't tell me why. Just more information they needed. I lost the paper with the info of what they needed.

So now I am trying to apply again. Do you believe it's because of my birth certificate? Do I need more information to prove it is my name? My birth certificate has my name legally on it now but I assume because it was added on about 15 years ago it is the problem. What do you suggest?

Answer: If you had the name legally entered in your birth certificate, it must not have been the issue. It is possible that you were unable to provide sufficient identification documents hence the denial.

When you submit your application, make sure to submit your long-form U.S. birth certificate and a government-issued ID (preferably your valid driver's license) bearing the name that you entered in the application form.

Name change when I was an infant
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi, When I was about a year old, my aunt had my name changed to my biological father's name which is Nails. On my birth certificate, it still has my mother's married name which is Aldridge.

My mother never got my birth certificate updated after the legal change. In my teen years, I still had the legal documentation of the name change which allowed me to get my driver's license & SS card changed to my current name Nails.

But now after years, the court document has been lost & I really need a passport. It’s been over 42 years since this document was issued & no one seems to know how I can go about pulling that court order because it’s been so long.

I live in Illinois & have already gone to my local courthouse where they issue new birth certificates, they couldn’t help. I really don’t know where to turn with this issue.

Answer: If your identification documents have Nails on it, the passport will likely be issued in that name. Just be prepared to present more IDs/documents bearing that name in case passport services require it.

My name change is legal but I don't want to change my birth certificate
by: Anonymous

Question: I've legally changed my name, but I didn't want to change my birth certificate as my current name is not my birth name. Do I have to change my birth certificate or can I just show my birth certificate and the court order of name change?

Answer: If you already have an existing passport, you may just send proof of the legal name change. If you're submitting a new application, your citizenship document (birth certificate) and/or ID should support the name you enter in the application. If there is a discrepancy, they may require the name change document as well.

My last name is different from my birth certificate
by: Anonymous

Question: I just discovered my last name is different from my birth certificate. I moved to another state and when I had to submit my birth certificate to get my new license the name was different on the birth certificate when I received it. What process do I need to go through to keep the name that I've been knowing all my life. I would like to keep the name that I have that's been on my documents I've been using, for instance my Social Security my license and also medical information. The Only Name I've ever known.

Answer: You may apply for a court ordered name change to make your current name legal.

Different name on birth certificate.
by: Someone

Question: My name at birth was G. Ann T. Many years ago (I am now 79 years old), I began going by a nickname, J. That name is on my DL, SSN, University Diploma, letters I've kept, rental agreements, et cetera. If I apply for Name ID for use (of way over 50 years), would that be sufficient?

Answer: Please contact the office you are applying an ID from regarding their requirements.

HS Name Change
by: Anonymous

Question: My mother remarried when I was in high school & somehow everything when I registered at my new HS moving forward is in my stepdad’s name. DL, SSN. I cant legally tie the two together. I’ve been married. Maiden name showed stepdads name.

Answer: The passport will be issued in the name you enter in the form as long as it is supported by the ID/s you present with the application. You may be asked to present more documents to prove your identity -- details of which like birth date and birth place must match that on your birth certificate.

Name is different on birth certificate
by: Barbara M

Question: I have been using the name Barbara M. through Elementary and High School. What can I do?

Answer: You need to present primary identification that bears the name that you are currently using. Passport services may also ask for more IDs in order to process your application for a passport.

Name swap
by: Anonymous

Question: Hello, when I got a VISA in 2011 my name was arranged like A (first name) W (middle name) S (last name). When I got my green card, my middle name was switched with my first name -- W (First name) and A ( middle)
S (last name). I am now a U.S. citizen and have kept the name (W.A.S) on my naturalization certificate. I have petitioned for my wife and I want to know if this current name arrangement will affect her visa interview since I know they have a copy of my previous visa and bio data. please I want to apply for a passport and I don't know if this change of the name will the affect my spouse abroad when I petition for her to join me.

Answer: Your new passport will be issued in the name you enter in your application as long as it is supported by your Naturalization Certificate or primary ID.

Please contact the USCIS regarding your concerns about petitioning your spouse.

Discrepancy in my birth certificate
by: Anonymous

Question: I've been using my name since elementary. When I started applying for a job, I found out that my name is different from my birth certificate. As an example instead of Amador G. Santos, the name in my birth certificate is Amador Vincent G. Santos. Is it better to continue using Amador G. Santos or should I request to delete the Vincent?

Answer: Both names should be okay as long as it is supported by your IDs or your birth certificate. In any case, the only difference is your second given name (Vincent).

by: Anonymous

Question: I've been divorced for years now but haven't changed my name so my SSN and ID match but my birth certificate has my maiden name. Will I be able to use the name I've been using which matches the ID and SS card for my passport?

Answer: Yes, you can use your current name for your application for a new passport.

Name change
by: Anonymous

Question: I changed my name when I applied for US citizen and got approved, now my name is Jenjen instead of Wargine. Should I be able to use my new name or my birth certificate name for my new passport? And what are the requirements for the new name change?

Answer: If the new name is listed in your Naturalization Certificate, there should be no problem. You should be able to use your new name when you apply for your new U.S. passport.

First name differs on birth certificate and id
by: Anonymous

Question: My mothers first name is Sherwin on her birth certificate, but she has used Sharon as her first name for years. How will she be able to apply for a passport?

Answer: Besides the application form and required documents for a new passport, you mother should submitt a letter of explanation and five secondary identification documents showing use of the name for more than 5 years.

maiden name on ssn. married on dl
by: Anonymous

Question: I got married almost 7 years ago. Never changed my ssn. My drivers licence says married name and birth certificate is maiden name. What do I need to do to get a passport?

Answer: You will not need to provide proof of the name change if your name has changed due to a marriage and you have already been issued an ID in your new name. You must include the details of the marriage in the applicable section on Form DS-11. You do not need to present your SS card. You only need to provide the number. For a complete list of requirements, click here.

I am going by a different name than the name on naturalized citizenship
by: Anonymous

Question: I am a naturalized US citizen and the name that appears on the citizenship certificate is different than the name I've been using since entering US in 1982. Only difference in the names are that I have my first and middle name switched. My SSCard and driver's license has the name I'm currently using. I have not petitioned to change my name through the court. I am applying for a passport and I want my current name to be on the passport. To my understanding I can use 3 documents in lieu of court order name change to use my current name to apply for a passport. Only documents I have that has my birth date and place of birth is my marriage certificate and my children's birth certificate. All the documents are over 5 years. Would these documents be sufficient and will these documents be returned to me? I only have one certified copies of each.

Answer: Only the Passport Agent who processes your passport application can determine if the documents are sufficient evidence of your name change.

We recommend you send more, if possible. The documentary evidence, which must show the acquired name and one other piece of identifying data, (such as date of birth, place of birth, age, or Social Security number), may include but are not limited to:

(1) Driver’s licenses or non-driver State-issued I.D.;
(2) Military records;
(3) Employment records;
(4) Tax records;
(5) School records;
(6) Census record;
(7) Hospital birth record; and
(8) Baptismal certificate.

If more documents are required, you will be notified by mail.

The documents will be returned to you.

Affidavits executed by two or more persons attesting that they have known you by both the birth and adopted name, and that you have used the adopted name for all purposes for at least five years, may be provided in place of one of the public documents.

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