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Which name should I use on the passport application?

by Vicki
(Virginia)

Question: I need to travel to Canada for a conference. On the passport application, do I list the name on my drivers license (Vicki L.) or my birth certificate (Victoria Lynn)? I never go by the name on my birth certificate -- even my Social Security card name is Vicki L.


Along those lines, which name do I put on my plane ticket? I assume I will need to show both my passport and drivers license at the airport.

Answer: You can request either the name on your birth certificate or the one on your driver's license. The only requirements is that there be a link between the citizenship evidence (birth certificate), identifying documents (driver's license), your signature and the name requested on the application. Note, the processing agent has final say as to which name will be listed in your passport. As long as there is clear evidence of a link, there should be no problem with either name.

You do not need to show your driver's license at the airport but only your passport. The name on your ticket must match the name in your passport.

Comments for Which name should I use on the passport application?

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Passport application
by: Anonymous

Question: My name is Jaykumar. I used Jay instead of Jaykumar on my daughter's birth certificate. My all identification is in Jaykumar. So is that any problem when I apply for my daughter's passport?

Answer: It should not be an issue as long as all other details match.

Married last name
by: Anonymous

Question: Trying to figure out if my passport will be put on hold due to being married but never changing last name.

Answer: Your passport will not be "on hold". You may travel with your current passport as long as your tickets match the name on it.

I hope I'm okay
by: Anonymous

Question: I just filled out an application for my first passport. My driver's license has my legal name with my nickname signature. My application has my legal name and my legal name signature. I did list my nickname as other names used on application. I'm worried I will be denied because my driver license has a different signature.

Answer: It should not be an issue.

Driver's license and birth certificate don't match
by: Anonymous

Question: Hello, I just did my passport application for me and my daughter. Will it be a problem if my driver's license says Mary Magdalena instead of Maria Magdalena which is on my birth certificate?

Answer: It will not be an issue. The passport will be issued in the name you enter in the application as long as it is supported by either your birth certificate or driver's license.

Name on Birth Certificate is Misspelled
by: Jonathan

Question: My birth certificate has my name spelled as Jonathon, but everything else I have it is spelled, Jonathan. Which version should I use on on my passport application? Will this be an issue in obtaining my passport?

Answer: It should not be an issue. The passport will be issued in the name you enter on the application form. You may use Jonathan in your passport as long as your proof of identity matches that name.

Parent's Middle Name
by: Anonymous

Question: When listing parental information on the passport application, the last name states "at birth". However, my mother changed her middle name when she got married to her birth last name. Should I list her name in the first/middle box as her birth first/middle, or her current first/middle name?

Answer: Please enter your parents' names as they appear on your birth certificate.

What name to use on child’s application?
by: Anonymous

Question: I am filling out an application for my child. My name at birth (and still on my birth certificate) is different than what is listed as my name on my child’s birth certificate and all of my identification, as I legally changed my full name before he was born. Do I enter what matches my own birth certificate or what matches as the listed parent on my child’s birth certificate?

Answer: Please enter your name as it appears on the child's birth certificate and your government-issued ID.

Jr
by: Anonymous

Question: My dad has died since I got passport. I need to renew and my licence and birth certificate which both say Jr. I understand since he had passed I am no longer a junior and no longer use the junior. How do I list it on renewed passport?

Answer: You may drop the Jr. on your new passport. There should be no special documents required but we recommend that you include statement explaining why you are dropping the suffix from your name.

Passport name
by: Anonymous

Question: I just received my passport and notice that it has my first name middle initial J and then my middle name then last name. Not sure how this happened. Is this okay or will I have to resubmit for corrections? It says J Jamell which the J would be for Jamell.

Answer: The initial should not pose a serious issue when you travel. You may submit it for correction without paying for anything.

Please prepare the following:

1. Form DS-5504
2. The passport with the error
3. A signed statement explaining the error
4. Proof of the correct data (birth certificate)

Please send the requirements to the address printed on the form.

Spelling of name
by: Anonymous

Question: I always spell my name Yasniry but my birth certificate has Jasniry. Will there be a problem getting my passport? All my paper work has my name spelled with a Y and not a J.

Answer: Hi, Yasniry. Your passport will be issued in the name you enter in the application form as long as it is supported by either your citizenship evidence or proof of identity.

Different signature
by: Anonymous

Question: The name in my passport is exactly the same as my driver’s license, but I signed my driver’s without my middle initial. Will that be a problem? My airline ticket and passport names are exactly the same.

Answer: There should not be any issue and you will most likely be only asked to present your passport when you travel.

Minors passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My son has a different last name than mine -- he has his mother's maiden last name. The mother and I are on the birth certificate. She was married and divorced but has not yet changed to her maiden name. Does she need to bring proof of name change, or just her driver's license?

Answer: The mother needs to present documents that provide a link to the name she has on her primary ID and the name on the child's birth certificate.

Deployment
by: Maureen

Question: Hello, my son is deployed in Afghanistan, his passport will expire in just a few weeks, he and his wife (she is also deployed at this time) want to take a cruise when they get home. My question is, will it take longer to get a new passport if his current one has expired or will he still be able to get a new one within a week or so when he gets home? Thank you?

Answer: Hi! If your son applies for a new passport or renews his passport at a regional passport agency, he will get his passport in 1 to 8 business days.

Aside from the renewal requirements, he needs to present proof of immediate international travel in 2 weeks (or less) in order to be entertained at the regional agency. You may schedule an appointment for him here.

Irish passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My birth certificate says Philip but I'm known and called by my second name and this is the name on my driver's license. I'm applying for my first Irish passport and wondering what name to put on the application form.

Answer: Please visit the Irish Citizen's Information Board's website for instructions on how to obtain your Irish passport.

Two questions
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi. My wife and I are applying for passport for the first time.
Question 1:I'm named after my dad but my birth certificate doesn't say I am the II but my drivers license does. The birth certificate list his and my name as the exact same though they've always said I was the II.

Question 2: My wifes dad was born in the 1940s in the hills of Kentucky. His last name on everything is Ritchie except for his birth certificate says Richie.
My wifes birth certificate list his name correctly as Ritchie.

Will either of these cause a problem in my application? I'm filling out the DS-11 now.
Thank you!

Answer:1. The passport will be issued in the name you enter in Form DS-11 as long as it is supported by either your birth certificate or identification document.

2. The slight difference in last names should not cause any issue.

Legal name
by: Anonymous

Question: I applied for my first passport with my shortened first name "Brad". My given name on my birth certificate and driver's license is "Bradley". When my passport expired I renewed it as "Bradley", but it still came back with "Brad". I am traveling internationally in 2 months and my airline ticket says "Bradley". Will this cause an issue?

Answer: Since the name on your passport is a derivative of the name on your tickets, you may not encounter any issues. We recommend that you contact the airline to confirm.

Middle Name
by: Kim

Question: My passport has my first name middle name and my last name. On my international trip I did not add my middle name to my ticket. Is this acceptable?

Answer: Yes, it is acceptable.

Can I use a short first name and avoid the middle name?
by: Anonymous

Question: I need to apply for my child's passport and I want to use his short first name Max (it's Maxim in the birth certificate) and avoid the middle name (even though there's one in the birth certificate). Is it possible to apply for the passport using the short name? And do I need to state the full birth certificate name somewhere?

Answer: This case may be especially complicated because you are applying for a minor's passport. The easiest way to use a different name from the one that appears in the birth certificate is to present a court order for the name change.

If you cannot submit a court order, at least 3 public records showing the child's date and place of birth that show exclusive use of the assumed name for at least 5 years are required. If the child is younger than 5 years, you cannot go this route.

What name is my official legal name?
by: Anonymous

Question: My drivers license, my social security card, my house deed, my work ID and taxes have my married last name. My birth certificate, my Citizenship certificate, and my passport have my maiden name. I was married and have been divorced over ten years now. What name should I apply to renew my passport? Do I need to do an official court name change in order to make sure my will does take effect when the time comes?

Answer: Please enter the name on the application form that you would like to be printed in your new passport. This can be your married name if you continue to use it and prefer that or it can be your maiden name. If you request your maiden name, no additional documents are required. If you prefer to have the passport issued in your married name, you must submit evidence of the legal name change since your previously-issued passport has your maiden name in it. In the case of the latter, you need to submit your marriage certificate.

Birth name that is no longer legal, or current name?
by: Anonymous

Question: Filling out passport application for my kids. It's asking for mother's birth name.

I have a situation where I was born with a different last name, but at 5 my name was legally changed. So, my birth name is NOT what matches my birth certificate, social security card, etc. Do I put my legal name to reflect my supporting documentation.

Which name do I put?

Answer: Please enter name at birth as requested by the passport application. You may need to submit evidence of the legal name change.

Birth name or Adopted name
by: Anonymous

Question: I am 63 years old. I was adopted when I was 11. My birth certificate shows my adopted name. On page one, line 9 of the application form, it asks to list all other names you have used. Do I give my birth name here? On page two, line 10, do I put my birth parents or adoptive parents names. Who's name do I fill in the next section that ask the Last Name (at parents birth). Again, my name, birth parents, or adoptive parents. Also, if it's the adoptive parents, I may not know their place of birth. Would only the 'State' be sufficient?

Answer: Please call 1-877-487-2778 to speak with a customer service representative who should be able to answer your questions. We recommend you also discuss evidence of U.S. citizenship. Since your birth certificate has your adopted name on it, it must have been issued more than a year after your birth. Because of this, additional evidence of citizenship may be required.

Birth name or Adopted name
by: Anonymous

Question: I was adopted when I was about 10 years old. My birth certificate shows my adopted name on it. Where it ask if I've ever been known by any other name, how do I reply? Also where it ask for name at birth, do I give my birth name or adopted name? My son is also applying for a passport with those questions. How do I respond?

Answer: You should answer both questions with your birth name.

middle name different on documents
by: Anonymous

Question: I got married and my middle name on my drivers license and social security card are the same however on my naturalization it was the old middle name. I am trying to apply for the passport. What should I do?

Answer: Enter the name on your passport application that is your current legal name. Present your Certificate of Naturalization and valid driver's license. While evidence of legal name change is usually not required when applying for a first-time passport, it might be requested. Therefore, we recommend you include the name change document with your application.

passport name
by: Anonymous

Question: My passport has my married last name on it. My permanent resident card has my maiden name. My social security also has my madien name. Legally, my last name is my married name. What do I do? Help me, please.

Answer: Please contact the Social Security Administration and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request to change the name on your documents.

name
by: Anonymous

Question: If I use only the legal middle name as the last name, will it be a problem later on?

Answer: The passport generally is issued in the name shown on the evidence of citizenship and identity. You must present public documents, including acceptable identity documents,
reflecting the use of the name. The Acceptance Agent must determine the name that will be in your passport based on the documents you present.

Last Name at Birth, Adopted Name or Married
by: Anonymous

Question: I was adopted by my grandparents when I was very young and have used their last name since then, but it was never legally changed on my birth certificate or by court order. When I apply for a passport, can I just bring my birth certificate with my original last name, my current Driver's License which has my adopted last name, and documentation to show I have been using that name for at least 5 years? Or will I need to have the name changed by court order? Further, if I marry before applying for a passport, would the marriage certificate be helpful in this situation at all or make it more complicated?

Answer: You must present an acceptable identification reflecting the acquired name and original or certified copies of three or more public documents evidencing that you have used the acquired name for five years or longer. 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.

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. While this is only "required" if you cannot obtain a third public record, we recommend you include the affidavits in order to avoid delays.

Whether you submit your marriage certificate or not should not make much of a difference. Note, it can take up to six weeks or more for the official marriage certificate to be issued. You will have to apply for a passport in your current legal name if you will need a passport before then.

Renewing my passport with my legal name
by: Anonymous

Question: I am trying to renew my passport but when I got my original 11 years ago I used my name I go by (Andy) and not my legal name that's on my birth certificate and Drivers Liscense (Andrew). Now that I am trying to renew it and use Andrew so it matches my ID I am being asked to show proof of name change in which I do not have. What do I do in this situation? Do I have to go through the courts for a legal name change? I am leaving for a wedding in 6 weeks and worried about getting this taken care of in time. In hindsight I wish I would have used Andrew to begin with but I'm stuck with that mistake now I just need to figure out the most practical way to fix it.

Answer: We recommend you call 1-877-487-2778 and request to speak with a supervisor. Explain the situation and ask if the application can be processed without the need for more documents since Andrew is on your birth certificate and Andy is a common derivative. If the supervisor insists that you send an official document, ask if your birth certificate and a copy of your driver's license will suffice.

Problems for having more than one last name
by: Anonymous

Question: In my passport and license I have my two last names (father's and mother's maiden name) while on my birth certificate I only have my father's last name. Will that bring me problems if I plan to travel?

Answer: Since your passport was issued with both last names, it should not be a problem. We recommend you book flights in the same name that is in your passport.

Which Name To Use in Passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My father (born in the USA) was given an Italian first name - Giovanni which is on his birth certificate. Giovanni translates to John which when joining the military, they decided to use John on everything NOT his birth name. It was never legally changed to John, yet his social security number, bank accounts, license...etc is all under the name John. What name will his passport be under? If he has to submit his birth certificate, what other ID will he need if it all says John?

Answer: Each situation is different. It is difficult to say exactly what will be required because agents vary with thier verification process.

We recommend your father present additional identification documentation showing exclusive use of the name John for 5 years or more. Usually, at least 5 documents are requested.

We also suggest he invite an identifying witness.

Finally, he should submit a letter explaining his name change and a notarized affidavit by someone who has known him for over 10 years to verify the use of the name.

An alternative would be for him to apply for a court order name change and submit that document when it arrives.

For more information, visit Identification Documents for Passports

What if I legally only have one name?
by: Anonymous

Question: Does anyone know what happens in this situation? On my birth certificate and drivers license I only have one name (hippy parents). I need to purchase tickets but I don't know how my name will be on my passport (still processing). Any ideas? Will it be Dan Unknown?

Answer: You should not purchase tickets until your passport arrives since you will also need the passport number. Passports are usually issued in the name requested on the applications. One word names, if accepted, are entered as the last name. You can check the status of your passport application online.

AT LAST -- An answer that fits my situation
by: Anonymous

After much searching on internet, finally I found a situation, same as mine! Thank you for the FAQ section!!! There is so many different situations and new rules, these days, we are all going in circles, trying to apply for Passports!! Thanks, again

Which name do I use on Passport?
by: Vera

Question: What kind of link is necessary?

Answer: Links between names are established through the presentation of legal documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption decree and court order.

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