Changing your Name? Don’t Forget your US Passport!

Whether you have changed your name due to marriage, divorce, or a legal name change through a court, you will need to change all your current identification to reflect the name change. You will also need to change your US passport to reflect your name change. A US passport change name is very important since an outdated passport can make it difficult for you to travel or to reenter the US. If your US passport does not match your IS in name and does not have your current name on it, you could be denied entry into the US or into other countries.

If you have had your passport for less than a year, you can update your passport by filing US immigration Form DS-5504 (Application for a U.S. Passport: Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement). You can mail this completed form, your current US passport, a recent passport photo (if needed), and proof of your name change to the US department of state (the correct address will be on the most recent form of DS-5504. It is important to mail a certified or original copy of evidence of your name change. This proof can include a copy of a government document or a marriage certificate, showing the name change.

If you have legally changed your name but your current passport was issued more than a year ago, you will need to file Form DS-82 (Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail). You can also do this by mail, sending the completed US immigration form, your current US passport, the correct fees, and the certified or original copies of documentation that proves your name change. You will also need to send a recent color photograph that meets the criteria outlined for passport photos.

If you cannot prove your name change with documentation or if you are younger than 16 years old and your passport was issued more than a year ago, the process for a US passport change name is a little more complex. You will need to apply in person at an Acceptance Facility with your current US passport and a completed Form DS-11 (Application for a U.S. Passport). You will need to bring a passport photo as well as the appropriate fees as well as a minimum of three public records which show that you have used your current name for at least five years exclusively. Each of these records must show your place and date of birth as well.