Can I use my passport with my maiden name?

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Fri Dec 28 2018

After you get married, do you need to update your personal documents, like your passport and driver’s license? Obviously both parties have the choice whether or not to legally take the other’s name, but if you choose to do so, what becomes of your old passport book or card?


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Using a US passport with your maiden name

The issue with traveling internationally isn’t necessarily the fact that you have a valid passport with invalid information (i.e. your maiden name), but rather that you would knowingly enter an incorrect name on your airline, bus, or cruise reservation and then travel with a document not reflecting this change. If you’re planning to drive across the border to Canada or Mexico, or otherwise take a form of transportation that does not require you to enter your current legal name, then using a passport with your maiden name should not be a problem.

However, this does not apply to travel by air. The TSA requires that the name on your ticket – your current legal name – match the one in your passport.

How to change your passport to reflect your current name

When your name change occurred is critical information when it comes time to update your passport. If you have gotten married in the last year, then you can send your passport book or card along with your marriage certificate and a new photo through the mail with Form DS-5504 to request a name change for no additional charge. Both standard and expedited processing are available for this service.

However, if your passport had been issued for at least a year prior to your nuptials, you’ll most likely have to apply for a name change using Form DS-82. The process is the same as applying for a standard renewal for a ten-year passport book or card, with one exception: you must provide proof of the name change with a court order or marriage license. As long as you can send in your most recent US passport issued as an adult and it is undamaged and has not been expired for more than five years, then Form DS-82 is acceptable to change your maiden name.

For other situations like passports that have been lost or stolen and passports expired for more than five years, all applicants must go through the process of applying for a “new” passport using Form DS-11. This requires them to apply in person at a regional passport office or entrust their application to a third-party agency like Travel Visa Pro.

Fees for changing the maiden name on your passport

As long as your passport was issued less than one year ago and you apply to change the name on your passport using Form DS-5504, there is no additional charge, save postage. However, for passports issued more than a year ago, standard fees apply: $110 for adults. There will also be a $35 execution fee should you want to apply in person at a regional passport office.

Court orders or marriage certificates for updating your passport

If you have had enough time following your union to update your state-issued ID with your new legal name, then you don’t need to provide anything more than this ID and an explanation as to why your name has changed by providing the date of marriage and your maiden name. However, it never hurts to have a copy of your marriage certificate handy when renewing your passport.

How long does it take to change the maiden name on my passport?

There’s no major difference in processing time between changing the maiden name on your US passport and getting it renewed. Applying by mail may take up to several weeks, or days if you’re lucky. Those applying in person at a regional passport office can pay for expedited service and provide proof of immediate travel.

When it comes to updating your passport, getting a new one, or needing help with a visa, going through a third party agency like Travel Visa Pro can help cut down on any processing time.

Do you currently need to update your passport? Come by one of our offices!