Name Change After Marriage

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Wed Jan 17 2018

Congratulations on your wedding. Now it’s time to get your travel documents up to date. Though there’s not much of a difference in processing time between applying for a name change on your US passport and getting it renewed, the application may still take up to several weeks through the mail, or days in person if you’re lucky. Regional passport offices can accept expedited applications with proof of immediate travel. If you’re looking to avoid the complications of this paperwork and get your passport name change processed in the time you decide, going through a third party agency like Travel Visa Pro will make it happen. Do not forget to check out our passport name change service here.

Why change names on your passport after marriage?

If you have had enough time following the ceremony to update your state-issued ID with your new surname, 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. Your birth certificate is still acceptable as proof of citizenship with your maiden name for first-time passport applicants.

Why would you need your name changed on your passport in the first place? If you’re keeping your respective names, obviously you don’t. However, couples who get married may both need to change their surnames to hyphenated ones, or one party may wish to change their maiden name. Like any other passport application, changing your name requires specific forms from the US Department of State and the method for applying depends on a few factors.

Application process for passport name change after marriage

First-time applications have an easier time changing their name on their passport after getting married. Filling out Form DS-11 and providing a passport-sized photo, proof of citizenship, a photo ID (this does need your “new” name), and the appropriate fees is all that’s required. However, if your name has changed for any reason other than marriage you should include any legal documents certifying the change.

Passport renewal applicants have a little wiggle room when it comes to processing a name change after marriage. If you hold a valid US passport that has not been expired for more than five years, the date when you applied can determine the application process for your renewal and name change. Those recently married who renewed a passport or received their first one within the last year should use Form DS-5504, sending in a photo, proof of the name change (marriage certificate, ID), and their original passport. In this case, there are no additional fees unless you’re applying in person.

If your current passport was issued more than a year ago and you need a name change due to your recent nuptials, you may qualify to use Form DS-82 to renew your passport book with the updated name. There are some restrictions if this is the case: your passport cannot be damaged beyond recognition; it had to have been issued after the age of sixteen; and it can not have been expired for more than five years. If this applies to you and you can provide proof of the name change with a court order or marriage license, then a passport renewal can be processed by mail.

In the case of a long expired passport or one missing or stolen, all applicants seeking a name change must make an appointment at a regional passport agency and apply using Form DS-11.

The cost for changing names on your passport after marriage

The costs for applying for a passport name change are, unfortunately, equal to those for standard applications and renewals: $80 for children and $110 for adults. If your passport has been lost or stolen and you have no choice but to apply for a name change application in person, a $25 execution fee is also required. However, as stated, those who applied for a new passport or renewed one within the past year are not required to pay any additional fees for renewals by mail.

Because many newlyweds may not have the free time to spend it waiting for an appointment at a regional passport agency or for their renewal to be returned in the mail, Travel Visa Pro has teams of travel experts ready to assist.