Key Factors on How to change my name on my Passport

3 years


Passports must represent the lawful and correct name of the passport holder, whether due to marriage, divorce, adoption, or some other legal purpose. The passport holder could encounter delays or detention at border crossings if the passport name does not match any other identity or name on flight tickets. It is, therefore, very essential that the name on the passport be changed to reflect the change in name.

The applicant must have official title change documents, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decision, in order to change the name on a passport. The US State Department validates these types of documents, and then a new passport with a change of name is given. Note that when submitting a change to the name of the US passport application, the original passport with the previous name would be canceled. Any existing visas may not be valid anymore, with some exceptions.  Please note that in order to change items appearing on the data page, U.S. passports are no longer amended; you will therefore need to apply for a new U.S. passport under your new name. The below article shows how to change my name on my passport. Please read all the questions.

Smiling businessman holding a boarding pass and checking his mobile phone

What are the different reasons for a name change in a Passport?

Below are the various reason for a Passport name change,

Reasons due to Marriage, Civil Partnership, or Court order:

You can apply for a new passport in your new name by submitting your original and legal marriage document or final court issue order if you have changed your name through marriage, civil union, or court order.

Reasons due to statutory declaration or change of name deed:

If you have changed your name by statutory declaration or change of name deed, you can have a U.S. passport issued in that name provided that you present the original statutory declaration/change of name deed.

Reasons due to Divorce / Removal of Civil Partnership or Widowed applicants going back to birth or former legal name:

If your former name is restored after a divorce, civil union breakup, or the death of your partner, you may have your passport with surname given.

Reasons due to the usage of the name:  

If you have been known solely by a new name for at least five years, you can receive a U.S. passport with a new name.

Reasons due to Adoption:

A minor who has been legally adopted and has a court order that indicates a name change will have a U.S. passport issued under that name.

Reasons due to professional:

If a name has been revised for professional or other purposes, the changed name can be included in the passport as a “known as” name along with the full legal name of the applicant.

How to change my name on my passport by using various passport application forms?

Three common application forms are available and can be used to alter the name of a US passport.

Form DS-5504:  

When deciding to change your name to a new passport, extend the validity of a restricted passport, or correct a printing error, Application Form DS-5504 must be submitted. This type can only be used if your passport was granted less than a year ago.

Form DS-82:  

You may be entitled to use Form DS-82 to renew your passport by mail if you request a change more than one year after your passport has been issued. Passport renewal by mail is not permitted if it is seriously damaged or has been given to a minor of 15 years of age or younger. Also, a passport which was released more than 15 years ago cannot be renewed.

Form DS-11:

Form DS-11 is an application to be made by U.S. citizens for the purpose of acquiring the following: a first-time passport; replacement of a missing, stolen, or damaged passport; renewal of a passport which has expired for more than five years; renewal of a passport issued at or below the age of 15. Also, if you are already using a different name but cannot document the change with a court order, divorce decree, or marriage certificate, you can use this form.

How to fill the US passport applications?

Each service includes the completion of a detailed application form for passports. It is necessary for the required form to be completed as thoroughly as possible. Failure to respond to any questions will lead to a delay. Even so, incorrect details can never be deliberately used by an applicant. To assist with the procedure, instructions are included with each type. The applications are brief and typically take just a few minutes to complete. When completing the printed form, the use of black ink is necessary.

How to fill the Form DS-5504:

After choosing which passport you are applying for (book, card, or both), there is a page for personal information such as full name, date of birth, place of birth, sex, social security number, e-mail address, main contact phone number and mailing address. There is enough space to attach your passport picture and input date regarding your most recent passport book or passport card.

  • There is room for you to include your height, hair color, eye color, occupation, employer or school, additional contact telephone number, permanent address, emergency contact, and travel plans on the second page of Form DS-5504. You should leave the rooms blank if you do not have any immediate travel plans.
  • The last three parts refer to the type of service you need. If you do want to revise the name of your passport, get a correction for a printing mistake, or substitute a limited-validity passport, you just need to fill out the one that’s applicable to you.
  • Finally, sign and add the date in the form and submit the form.

How to fill the Form DS-82:

  • Personal information such as full name, birth date, birthplace, gender, social security number, email address, primary contact telephone number, and mailing address is requested in the first section. There is a place to clip your passport photo to your new passport book or passport card and enter the date. The final option on the first page is a space to add name change information if it applies to you.
  • Your height, hair color, eye color, occupation, employer or education, additional contact phone number, permanent address, emergency contact, and travel plans can be found on the second page of Form DS-82. You should leave the rooms empty if you do not have any immediate travel plans.
  • It is essential that you properly follow the directions. Any mistakes or unreadable writing can lead to delays in processing time and make your travel plans complicated. Checking all two or three times before mailing in the completed passport renewal form is always as a good idea.

How to fill Form DS-11:

  • Without making any false claims, you can complete the form as fully as you can. The first page of the guidelines makes it clear that false claims are punishable by fines and/or incarceration that are made knowingly and voluntarily on the application. Incomplete forms can lead to delays and/or your passport being rejected.
  • There is nothing complex about completing a United States passport application. It needs only a little bit of focus and effort. The form states that you should expect the application to be completed in up to 85 minutes. Most individuals will fill it out in a lot less time, however.

What are the specific documents required to change my name in my passport?

Just as a particular application form is required for each service, unique supporting documents are also needed for each one. Proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of identity, photocopy of ID, passport photo, name change certificate, proof of the relationship between parent and child, and any number of other documents deemed appropriate by the Department of State are the documents most commonly requested. If extra documents are needed, you will be notified by mail.

  • Passport – The applicant must apply for his or her current passport. The US State Department will return the current passport labeled “Cancelled” along with a new passport that represents the change of name.

Below are the specific documents required due to name change for various reasons,

  • Legal marriage certificate or final court order if you changed your name by marriage or civil union.
  • If you have revised your name by statutory declaration or change of name deed, you can have a U.S. passport issued in that name, and you need to present the original statutory declaration/change of name deed. Both old and new names must be listed in a name change document. It has to be signed in front of a solicitor in both names and must hold the official stamp/seal of the solicitor. If the applicant is under 18, the name change certificate must be signed by both parents.
  • Actual divorce decree/dissolution of civil union certificate specifically stating the re-establishment of a former name or death certificate and the recognition of a former name or birth name If your former name is restored after a divorce, civil union breakup, or the death of your partner.
  • With an addition to the original divorce decree, if the divorce decree does not expressly declare the resumption of a former name, you must provide documents proving the roots of a former surname (such as a birth certificate) if your marriage / civil union has been dissolved in the United Kingdom or If your marriage / civil union has been dissolved in a country other than the United Kingdom, documents indicating the change of name to a former surname (such as a court order or properly executed deed).
  • If you have been recognized exclusively by a new name for at least five years, you can receive a U.S. passport with a new name. You must bring at least three public records, including one government-issued photo ID, that illustrates the exclusive use of the name for at least five years. Relevant document papers include but are not limited to are Driver’s License, Tax Records, Hospital Birth Record, Medical Card/Records, Baptismal Certificate, Military Records like that.
  • Original Court Order indicating both old and current names of a kid who has been legally adopted.
  • If you change your name for professional reasons, you need to provide a government-issued photo ID in both professional and legal name. Also need to give two or more public documents in the full legal and “known as” names such as utility bills, property deeds, tax records, or school records.  In addition, you must bring two witnesses who will give testimony that you are known by both names. The two witnesses must carry with them a legitimate photo ID provided by the government. In lieu of a witness, you can opt to carry any third public record.

What are the documents needed for minors if I apply for a name change in the passport?

The first thing you need to remember is that your child must apply in person with both parents or guardians. A passport is not renewed by postal mail for kids, but children under the age of 16 whose existing passports have expired or are close to the expiry date must apply in person as if they were the first to apply for a passport.

  • US citizenship evidence, such as a birth certificate or previously issued or undamaged USA Passport, or Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth or Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship proving the US citizenship.
  • Documents listing the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child seeking a passport, such as a birth certificate, adoption, or divorce/custody certificate, must be issued.
  • The parents or the guardians must show one of the identity documents (IDs) to the admission agent, such as a Government employee ID, valid driver’s license, or United States military ID.
  • The issuance of the child’s passport must be approved by both parents/guardians. The easiest way to do this is to make all parents/guardians go to apply for the passport with the child in person.
  • The parent(s) or guardian(s) who are requesting the child’s passport should submit a photo ID if the child does not have one. An acceptable identification document is an undamaged passport or valid driver’s license. A photocopy of each identification document must be submitted as well. The copy should be on plain white paper that is 8 1/2 x 11″ in size. Images should only be on one side of the paper. A passport picture that is 2×2 inches in size and must be taken within the last six months and must be submitted for each child.
  • If the minor has only one Parent/Guardian, then needs to submit the court order granting sole legal custody to the applying parent. If Parent/Guardian is unable to appear, then the applying parent must submit Form DS-5525 and also custody order. If both Parents/Guardians are unavailable, a third party may apply for a passport for the minor with a signed, notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing a third party to apply for the minor.

What are the photo requirements when applying for a new passport for a name change?

When applying for most passport services, in particular for a new issue or renewal, only one passport photo is wanted. If your photo does not follow specified requirements, your application will be significantly delayed. In reality, one of the key reasons why delays occur is issues with photographs. It can be that the pictures are not the correct size or that the quality is not good enough. In other situations, the applicant fails to obey the criteria as to the context or what is worn.

It is vital that you prepare yourself with the guidelines below and to ensure that the criteria are met with your passport photos.

  • Submit a color photograph taken during the past six months.
  • Use a photo of your face that is clear. Do not use filters that are widely used on social media.
  • Get your picture taken by someone else. No selfies are accepted.
  • Take your glasses off for the picture.
  • Use a white or off-white backdrop that is clear.
  • The picture must not be blurry, grainy, or pixelated and with high-resolution quality. The correct size of a picture of a passport is: 51 and 51 mm (2 and 2 inches), and the head must be between 25 and 35 mm (1 and 1 3/8 inches) from the chin bottom to the head top. A damaged photo with cracks, creases, or smudges will not be submitted, and the photo does not alter digitally.
  • Have a neutral facial expression or a genuine smile, open both eyes and squarely face the camera with a full face in view.
  • It should be taken in clothing that is usually worn on a daily basis, and a uniform, clothing that looks like a uniform, or camouflage attire, can’t be worn. You’re not required to wear a hat or head covering. You should not wear headphones or hands-free wireless devices. As long as they don’t cover your face, you can wear jewelry and leave your facial piercings on. For passport purposes, permanent tattoos are reasonable as well.
  • In the passport photo of a minor child, no parent or guardian should appear, and the minor child must be the only subject in the photo. Nothing, by mechanical or human means, is used to sustain a minor child.

How long does It take to get a passport if I apply for a name change?

A number of factors depend on how long it takes to acquire a passport, including the number of applications to be processed by Passport Services at the time you apply, the place where you apply, the type of service you require, and the processing method you select. Anyhow, it takes approximately 4-6 weeks from the time of application to get your passport.

What is the fee for name change in my passport?

For most services, there is a mandatory passport application fee. In order to correct a printing error or change the name of a passport issued within the last 12 months, no charge is necessary. When presenting Form DS-11 at an application acceptance center, there is an extra execution fee. All who request expedited service, overnight delivery of your new passport, and search for a file need to pay the optional fee. Depending on the case, the fee and form type for changing the passport name differs.

  • There is no fee for applicants aged 16 or older whose passports were issued less than a year earlier.
  • Applicants who are aged 16 years or older who have been issued passports more than a year earlier are expected to apply for a renewal using the DS-82 form and to pay the renewal fee.
  • Applicants aged 16 years or older who do not have official legal name change documents must apply for a new passport and as per the new passport fee.
  • Applicants aged 15 or younger should apply for and pay the appropriate fee for a new passport.


  • If you request a change less than one year after your passport has been released and you use Form DS-5504, unless you request Expedited Service, you will not be required to submit any fees. Form DS-5504 and supporting documentation must be submitted via USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and other companies are unable to deliver the addresses specified on Form DS-5504.
  • You can be eligible to renew your passport by mail if you apply for a change more than one year after your passport has been issued and if you are eligible to use Form DS-82.   Form DS-82 and supporting documentation must be submitted using USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and other companies that do not deliver the address listed on DS-82. You can apply in person if you are not eligible to renew your passport by mail using Form DS-82.
  • If you already have a new name but are unable to register the transition with a court order, divorce decree, or marriage certificate, you must submit in person at an acceptance facility or a passport agency.

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