Do you need to change your last name on your passport after you are married – TheLawAdvisory

You recently got married and you just started to live the best days of your life. Other than family drama, the one problem that you face after marriage could be another name on your passport that doesn’t match your current marital status or the signature is different from the one you have. What should you do as an American citizen if you want to travel outside your region? Do you need to change your last name on your passport after you are married? Well, it depends on where you are planning to travel to and other technical problems that you may bump yourself into which we will discuss later in the article. Therefore, keep reading on TheLawAdvisory.

Getting a new passport after marriage

If you are travelling outside the United States and you applied for a visa and other forms of documents as a married person, then you must provide your updated passport. However, some countries may accept your old passport but many times they require you to provide proof of your marriage by providing the marriage certificate.

If you are travelling to a country that you think would not accept your old passport, then contacting the consular of the destined country would be better prior to stepping into a last-minute hassle.

When should you change your last name on your passport?

Changing your last name on your passport will depend on whether you plan to travel abroad after your marriage. However, there’s no legal obligation that you have to change your passport even if you don’t travel. Also, you will not be penalised if you don’t change it. The only thing that you may have to bear is the extra fees that you would pay for late updating your passport.  To avoid the extra fee, you should apply for a new passport as soon as you can.

Any other thing that might affect your travel plan is when you will change your name in a passport. For instance, if you have already booked trips prior to your wedding using your maiden name, then you might not be allowed if your boarding pass contains your name with a changed last sir-name. For this, you have to wait until you come back from your trip and apply for a name change.

The process of changing name after marriage

Once you plan to travel after marriage there are a couple of hoops that you have to go through if changing your name in your passport is all you need instantly. Look where to start;

Newly married:

If you have just tied the knot and renewed or changed your passport in a few months, then you will be amazed to know that changing your name or anything in the passport won’t cost you a penny. You just have to download a Form DS-5504 and complete it as an applicant. It can easily be found on the US department of state website in the passport section. Fill out the form, attach the documents online, and mail them to the said mailing address.  If filling the form online is not your thing, then you can take the print, fill it, attach documents, and mail it to the given address. Email and mailing addresses and all other information can be easily found on the website.

Keep the dates in consideration:

If your passport was changed for more than a year or two, you have to follow the same procedure and mail the required documents to the given mailing address. But this time you have to fill out Form DS-82.

Missing marriage certificate:

Oftentimes people could not provide their original marriage certificate. In these instances, you have to fill out Form DS-11. The form is the same when you need to renew your passport when it expires for more than 5 years. For this you need to provide;

  • Proof of being a US citizen
  • Valid ID with the married name and status
  • A photograph
  • Application fee

For this, you might not be able to do the process online, you have to be at your local passport office in person to provide the documents and make adjustments.

Checklist of passport name change

Want to change your name after marriage? Here’s a checklist to follow;

  • Review your travelling plans – if they are planned on your maiden name, postpone the name change until you return. However, a changed name in the boarding pass will not allow you to board the plane.
  • Gather the paperwork – To avoid last-minute hassles, it is required to update your passport by sending required documents by mail or email to the concerned department.
  • Get everything that is needed – Get a passport sized photo, find out the required fee, documents and copies and everything that is a consular advice so you can have a hassle-free trip.

Final Thoughts

Changing your name in your passport after marriage may take time but once it is done, you can enjoy your after marriage honeymoon more peacefully. Bring your paperwork in order so your future life will be at ease.

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