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  • Writer's pictureEddie Slater

07.07.2023 Passport and Married Name Changes

A regular topic of conversation is a noticeable trend recently on some of the wedding pages. I'm writing a blog about it, as it has been a while since I've written a blog. Also, to prove I am still around and that I can type. A few brides have asked what happens when I get married; my passport is in my maiden name.

Below are some hyperlinks as a starting point for information.

From The UK Government

Another as found from The Guardian

So, from what is mentioned above, you can apply for a change in your passport in your new name up to three months in advance. However, it is post-dated, so you won't be able to use it before your wedding date. That is not much use if you regularly travel with work or have a cheeky holiday book pre getting married.

What is clear is that if you book your honeymoon in your maiden name, your passport must also be in the same name. Likewise, if you book your honeymoon in your new married name, your passport must be in that same name at travel time. So, in effect, you surrender your old passport regardless of the time left on it and then purchase a new 10-year passport.

Length of Passport when changing surname

When you make this change, you surrender your old passport regardless of the time left on it and then, in effect, purchase a new 10-year passport.

I stand corrected, as previously, I was led to believe that if you changed your surname after getting married, the passport office issued you a new one with the same amount of time left on your original passport. See the link below.

The UK Government

So, you see from the Hyperlink above that they issue you a new 10-year one, as I mentioned above. However, if you have time remaining on your passport, they will not add it to exceed the 10yrs. Now whether that all changed when we left the EU, I cannot comment. However, I know when I got married in 2017, my wife had 6 years remaining on her passport. I believe she didn't change it because she only had it issued in 2013, so she was surrendering 6-years of her passport and paying full price for a new one.

This meant that every time we travelled abroad or on any holiday where she used her passport, It had to be booked in her maiden name. I couldn’t find anything that clarifies that that is legal to do or that it is illegal not to do.

So, I decided I would ring the passport office 0300 222 0000. Listened to options and got through and spoke to an advisor. I explained I was a celebrant and that couple had asked me about changes of names on their passports and that I’ve generally told them what I knew but also suggested to find out online or seek advice.

Today 07.07.2023 I spoke to the Passport Office, and an advisor told me the following:

Ø If you change your name, you pay for a total renewal

Ø Any existing validity on your current passport does not get carried over. 10yrs is the maximum validity.

Ø Holidays have to be booked in the name displayed on your passport.

Ø If you have a lengthy validity on your existing passport, it is not illegal to continue using it until it expires. However, you must book holidays in the name that appears on your passport.

Ø Taking your marriage certificate (photocopy is sufficient) is a good idea.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you have found it helpful and answered some queries you may have had.

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