I need to get my first passport, but there's a problem with my name...
July 18, 2011 12:08 PM Subscribe
I'm applying for my first U.S. passport but I'm afraid I might have trouble verifying my identity. Specific details inside.
posted by palomar to Travel & Transportation (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So the problem is, my parents got divorced when I was an infant, and my mother reverted back to her maiden name. Because she had sole custody, she used her maiden name as my last name. Unfortunately she did not make this a legal change for me, so while I've been known as Palomar Jones my whole life, my "real" name is Palomar Smith. The sole document that shows my name as Palomar Smith is my birth certificate -- all other documents (school records from kindergarten to diploma, immunizations, my entire work history, my driver's license and Social Security card) show my name as Palomar Jones. I have been using this name and only this name for my entire life, nearly 34 years.
I am applying for my first passport,and I'm concerned that this name issue is going to cause a major headache. I've dug through the State Department's passport information websites and have found nothing that definitely clears this matter up for me, nor has extensive Googling made me feel more sure about what I should do, so I'm turning to you, fellow MeFites. I have all of my school records, my immuno records, copies of documents like leases and utility bills in my name, tax returns from the past decade, paystubs going back a year from my current employer (who had to put me through a background check before hiring me)... will this be enough to prove that I am who I say I am, and get me my passport?
I'm willing to go through the hassle of legally changing my name, but I'm hoping I won't have to do that -- any advice, especially if you've been through this passport issue yourself, would be greatly appreciated.
(Extra details: I am in the U.S., I am a citizen as were both my parents, you are not my lawyer or State Dept rep or government-sanctioned passport consultant.)