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marriage prior to trip - can travel on passport which has prior name on it?

Hi All,

Trying to book a rt flight from dub to edi, and it just occurred to me that my travel buddy will have had a name change (she's getting married in a few weeks) but hadn't thought about updating her passport to the new name. She's already booked our rt from USA to Ireland and back under her current name (the one on the passport). Does anyone know if she can continue to use her former name and therefore, current passport, after her marriage? Help, please. ;)

Posted by
996 posts

I think as long as you are the person in the passport, you can use your maiden name as long as you like.

Posted by
2993 posts

As long as the name on the passport matches the name on the booking, it's fine. Lots of women get married but continue to use their maiden name. My daughter was married for almost 10 years before she finally changed her ID docs to her married name (it was a professional/business decision to just keep her maiden name).

Posted by
5689 posts

Yes, I made it clear to my husband that I would NOT change my name again (been there, done that -- twice) and my passport/ driver's license are still in my prior name six years later.

Posted by
3175 posts

We went on our honeymoon to Switzerland the day after we were married. I hadn't changed my name yet so my maiden name on the airline tickets matched my passport. As long as the name on the passport is identical to the name on the airline tickets, she is fine.

Posted by
415 posts

Newlyweds often make that mistake. They book honeymoon tickets in the new married names even though their ids still have their maiden names. That happened to some friends of ours. They had to beg and plead their way onto the plane. I can't remember how they got back but they mailed us their house keys and we went into their apartment and got proof of something and mailed it to them.

That was way before 9/11. I don't imagine they would let you travel with mis-matched names now.

Posted by
12389 posts

The answer to the question asked is "yes", she can continue to use her former name and her passport in that name. It is not a problem. A woman's legal name does not automatically change when she gets married. She can choose to keep her maiden name, or she can choose to take her husband's name. If she does choose to change, she must take affirmative steps to notify each agency separately: Social Security, Drivers's license bureau, passport office, banks, etc. And she doesn't have to do it right away.

As long as the name on the tickets and the name on the passport match, she will be fine. She can go about officially changing her name when she returns from the trip. In the meantime she can use her husband's name socially if she wants.

Posted by
3560 posts

So far as I know, there has never been a US or individual state law or requirement that women change their names when they get married. It certainly doesn't happen automatically or without a lot of effort.

I did go through all the hassle of the name change with my 1st husband because my maiden name was the most common in the US. I didn't revert back to it when we divorced for the same reason, and because by then I was well established both professionally and financially. And to be perfectly honest, it was just too much trouble and I'm lazy.

My 2nd husband's last name is rather common, too, so when we married almost 30 years ago, I kept the name I'd been using for 20 years. When questioned about that, we often joke that he didn't change his name when we got married.

We have had one situation many years ago where even though the airline tickets were purchased together and seats chosen next to each other, the airline in its infinite wisdom and without asking us, tried to split us up at check in to accomodate someone else just because we had different last names. I can't imagine something like that happening these days.

Posted by
5689 posts

Just in case, we carry a photo of our marriage license on the phone to explain the different last names. Haven't needed it yet, but ... it doesn't weigh anything to be extra cautious.

Posted by
12389 posts

That would not be necessary in this case as she would be traveling under her maiden name. Just make sure all flights are booked with the same name as shown on the passport.

Posted by
4 posts

This reminds me of my funny story.

My wife and I had married a few months earlier and were leaving for a long anticipated vacation in Europe. We arrived at the airport early and started checking in. The airline aide noticed quickly that my wife's passport, with her maiden name, did not match the name on her airline ticket or her driver's license. She started out saying that my wife just could not fly. Panic! Angst! Then, seeing our consternation, the aide said "Wait a minute. I may be able to fix this." She then typed quickly at her station and changed the airline ticket -- cancelling the old ticket and quickly creating a new one with my wife's maiden name. She then told my wife to ONLY show her passport while on the trip -- never to show her driver's license with her new married name.

My wife was so happy (I was too!) that she said she wanted to write the airline aide's supervisor to say thank you. The aide said "Please don't! I could get in trouble for doing what I just did. Just travel and enjoy your trip!"

Whew! It was a great trip!