Guide: Can I Travel With a Passport in My Maiden Name?

Do you plan to travel but have had some name changes? Maybe you want to travel across the globe and recently got married, so your passport doesn’t reflect the correct name. Perhaps you separated in a divorce and plan to take a trip to Mexico to get away from it all.

In any case, what do you do if your actual legal name differs from your passport? Can you still travel? Can I travel with a passport in my maiden name?

Lucky for you, today, we are tackling all of this and more so that you can enjoy your travels ahead.

Keep reading to find out more.

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Using your maiden name on a passport for traveling

First, let’s tackle the biggest question in the room: “Can I Travel With a Passport in My Maiden Name?”. The answer is yes, but there are a few extra steps that you need to consider before traveling. So, yes, it’s possible, but it requires just a bit more effort.

If you plan to travel using a passport with your maiden name, most people can still use their previous passports. In order to do so, you need to bring what’s called “proof of name progression.” The type of documents that you can use that’ll act as proof are a divorce decree, a marriage certificate, or any court documents that show your legal name change.

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How do I change the name on your passport?

If you’re like us, the thought of traveling with even more documents added to your luggage does not seem like the best use of time. So, why not change the name on your passport? If you have planned accordingly and allowed yourself enough time, you should be able to do so.

Have you received your passport less than 12 months ago? If so, you can use “DS-5504.” If you got married within 1 year of your passport being issued, you can use this form to change the name on your passport.

In general, getting a new passport using the form mentioned above is free, but you will still need to submit proof of your name change as listed above.

Traveling with a maiden name on a passport

Furthermore, if you plan to travel with a maiden name on your passport but haven’t officially changed your name, you still have another option. This would require that you renew your passport in person before your travel date. You can acquire authorization and/or get an updated passport faster.

If this doesn’t work for you, you still might be able to travel to select regions with your original passport, birth certificate, and ID. Again, use caution if doing this to ensure your destination will accept it.

Look into alternative travel methods.

You might want to look into alternative travel methods if you’d rather not risk it and still have the travel itch. For example, you can take what’s called a “closed-loop cruise.” A closed-loop cruise is a cruise that leaves and returns to a US-based port. For these purposes, you typically just need some form of identification, like a driver’s license or a birth certificate, for good cause.

Additionally, you can travel by land to places like Canada or Mexico from the US without a passport. Often, you’ll just need some form of eligible ID, like an Enahcned driver’s license or a military ID card.


In conclusion, yes, you can totally travel with a passport in your maiden name. As mentioned above, there are a few things to consider if you plan to do so internationally.

We highly recommend that you take all the precautionary steps needed to avoid disruptions to your travels. However, if you’d still like to travel without the risk, we recommend visiting your local neighboring countries like Mexico or Canada to scratch that traveling scratch.

Happy traveling!


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