Tag Archives: passports

Your passport could be wrong

Yes it could.  I must say that I honestly don’t understand how a passport can have a completely different name from what appears on your birth certificate.  Now before you jump down my throat … I am not talking about last names.  Yes, people get married and change their last name or even combine their maiden name with their spouse’s last name.  What amazes me are the number of people who don’t get the first part right on their passport.

Example – if you were born John Henry Smith and you apply for a  passport you can apply for a passport issued in the name of J. Henry Smith and then support your identity with your driver’s licence.  See extract from the application form –

passport application

So this means you can use your driver’s licence to support your identity – not your birth certificate.

I can’t tell you how many headaches this gives us travel agents.  Some airlines are really difficult to work with when it comes to name changes.  Some even insist that a completely new ticket is issued with the according penalties and cancellation charges.  Woe is you J. Henry Smith.

Then there is the problem of trying to get a passport after you have changed your name legally – yes really – read this story –

Laura Skywalker Matthews added the Jedi name “for a laugh” after joking with her friends about her love of the character from George Lucas’ seminal films.

But the stunt backfired when it took eight weeks for passport officials to refuse her application meaning she missed a summer holiday to Amsterdam.

The 29-year-old was told her signature of L Skywalker infringed a copyright despite it being accepted previously for her driving licence.

Miss Matthews said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous.

“They told me the issue was with my signature because L Skywalker is trademark.

“I have the same signature on my driving licence, bank cards and everything else.

“How can everybody else be happy with that signature, apart from the passport office?



Name calling and funny faces

Do you know your name?  No seriously – do you really know your name as reflected on your passport – right now – without looking it up?   Do you think the name on your driver’s licence will be the same as on your passport or your birth certificate?  The travel business is fraught with rules and regulations as to exactly how your name should appear on an airline ticket and what sort of identification you should use –  and there are some wonderful ones out there….like this…

batman id card




How cool is that – Bin means “son of” so this guy is actually Batman son of Suparman.

Of course however funny your name is don’t think about smiling on your passport photo.  No smiling allowed…. no hair in your face…no glasses.  Wow by the time you have finished all that you probably won’t look anything like the real you.  Take a look at some of these passport photos…




I don’t know how this one got through




One of my favourites….



So next time you go for your passport photo just think about going through immigration.  Yeah – that is not the time to be a smart ass – so get the hair out of your eyes, stop grinning and say cheese under your breath.