Name Changes on Passports
There are many reasons why people change their name, due to marriage, divorce or other circumstances where a legal name change means that you will have to ensure you understand the rules when traveling and have an appropriate passport or documentation. This helpful guide will advise on options for updating your passport depending on your name change situation:
The rules state that if you have applied for a post-dated passport that will not be valid until you after your marriage you will only be eligible to apply for ESTA from the day of your marriage onwards which is when the passport will become valid. The application process is straightforward and should only take approximately 25 minutes.
Travelers from other Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries
In the case of those who receive approval to come to the U.S. but then have a name change due to marriage divorce or other legal proceedings, it is necessary to re-apply for a new ESTA authorization prior to travel. It is recommended that applications are made at least 72 hours before travel, however, if this is not possible you can apply at a fee of US $14 for each new application.
Applying for a new passport
If your name has changed since your passport was issued, you should submit a new application using your old passport number and name prior to the change. The new application should show your name exactly as it appears on your old passport, however, in response to the question “are you known by any other names or aliases?” you should enter your new name. It is possible to travel with a ticket issued in your new name and a passport in your old name, however, it is strongly advised that you also bring a copy of marriage license, divorce decree or other legal document showing the connection between your old name and the one shown on your current passport.