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Passport office is useless! Warning to all

(70 Posts)
Greatwhiteworld Tue 21-Mar-17 17:50:43

I have been left fuming with the British Passport Office. I want to let people know before they end up in the same situation.

I am British living in the US, with duel UK-US citizenship. I tried to renew my British passport a few weeks ago. Paid my money and mailed the form.

I wanted my new passport to be in my married name, (we got married 9 years ago) but haven't done it until now due to cost.

The passport office says as I am a duel US/UK Citizen both passports must be in the same name. So this means I have to renew my US passport (still in maiden name) and then my British one (double costs)

I told them rather than do that could they please issue me a passport in my maiden name. To which I was told I must supply documents in my maiden name that I don't have.

I have a holiday booked later in the year so I am not risking updating my US passport and then sending it to the UK as they probably wouldn't send it back in time.

That also means that as the Passport office does not issue refunds I have lost my money!

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 21-Mar-17 17:53:23

Why is that the passport offices fault? Didn't you read the guidelines?

FeckinCrutches Tue 21-Mar-17 17:56:19

I cannot see what they've done wrong? Seems totally obvious they won't let you have two passports in different names confused

Heathen4Hire Tue 21-Mar-17 17:56:23

Sorry, I can't see the problem here. The rules are clear.

Monkeyface26 Tue 21-Mar-17 17:56:37

The British passport office insists that people with duel citizenship, who hold 2 passports, should have both those passports in the same name and they require documentation proving the name before they will issue one.
Thank goodness for that. That's not useless, it's sensible.
There is no reason why the British taxpayer should refund you because you don't have the required proof of name. A passport is not a right.

Greatwhiteworld Tue 21-Mar-17 17:56:57

There are no guidelines that Are readily accessible that I have found.

Besides I am not saying it's there fault I am highlighting a problem so others do not fall victim

mumeeee Tue 21-Mar-17 17:58:21

You should have read the Guidelines. They are quite clear. Just renewed my passport. No problems at all. Received my new passport within a week of applying.
DD3 has just renewed her passport so it's in her married name. No problems for her either.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Tue 21-Mar-17 17:59:05

Of course you can't have passports in different names. hmm

You have decided to change your name so you have to deal with the admin and associated costs. The passport office will facilitate this with the correct documentation and payment. I can't see the problem.

SoupDragon Tue 21-Mar-17 18:00:08

I am not saying it's there fault

Yes you are. It's right there in your title and implied by the way you are "fuming" with them in your opening sentence.

lalalalyra Tue 21-Mar-17 18:00:24

I think it's unfortunately you've had a problem, but I don't see this one as their fault.

I got a new passport in August and it came out with the wrong DOB on it. They issued a mid-thirties woman a child's passport and no-one picked up the error until I flagged it - that was a cock up!

reallybadidea Tue 21-Mar-17 18:03:12

It's a bit crap that you can't get a refund though, maybe worth pursuing that if the guidelines aren't clear about changing your name.

SparkleTwinkleGoldGlitter Tue 21-Mar-17 18:04:12

You can't have passports in different names, why on earth would they allow that

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 21-Mar-17 18:05:52

I don't wish to be rude, but two minutes of googling found this:

NotCitrus Tue 21-Mar-17 18:06:28

Odd. I've had UK and US passports for 30 years with different names (my surname was changed as a young child but it would have cost hundreds to change it on the US one, so never did).

How did the UK passport office even know you have a US passport - did they notice your credit card details didn't match?

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 21-Mar-17 18:06:44

And that might not give you everything but there's loads on the website.

Laquila Tue 21-Mar-17 18:11:25

I'm sort of not surprised that you're not allowed passports in different names, but actually I can see logistical problems with this. Out of interest, I had a look on the relevant HM Passport Office pages on, and actually I can't see anything about both needing to be in the same names - am I missing something?

RedSandYellowSand Tue 21-Mar-17 18:13:44

One passport has to be changed first? So it needs to be the US one first?

Without the dual nationality, our passports were renewed from outside the UK (couriered in and out) and took a week. If you can get your US passport done quickly, will you be within the 6 weeks to supply requested docs?

Greatwhiteworld Tue 21-Mar-17 18:15:00


On my passport applications form my place of birth is US, the British passport office therefore assumed that I also had a US passport

Greatwhiteworld Tue 21-Mar-17 18:16:19


That was my issue, if it was clear on the website then I could have anticipated the logistics of this.

londonrach Tue 21-Mar-17 18:19:06

I found them v good for dd passport. Got back pretty much return of post! Her first too.

MaidOfStars Tue 21-Mar-17 18:19:31

Documents in your maiden name? Your British passport is in your maiden name. Why would they need documents if you haven't changed your name with them?

Hulababy Tue 21-Mar-17 18:23:10

I did a quick google using the key words 'uk dual passport name) and on the first page I got a link to this:

It was published in 2015 and updated last year and sets out the requirements and what evidence is required.

GreenPetal94 Tue 21-Mar-17 18:23:13

I think the passport office are fab. They returned ds's new passport within the week.

MostIneptThatEverStepped Tue 21-Mar-17 18:23:54

I had something like this. I got married in the US and got divorced a few years back. When I reverted to my maiden name and wanted to get a new passport I had to order a copy of my marriage certificate and have it fedexed over here, at great expense. But that was the only way to prove that I was originally MostInept Maidenname and then became MostInept Marriedname.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 21-Mar-17 18:28:28


Surely it's common sense that if you have two passports they need to be in the same name?

And surely it's also common sense that the passport issuing people will need to see documents in the name you want on the passport?

This is an unfortunate situation but they are right

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