Honeymooning in your Married Name
A guide to applying for a Post Dated Passport
If you are dreaming of jetting off to sandy shores with your sparkling new ring, husband and matching passports…then this guide will tell you how to make your dreams come true!
Now it’s not mission impossible, but you do need 3 key things to be aligned to pull this off…
Possibly the most crucial element you need on your side is time. Ideally 3+ months in advance of your wedding to allow for a smooth application with a little buffer in case there is a surge in passport demands. 4 weeks is possible, but starting to cut it fine – your nerves won’t thank you for leaving this one too close to the wire.
Short on time? The safest option is of course to opt to travel in your maiden name and switch names on your passport and all other paperwork when you return.
If you’re adamant that you want to pull this off then you can consider paying a little extra for the 1 week Fast Track service – this is high risk as your travel documents must match your passport name at all points of your journey, not just immigration on both sides, but also at your resort/hotel. Worth noting that:
- The passport office put on extra staff during the peak season (June –August).
- They can guarantee a straightforward application will result in a passport being issued within 7 days during this period.
- However, you need to allow up to a week for your appointment, which will require some travel and time off work to get to your closest passport office. You can find nearest passport office here
Honeymooners often travel to far and fabulous destinations - after all this is the trip of a lifetime to celebrate your nuptials! The critical question to ask (after you peel yourself from Pinterest) is this: Do I need a visa?
Combining a visa with a post-dated passport isn’t necessarily a No–No, but you should research this thoroughly and approach with considered caution!
This is where travel agencies come into their own – not only for advice, but if you are planning a multi-destination holiday they will help guide you through what is and isn’t possible. We spoke to travel expert, Steve Finch of Travel Counsellors who offers the following sound advice:
‘As well as your final destination(s) beware of transiting or layover rules that apply with regards to visas. A well-seasoned travel agent will be au fait with the nuances of each country and able to support you through all elements of your travel.
For the USA, use extreme care when applying for the mandatory ESTA online, otherwise you may end up needing to approach the US embassy to obtain your visa. If you tick the box saying you have a criminal record for example your ESTA application will be denied. Be wary, for example, if you have a speeding ticket this is not classed as a criminal record’
Here are some guiding principles to help you with your research:
- As a general rule, countries where you pay for a visa upon arrival for example Bali/Indonesia shouldn’t pose a problem as long as your flight booking and passport names match. However, you may for example, need to pay the cash fee locally on arrival in US Dollars, or the local currency.
- Countries requiring a visa to be applied for in advance can represent more of a headache and in some cases may be a deal breaker. Turnaround time is key here.
- USA: The United States remains a very popular holiday multi-stop destination for newlyweds – To get in, you’ll need an ESTA which can only be applied for once you have your new passport, corresponding passport number and most crucially, your passport has become valid (IE the day of your marriage). Thankfully ESTA’s are very straightforward to obtain and can be applied for online. They take about 10 minutes to be issued so it’s doable, albeit a little close to the point of boarding for some.
- EXOTIC locations: Take a more tropical location who’s consulate relies on bureaucratic processes from the dark ages – you’ll need to be prepared for a few bumps en route….Not totally impossible, but you better have a good amount of time, strong nerves and of course a VERY trusted source of advice!
- Ultimately, you must ascertain which countries have a need for a visa and also the (sometimes mandatory) health requirements. You will need a valid passport to apply for a visa online or via your travel agent. Steve Finch of Travel Counsellors can assist with all of your travel needs on 01293 737580 [email protected] www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/steve.finch
- Click here to read an in-depth resource about entry and visa requirements for British citizens to over 100 countries.
The last of the 3 key pieces to be aligned is of course practicality. Assuming you’ve got time and location under control we recommend you use the below checklist to ensure you understand the practical implications, and what that might mean in your individual situation.
- COST: Even if you have years left on your current passport you will still be charged for a new one: £75.50 to apply for a 10 year passport (more if you use Check and Send or Fast Track services).
- YOU CAN’T TRAVEL You’ll need to surrender your passport at the time of submitting your application - if you’re planning on nipping off for a hen-do weekend or you travel with work - you’ll need to rethink things. Your new passport, even if it arrives weeks ahead of the big day can’t actually be used until after the ceremony.
- COLD FEET: If the marriage doesn’t go ahead for any reason you will need to return the new passport to HM Passport office and re-apply for a new passport in your original name.
- SHOWSTOPPER 1: If you have dual citizenship (‘dual nationality’) and have a non-British passport, the name on your non-British passport must match the name you want on your British passport - If it doesn’t, change the details on your non-British passport before you apply for a new British passport.
- SHOWSTOPPER 2: If you are planning on getting married abroad you will be unable to apply for a post-dated passport as you will need to begin and end your trip abroad with a passport in your maiden name
HOW TO GUIDE: THE BORING (but helpful) BITS
Assuming the trilogy of Time, Location and Practicality are favorably aligned, read on to understand how to get your hands on a Post Dated passport:
- You can apply to change your name on your passport up to 3 months before the ceremony. Your old passport will then be cancelled.
- The new passport is ‘post-dated’ which means it is valid from the date of your ceremony and you can’t use it before the ceremony. Some countries won’t issue visas for post-dated passports so do check with the country’s consulate.
- To renew your passport you can either:
- Apply online
- Or apply using a standard passport application form, which you can pick from any Post Office branch.
- You will need to send a ‘Post-Date Form 2’ (PD2) along with your application - The minister or registrar who will conduct the ceremony must sign this, as must you with your current name and signature.
- Get more details and a copy of the PD2 form from here by contacting the passport advice line on 0330 222 0000.
- It costs £75.50 to renew or replace your passport online, or £85.00 via the paper form. There is an additional fee payable of £9.50 if you use the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send service, available at larger post office branches.
- An online and extensively detailed guide to completing your passport application can be found here
- The Passport Office recommend visiting their dedicated travel advice pages. Updated hourly and free to use.
NameSwitch is an online service, established to help newlyweds navigate their way through the name-changing maze. Available for use before (where you’ll get your PD2) or after marriage, we’ll make your name change so much easier, using smart, secure automation.