Honeymooning in your Married Name

A guide to applying for a Post Dated Passport

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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…

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TIME

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:

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LOCATION

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:

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PRACTICALITY

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.

  1. COST: Even if you have years left on your current passport you will still be charged for a new one: £72.50 to apply for a 10 year passport (more if you use Check and Send or Fast Track services) and up to 9 months from your existing passport can be carried over.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

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.