According to the Telegraph, a British woman who legally changed her name to Mrs. Pudsey Bear to help raise money for charity was denied a passport by the British government.  The 37-year-old woman, born Eileen De Bont, changed her name to raise £4,000 for the BBC charity Children in Need. She has changed her name successfully on her bank account, credit cards and tax records, but the Identity & Passport Service refused to issue her a passport in the new name, saying they considered the name change “frivolous.”

Could this happen here? Can you get a US passport with a name like “Pudsey Bear,” or will the US Department of State turn you down?

Have no fear, Pudsey Bears of the United States! In the US, if you can convince a judge to change your name to Pudsey Bear, you can convince the US Passport Agency as well.

To request a name change on your passport, all you need to do is fill out the appropriate passport form (DS-5504 if your passport was issued less than 1 year ago, DS-82 if it was issued more than 1 year ago). Send the form in with a copy of the court order supporting your name change, passport photos and any applicable fees, and in a couple of months, you’ll get your new passport.

If you are traveling within the next couple of months, it’s a good idea to use a passport expediting service to speed up the process.  An expediting company will provide you with detailed guidance on how to fill out the paperwork, so you’ll know everything is in order. Then, they’ll deliver your passport name change application directly to the US Passport Agency for faster processing. With an expediting company, you could have a passport with your new name on it (however silly that name may be) on its way to you in as little as 24 hours!

Get your name changed on your US passport the easy way!