A few months back, we featured an article on the conditions for married women to use their maiden names on their passports. In that article, it was mentioned that a married woman needs to show proof that her marriage has been annulled or that she has been widowed before she can revert to her maiden name on her passport.
How easy (or difficult) is it really to get your maiden name back especially on major IDs like a passport or a driver’s license? Here is a personal experience I would like to share for everyone’s information and guidance.
My mom had her passport renewed at a DFA satellite office a few weeks back. She was excited to have this processed as she saw it as a chance to change her name on her passport back to her maiden name. Ever since she and my dad were granted their annulment several years ago, she had been diligently updating her IDs with her maiden name and her passport was actually foremost in her agenda.
She went to the DFA satellite office with her IDs, a copy of her original birth certificate (she was born in 1946), her annulment papers, and her old passport. When she advised the DFA personnel that she would like to revert to her maiden name, she was requested to present a copy of her PSA birth certificate. Since she did not have a copy ready with her, she decided to reschedule her passport renewal.
We ordered for a copy of her PSA birth certificate online through PSAHelpline.ph. In less than 15 minutes, we were done with the entire ordering and payment process because the site accepts credit card payments! In two days, my mom received a parcel from PSAHelpline.ph.
When she opened the package, she wasn’t entirely surprised to find a Negative Certificate instead of a copy of her birth certificate. The PSA does not have a copy of her birth records. We were advised by a friend who works at the Quezon City Hall to file for a late registration of our mother’s birth details that will then be forwarded to the PSA for certification. Doing so would mean traveling all the way back to Cabanatuan City, my mom’s birth place.
Since my mom did not want to wait that long to have her passport renewed, she agreed to just use her married last name. I advised that this may be a wise decision if she intends to apply for a tourist visa to the U.S. soon as her previous visas were issued under her married name.
When she agreed to keep her married name, all she needed to submit was a copy of her Senior Citizen ID and her old passport. She is scheduled to pick up her new passport on September 21st, her 70th birthday.
You see ladies, getting your maiden name back is not as easy as most think. So before giving it up, consider other possibilities. In documents such as passports, you actually have the option to use your maiden name even if you are already married.