When preparing for a trip abroad, you'll want to make sure that all of the travel paperwork is in order. If realizing that the passport name is different from the name listed on the plane ticket, all is not lost. Whatever the reason for the mismatch, there are ways to fix the problem. Start the process as soon as possible because there is a processing time of at least four weeks when changing a name on the passport.

Mismatching Information

Take a look at the plane ticket and passport and take note of the mismatching information. If the issue is a middle name that is listed differently on the plane ticket, it will be an easier fix than if you have a different first name and/or last name written on the plane ticket. According to the Transportation Security Administration, an incorrect middle name shouldn't be a barrier to the travels. People with mismatched first and/or last names will, however, need to take additional steps.

Name Change

Apply for a passport name change, renewal or correction, depending on the situation. If the name has been changed within the last year and can document the change via a marriage license or court order, fill out form DS-5504 and submit all of the required documents listed on the form. Misspelling of a name or a passport typo also requires use of DS-5504. If the name was changed over a year ago, apply for a passport renewal via Form DS-82. A passport renewal means paying passport-renewal fees; a marriage license or court order and any other items requested on the form will also need to be submitted. People who cannot document their name change will have to fill out Form DS-11 and apply in person.

New Passport

Wait four to six weeks for the new passport to arrive. It is possible to contact the passport agency if it takes longer than expected. If the new passport needs to be expedited, be prepared to pay a fee; expedited processing takes two to three weeks. For emergency situations – where a passport is needed within two weeks – make an appointment at a passport agency.

Things You Will Need
  • Most recent U.S. passport

  • Appropriate passport forms

  • Passport photo (if applicable)

  • Fees (if applicable)

  • Marriage license (if applicable)

  • Court order (if applicable)


Make sure to fill out all forms legibly and completely; failure to do so can result in a processing delay or even a denial.

If correcting a passport typo on a passport issued within the last 90 days, you don't need to submit a new passport photo. In all other cases, you will need to submit a new passport photo.