Guest Blogger, Cecile Mazuet, founder of NameSwitch explains how to honeymoon in your married name in this guide to applying for a post-dated passport, with a special offer at the end.
If you’re 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.
Should you find yourself amiss of 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.
Short on time? 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.
• The passport office put on extra staff during the peak season (June –August).
• They 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: https://www.gov.uk/passport-interview-office.
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.
Many countries can be vague about whether and how they accept post dated Visa applications and it may take a bit of digging to get a clear answer. 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.
Travel experts HoneymoonDreams.co.uk offer the following advice: ‘The key to achieving your dream honeymoon is planning in advance. Most airlines release their seats 11 months in advance, which is when they tend to have the lowest fares available. Planning early has many benefits including allowing you to spread the cost of your all-important honeymoon over a longer period, as well as having access to the best availability. While many of our brides-to-be travel in their maiden name, if you’re planning on post-dating your passport and travelling in your married name, make sure you advise your travel provider at the time of booking. Many airlines will charge for name changes after the initial booking. But rest assured that travelling in different names does not mean you won’t be recognised as a honeymoon couple while away.’
Here are some guiding principles to help you with your research:
• As a general rule, countries where you pay for a visa upon arrival shouldn’t pose a problem as your flight booking and passport names will match.
• 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 ETSA which can only be applied for once you have your new passport, corresponding passport number and most crucially, your passport has become valid (on the day of your marriage). Thankfully ETSA’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 exotic location who’s consulate relies on paper and bureaucratic processes from the Dark Ages 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!
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.
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 – so if your planning on nipping off for a hen-do weekender 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 and gender 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.
Your How to Guide
Assuming the trilogy of time, location and practicality are aligned then read on to understand how you go about getting 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 at https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport
– 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 http://www.gov.uk/changing-passport-information or by contacting the passport advice line on 0300 222 0000
• It costs £72.50 to apply and you’ll be sent a new 10 year passport. Up to 9 months of unexpired time on your old passport will be added to your new passport.
• An online and extensively detailed guide to completing your passport application can be found here
• The Passport Office recommend heading to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice This real-time service is updated hourly and is completely free to use. Simply type in your country and you should have the latest and greatest travel advice.
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