If you go by a name that is not your legal name (as according to your birth certificate or proof of citizenship), you may be eligible to have your common name listed on your passport. This is a fairly rare circumstance, but it happens from time to time. The U.S. State Department has a form called the DS-60 Affidavit Regarding Name Change that can be submitted with your passport application. This is for people who use a different name rather than the name listed on their birth certificate or proof of citizenship.
What if my name is different from my birth certificate?
The DS-60 Affidavit Regarding a Change of Name Passport Form must be submitted when an applicant uses a name that is quite different from their legal name. This is a name that has not been recognized by a formal court proceeding. This name is also not changed because of marriage or because of adoption. If this case is you, then you can have an affiant verify that you use a different name than what your legal name is listed as. An affiant is usually a blood relative, or someone who has personal knowledge about both of your names. The applicant must submit at least three documents over the span of five years that indicate the chosen or new name. These should be public documents. The affiant will then attest that the have known the applicant by both names and that the applicant has used the new name for all purposes for at least five years. If you cannot attain three documents, you should submit as many as you have and then have a second affiant submit the DS-60 form. The affiant must also include a photocopy of their government issued ID, front and back.
The final decision ultimately rests with the U.S. Department of State Passport Agency. It is best to have a formal court declaration of your name change, so you may want to go that route if you are able to do that first.
An Affidavit Regarding a Change of Name must be submitted with an application for a U.S. passport when the name which is used by the applicant is (1) substantially different from that shown on the evidence of citizenship or (2) has been adopted without formal court proceedings and was not acquired by a marriage. The affiant (preferably a blood relative) must have personal knowledge of the applicant’s use of both names. To support a change of name that has been adopted without formal court proceedings or by a marriage, the applicant must present three or more public documents showing exclusive use of the name for at least five years. Affidavits Regarding a Change of Name from at least two persons attesting that they have known the applicant by both names and that the applicant has used the new name for all purposes for at least five years may be provided in place of one of the public documents if the applicant cannot obtain a third public document. The affidavit must be accompanied by a photocopy of the front and back side of the affiant’s identification. Final determination of the name(s) to be shown in the U.S. passport will be made by Passport Services based on all of the evidence submitted. Completed affidavits will be retained and requests for copies of this affidavit should be made at the time of execution. An affidavit does not need to be submitted if an applicant can present a court order documenting the change of their name.