Changing names while residing abroad

Individuals living abroad may have a number of records and accounts across 2 different countries. Another common issue is that they may have most of their records in one country but may not know if they can change names while outside of that country. We explain how to change names from abroad and explain how to overcome some general issues you may experience.

Can I change names with US companies while I am outside the USA?

There is no easy answer to this. It all depends on that individual’s unique combination of organizations and what the name change policy for each organization is. For example, all state DMV driver licenses, non driver ID cards and most large banks can only be updated in person, so there’s no way to do this while abroad.  Where companies only require an email then it’s simple to update your name from anywhere in the world. As a result, you may find you can update your name with most companies but may have 2 or 3 places that need to wait until you are back in the USA to complete.

How do I change my US passport while abroad?

If you are residing abroad for an extended period you may be able to get the name in your US passport changed by presenting a foreign equivalent document, such as an Australian BDM issued marriage certificate or Canadian Vital Stats legal name change document along with an updated foreign driver’s license. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Speak with the US passports office or your US consulate abroad to learn more.

You should also speak with the authorities that issued your visa in the country where you are currently residing. They may have certain policies on re-issuing your visa. Visas are usually linked to passport numbers so if your name changes on your passport and you receive a new passport (and therefore a new passport number), any prior visas may be invalid.

How do I change all other records while abroad?

You can contact each company in the USA where you have an account or record directly and ask for their name change process. Find out if you should send in a letter, email, form or follow any other name change process while you are abroad. You may get lucky and have all your companies accept a name change request from outside the USA. Do keep in mind many banks and most government-issued photo ID cannot be changed unless you attend a branch in person.

Can an Easy Name Change kit help?

Easy Name Change’s USA kits were created for customers currently living in the USA. As the overwhelming majority of our customers are currently living in the USA our research only extends to domestic name change requests. We do not allow the input of a non-USA address for three reasons:

  • There are significant additional costs in shipping printed kits to foreign addresses.
  • We can not guarantee all our notifications would be accepted if sent from abroad. We are also aware there are a few companies where you must attend a branch in person.
  • Our research has not extended to cover applicants from outside of the USA.

You may still decide to purchase an Easy Name Change kit as it will save you hours of research and many notifications will be accepted. If you purchase a kit we recommend buying the standard kit (only sent digitally). You must use a US address, perhaps a friend’s or relative’s address. You may use Adobe reader to overwrite this with your foreign address. If you sign your letters and forms you may arrange for them to be dispatched from within the USA as companies will be less likely to reject your application. Please be aware any companies requiring to be visited in person will be unable to update your name. Should you ever run into issues with these companies when proving your identity you may be required to produce a marriage certificate or court order at that time.