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Name when applying for a REAL ID?

one+twoone+two 140 replies7 threads Junior Member
Using false names but :
My birth name is Sally Mary Smith .

When I got married 32 years ago (before proving your “true” name was a real thing) I changed my last name to my husband’s name – Jones and started using my maiden name/initial as my middle name.

So my birth certificate says Sally Mary Smith

My marriage license says Sally Mary Smith married John Jones.

But my driver’s license says Sally Smith Jones

And my credit cards, bills, etc. say Sally S. Jones

BUT my passport, because I had to show my birth certificate and marriage license to get it, says Sally Mary Jones. (When I buy plane tickets I put Sally Smith (or S.) Jones to match my driver’s license but the one time I traveled internationally I put Sally Mary Jones to match my passport.)

So when I get the Real ID I will not have passport and bills with middle initials/names that match. And if I now change my driver’s license to match the passport it won’t match my credit cards, etc. when I need to show it for id in a store for example.

Anyone else been in this situation or have any advice?
55 replies
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Replies to: Name when applying for a REAL ID?

  • HImomHImom 34545 replies393 threads Senior Member
    When I went to Social Security to get my name changed after I got married, they insisted I use the name I signed on the marriage license and it’s been my official name on all documents since.

    I’d use the name on the marriage license and SS on ALL documents, including real ID, driver’s license and passport and switch them all do they all match.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7814 replies65 threads Senior Member
    I have a "different" name on my credit cards and have never had a problem. All other official documents match.

    FWIW, my H has run into trouble with international travel because his passport doesn't have his middle initial but his license does. We've been told they need to match exactly.
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  • twomoosetwomoose 102 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I just went through the Real ID process. It may depend on the mood of the person assisting you at the DMV....

    I would suggest that you bring your marriage license for verification. The DMV website in my state said a marriage license was required (if your name has changed since your birth certificate was issued) . I started giving the DMV attendant the required documents, starting with my passport (which has the same name as my driver's license but not my maiden name). After the passport, the DMV attendant didn't look at my birth certificate and growled at me when I tried to show her my marriage license ("I don't need that!")

    I think having the passport makes some of the other documents unnecessary, since the passport approval process involves a fair amount of vetting. I would take your documents, including marraige license, in to the DMV and see what happens.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26935 replies175 threads Senior Member
    common occurrence, but it depends on your state and what they will accept. Check your DMV's website for necessary docs and instructions.
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  • kiddiekiddie 3494 replies220 threads Senior Member
    Years ago, when they started getting stricter with IDs, but before the real ID, I brought my SS cards (I have one with maiden name and one with married) to the DMV and the woman had a fit. I don't really know why (I think I wasn't supposed to have two - the old one should have been turned in?.)

    My passport has my "fake" middle name on it (a confirmation name I never used) and all my other IDs have no middle name (as I wasn't given one at birth). I never use my middle name or initial on anything, including credit cards. I wouldn't worry too much. Just bring everything and see what name they think your new ID should have.

    BTW, my husband has one credit card with the wrong middle initial (was originally a sears card). Nobody has ever given him a problem about it.
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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 730 replies4 threads Member
    Like HImom, when I got married, I applied for a new social security card. I don’t recall what sort of paperwork I filled out, but I dropped my middle name and my maiden name became my middle name.

    So using your example, my SS card says Sally Smith Jones. I don’t remember the process but I also got a new driver’s license to reflect that. My credit cards just have my middle initial. I already had a passport in my birth name when we married, so I guess at some point when I needed to renew, I sent in all the documentation showing my married name so that my new passport after marrying then had my maiden name as my middle name.

    How often do you even show your license in stores when using credit cards? I doubt they are going to question you about your middle initial being different.

    I just used my husband’s credit card at Bath and Body Works this week. I left my wallet at home and called him at his office down the street asking him to bring me his credit card (mainly because I was on my way to get gas as my tank was seriously on empty and couldn’t go home or I’d run out of gas). He wasn’t even in the store with me, but the clerk never even knew I used someone else’s card since I was using a card reader. The only store I can think of that has ever asked me is American Eagle, which I just happened to go in recently with my son and was surprised they asked for my license even tho I used a card reader. It does seem to happen more frequently around the holidays.

    In any case, I’d rather my real ID/license and passport match than worry about my credit card having the wrong middle initial.
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  • FourAtShoreFourAtShore 36 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Well, California has botched its Real ID rollout, so not sure if you want to go by their advice, but . . . according to the Cal DMV website (and my experience getting a license for my son), you need a passport OR a birth certificate, not both. In your case, your passport doesn't help you, because the name is wrong. Bring certified copies of your birth certificate and your marriage license. Those together will match your old, non-Real ID license. Keep in mind you ALSO need something official with your correct name and your full social security number, such as your social security card or a W-2. Did you ever change your name with the social security administration?

    It doesn't sound like you travel internationally a lot, but I would probably take this opportunity to correct your passport. While you're at it, pay the extra $30 for a passport card, which you can use as a Real ID to fly domestically.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 13118 replies246 threads Senior Member
    I got mine with only my DL and passport, which match.
    How often do you even show your license in stores when using credit cards? I doubt they are going to question you about your middle initial being different.

    I can't recall the last time. I use my card all the time (for miles).
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  • HImomHImom 34545 replies393 threads Senior Member
    I had to bring 2 statements showing current address, SS card, my old DL, and my passport! They scanned in statements—whoops, didn’t really want those in state database. My nephew hardly needed anything—I think DL and passport! Same state! Weird!

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  • SyrAlumSyrAlum 556 replies21 threads Member
    I have a similar problem but mine is with my firstname. My firstname is a name that can be shortened, similar to Katherine -->Kathy. I have been using shortfirstname all my life. Longfirstname only exits in two places, my birth certificate and my social security card. Shortfirstname exists everywhere else: Passport, marriage license, tax returns, bank accounts, credit cards, employment records, etc. In fact, outside of my family and a few close friends, I don't think anyone else realizes I have a longfirstname as it's not as obvious as the above example.

    My original social security card was issued with shortfirstname, much to my mother's irritation since I was the one who filled out the paperwork at age 13. For some reason, when I was married 30 years ago, I wrote longfirstname on the form with my maiden name and new last name.

    In February I need to renew my Drivers License (California) and upgrade to Read ID but I'm going to have a problem because I have longfirstname on my social security card but shortfirstname everywhere else.

    The easiest solution is to see if the Social Security administration will change my firstname back to shortfirstname as it was on my original card. Has anyone out there done anything like this? Based on a quick conversation I had with a SSA employee a coupe of years ago, it's possible, but she thought I would need to go to court, put an ad in the paper, etc., etc. which is the procedure for someone legally changing their name to something different but I'm hoping mine can be done on the fly since I'm not asking for something different just for my firstname to go back to it's original form.
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  • HImomHImom 34545 replies393 threads Senior Member
    Dunno, we decided after writing S’s middle name one way at the hospital to spell it a slightly different way. We were told we were SO lucky it was still I. The pending basket and a nice staffer pulled it out and threw it away at our request. We were able to file his paperwork with the name spelled as H wanted it instead.

    That staffer told us if it had already bern processed, we would have to petition the Lt. Gov and run ads in the newspaper, etc.

    On the other hand, I filed an alias and practiced law in my maiden name for years after I was married and then finally changed everything over about a decade after I was married. I never had to put anything in the newspaper. I think a lot may honestly depend on the staffer you get. (If you get a challenging one, thank them politely and go back again another day/time.)
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    edited October 30
    I have my maiden name on my driver's license and the first initial of my original middle name on my Social Security card. (I don't remember how I botched this up, but it's way too late to change it now.)

    I routinely bring my marriage certificate with me when I start new jobs. I did the same thing when I went to get a real ID driver's license. I didn't have any trouble.

    I actually had some difficulty, though, with the two proofs of address. Because my husband moved to our current address three months before I did (21 years ago!), all of our utilities and the phone and cable bills are in his name only. He's the one who opened the accounts. I had to use some of the more obscure options.
    edited October 30
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  • mathmommathmom 32524 replies159 threads Senior Member
    My mother's passport has her maiden name for her middle name, I don't know why your passport didn't do that. (I happen to have boxes of her photos and memorabilia on my living room floor waiting to be sort, scanned or tossed.)

    I got married about a month before we left for Germany and we were going straight from our honeymoon to the other coast. I figured trying to change my IDs would be a nightmare which was one of the reasons I kept my name. I've never regretted it!
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  • one+twoone+two 140 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Thank you everyone for these varied ideas/thoughts which let me know 1. I'm not alone and 2. There's no one / easy solution :smile:

    I did some looking yesterday and found that I didn't actually sign my marriage license - 2 priests, maid of honor and best man signed it but no me or H. I can't find my SS card but I did find statements and they are addressed to Sally S. Jones so apparently I used my maiden name as my middle initial when applying for a new SS card after marriage 32 years ago. My paychecks and other work items are all with my maiden name middle initial.

    I think Kohls always checks my drivers license. Although I gave my Kohls card to my son last week and he used it with no problem so so much for that security measure. There's also another store that seems to check it randomly. It may be Walmart, but I question how closely they actually look at it.

    Barring the DMV saying differently, my thought at this point is to change the passport to maiden name as middle name since it's the lone different document. I'm not sure why I didn't do that when I first applied for the passport 5 years ago. I must have shown my drivers license when applying. I may delay changing passport, though, because S is going abroad starting in January and I need reassurance I can get to him in an emergency so I don't want to send in my current one.

    Do they really check drivers' license along with passport for international travel? I thought passport trumped drivers license when verifying boarding pass and if I buy ticket with my original middle name to match passport they wouldn't know about my other middle name?

    I'm not sure how college students get Real IDs if they don't have any bills in their names. When we renewed my sons' passports last Spring, however, we got them the passport cards also so they can use those for domestic airline travel.

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  • kiddiekiddie 3494 replies220 threads Senior Member
    I just went to the NJ Real ID website (which is up although I think we are a year away from them issuing any). When you select a document to use they ask if the name is identical to the name on the other documents and if not they say you can't use it. So I guess I won't be able to use my passport but I should be ok with my other docs (SS card, birth cert, marriage license, bills addressed to met, current driver's license, etc.)

    Just traveled internationally - nobody asks for anything but passport. I didn't use my middle name on my ticket (but it is on my passport) and nobody cared.

    I have only ever been asked to my driver's license when paying by credit card when on vacation in CA and maybe one other state.
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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 730 replies4 threads Member
    When my kids initially got their licenses in MD, they were issued as Real ID licenses. We just had to bring in a high school report card or something else from school which had their name and address on it. However, my kids all have their own bank accounts so bank statements and even a pay statement from a job works. MD has a list of acceptable documents but MD also allows parents to verify proof of residency (I.e. show a bill in my own name as well as proof they are my kid).

    Surely college kids have something with their address on it?
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  • sryrstresssryrstress 2532 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I've been caught in a circle like this for a long time. The BMV insisted on hyphenating my maiden and married last names 25 years ago. I used my married name for everything else. Credit cards mostly married name. I never have stores ask for license.

    It's become a problem with certain hospitals and medical providers, as some now insist the account match the driver's license exactly, even though my insurance card is with married name. My experience is a hyphenated last name gets filed (computer or manual) many different ways and no one can find it when they look for labs, reports, etc.

    Now I need a real ID and it'll be an issue there too. A couple weeks ago I went to SS and got a new card with original middle name and married last name. They told me I had to use full middle name. ?? Original card had middle initial. Card isn't here yet. We will see how BMV goes. I go there with poor expectations and anything else brings joy!
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  • cbreezecbreeze 4690 replies88 threads Senior Member
    I just went through this last month to get my Real ID.
    My passport uses my maiden name as middle name but my driver's license has my middle name by birth.
    This time I asked if my driver's license can match my passport, my married name as my middle name. She said she would try and when she typed my name into the computer, she told me the computer accepted it. I think if there's another person with my exact name, she might not have been able to change it.
    My supporting documents all show my middle name by birth but they didn't seem to care.
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  • one+twoone+two 140 replies7 threads Junior Member
    sryrstress wrote: »
    I go there with poor expectations and anything else brings joy!

    That's a winning life philosophy right there. I'm going to try to adopt it!
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  • chardonMNchardonMN 100 replies12 threads Junior Member
    Can I just use my passport or passport card for travel instead of getting a new DL?
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