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I received my daughter's passport yesterday and in it are the particulars of her parents (myself and my husband). All the details are correct, except my surname is my maiden surname, which is no longer my legal name, it was changed to my married name 7 years before she was born. The field does say "maiden/surname" for both father and mother. My daughter's birth certificate has my married name.

This is a South African passport and the Home Affairs office is notorious for both being uncontactable and for making mistakes. I haven't been able to contact them to ask.

The reason why I wonder if this is a mistake is because I literally have no photo ID of my maiden name anymore and I would have to use my marriage certificate of proof of this name change. It seems very strange to use my maiden name when it isn't my legal name anymore, and literally all of my ID (issued by them) have used my married name for years.

I am planning on travelling and applying for visas soon, and I'm concerned this is going to be an additional paperwork burden. If this is a mistake, I would like to go through the process of getting it corrected so that it matches my legal name, but I don't know if it's worth the effort.

I understand that no one here can really say definitively if this is intentional or not (Home Affairs themselves doesn't know what's going on!), but perhaps there is some kind of standard that specifies maiden names should be used and immigration control is used to seeing this kind of thing? Is it? Or is this very obviously a mistake?

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    What name is shown on your daughter's birth certificate? – phoog Feb 5 at 14:49
  • @phoog "My daughter's birth certificate has my married name." – BritishSam Feb 5 at 15:40
  • @BritishSam thanks, I missed that obviously. Stan, it looks to me like you should get your passport replaced, but I have no personal experience with South African passports, let alone those of minor children. – phoog Feb 5 at 15:57
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I received my daughter's passport yesterday and in it are the particulars of her parents (myself and my husband). All the details are correct, except my surname is my maiden surname
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My daughter's birth certificate has my married name.
...
The reason why I wonder if this is a mistake is because I literally have no photo ID of my maiden name anymore...
...

You should check the entry of your daughter in the National Population Register (NPR). This is probably possible anywhere where an amendment of a SA identity document can be done (any office of the Department of Home Affairs).

If that entry shows the mothers maiden name (instead of the legal name used in the birth certificate), then that will be the cause of the invalid maiden name of the mother used in the passport

  • the NPR entry must be changed and a new passport must be applied for

If the NPA is corrrect (shows the mothers legal name used in the birth certificate), then the passport must be corrected since it does not reflect the entry of the NPA.

Note:
When travelling abroad with a minor child, it is essential that proof exists that the accompanying adult is a guardian of the child.

Such a mismatch, that presently exists, must be properly resolved to avoid later problems that will most likly occur at the most inconvenient moment.


General information about South African passports
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You must also note that:
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  • Passports are issued in accordance with your names as they appear in the National Population Register (NPR) at the time of your application. Any changes to your names must be applied for, finalised and recorded in the NPR before you submit your passport application

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South African passports include the following information:
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  • Given names and surname of the passport holder

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Note: Not all countries add the maiden name information in a passport.


Amend information on the population register
You can apply to have to information on the population register amended to:
...

  • rectify the date of birth, gender or place of birth.

Find out more about how to apply for an amendment or contact the Department of Home Affairs.


Amendments in ID Books & Birth Certificates
The Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992) read with the Identification Act, 1997 (Act No. 68 of 1997) provides for the rectification, amplification and amendment of the personal information of individuals as contained in the National Population Register of South Africa (NPR).
...
Rectifying the date of birth, gender or place of birth in the birth register
Should any information contained within a document issued by the Department of Home Affairs be incorrect as a result of a departmental error, the error will be corrected free of charge.

However, if the mistake was on the part of the applicant, correction of the information will have to be applied for by completing Form BI-526 and the prescribed fee must be paid. Submission of proof of the correct information is a prerequisite in such instances


Identity documents
General information about South African Identity books / Identity Documents
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You can apply for your ID book at any office of the Department of Home Affairs or any South African mission or consulate overseas. All applications are sent to the Department’s head office in Pretoria. There, your fingerprints will be matched with those already on record or entered into the National Population Register. Your application will then be processed and once issued, your ID book will be forwarded to the office where you made your application for you to collect.
...

Correcting errors in the ID Document
If you get your ID book and there are errors in the personal information contained within, the Department of Home Affairs will replace your ID book free of charge.

To apply to correct information in your ID book, simply submit the following to any office of the Department of Home Affairs:

  • Forms BI-9 and BI-309 completed with the correct information
  • Proof of the error, that shows the correct information e.g. birth certificate
  • Two identical colour photographs (NOT needed at smartcard offices as ID images are captured digitally)

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Since a Passport is issued against an Identity Document, the correction of a Passport will be based on the same process as an Identity Document - since they are both based on the NPR entry.


Sources:

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  • Thanks so much for this! How do I go about finding out what her entry is in the NPR? – stan Feb 7 at 11:29
  • @stan My guess (I am not South African) would be where you would undergo any changes to your SA identity document. – Mark Johnson Feb 7 at 11:39
  • @stan Looks as if any office of the Department of Home Affairs is where this can be done. Allthough the child has no ID (< 16), the process is probably the same as amending an ID. (See added information in answer) – Mark Johnson Feb 7 at 12:34

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