9

I recently renewed my US passport. Under "Endorsements" on the photo page, the new passport says "SEE PAGE 27". However, page 27 is blank, as are all the other visa/endorsement pages.

My previous passport had a similar endorsement, with the endorsement page listing my full legal name (I have middle names which are apparently too long for the photo page). It seems like perhaps they forgot to print this note on the endorsement page in the new passport.

Since it seems like it may be a major hassle to get this passport corrected, especially given the notorious backlog that the US passport office is having at present, could I just go ahead and use it as is? Or am I likely to experience serious problems at US or foreign ports of entry (major delays, refusal of entry, or worse) if the immigration officer notices the missing endorsement? Would I need to offer any other explanation besides "it came like that"?

(The National Passport Information Center refused to answer this question by email, and their call center is too overloaded to be usable.)

3
  • How many characters are your given names, including spaces? Mine are 20, and I've often wondered whether that is the maximum. The 39-character size of the name field in the MRZ could also be the issue, though in theory the name in the MRZ can be truncated if necessary.
    – phoog
    Aug 12 at 20:36
  • @phoog: 25 characters all told, counting spaces. The photo page and MRZ only show my first name and the initial of my first middle name. If my last name is added to that, it comes to 34 characters. Aug 12 at 20:47
  • Hm. That's 35 characters for the purpose of the MRZ, because there are two separator characters between the surname and the given names. But 35 is also less than 39. So I suppose the maximum length for given names in the VIZ lies somewhere between 20 and 24.
    – phoog
    Aug 12 at 20:53
8

The data page always says "see page whatever" even if there are no endorsements actually entered there. It's just a pointer to the place where endorsements are to be found, not a statement that endorsements actually exist there.

I have certainly never had anyone look at my endorsements page, much less ask about why it's blank. The only reason to get the endorsement added would be if you want or need the passport to serve as evidence of your "full legal name." Otherwise, enjoy your travels.

1
  • 1
    Sure enough! I went back and checked my previous previous passport (issued 20 years ago), and indeed it also has a "See page 24" with nothing on page 24. I guess it was only my previous one where the passport office decided, for whatever reason, to include my full name, and now they've gone back to leaving it out. Aug 12 at 20:32
3

I'm a notary in the state of Vermont, USA. I personally believe I can use common sense when it comes to using a passport or similar document to identify a person who is about to sign a document that needs to be notarized. But there are some notaries who believe in a mythical "more but not less" rule. They think that if the name on the document is shorter than the name in the passport, that's OK, but if the name in the passport is shorter than the name in the document, they should refuse to notarize. For example, if the document says Johnathan Q. Davidson and the passport says Johnathan Quincy Davidson, that's OK, but the reverse is unacceptable.

A forum for notaries that has discussed this mythical rule is Notary Rotary. An example of such a discussion may be found at https://www.notaryrotary.com/forums/forums.asp?id=VMT5V6PJ&forumid=1AAA00000003&messageid=2242539&code=63DEC2AFA5D9400EC51CF8A0257D0424&smsg=601506&requestid=09172429001&action=view&format=threaded

Notaries from California seem especially prone to believe this myth.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.