I want to only submit a passport once and want everything to go well.

My full name is much too long to fit on the passport, and it says to add first, middle, and last name.

My mother's full name is even longer and is impossible to shorten and fit without initials.

Is it safe to use initials? The application states nothing about this, and I can't find any good info about this, but there's no other way without either withdrawing the middle name(s) entirely or using initials.

I don't want any delays or issues that will take longer to approve, but don't know what's safest to do.

  • 4
    what country is this for? Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 19:15
  • 1
    What's the name usedi n your SSN card? was it shortened? Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 20:52
  • The online form app accepts 35 characters each for your first, middle, and last names. Are you saying one of your names is longer than that? Or, are you just worried that it won't fit in the physical passport? (This part is not a problem.) Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 0:28

1 Answer 1


The paper DS-11 form has only spaces for 21 characters for your last name, 17 for your first name, and 16 for your middle name. The online DS-11 form, which generates a file you must print, accepts 35 characters for each of first name, middle name and last name.

Unless you are this woman, that should be sufficient.

Your surname should not be truncated on the passport, but your middle or first names might be if they are too long. The names may also be truncated in the machine-readable data lines at the bottom of the information page. This doesn't affect your passport validity.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .