Can a Married Woman Change the Surname Used in a Philippine Passport?

A passport, in general, is an official document of identity and nationality issued to a person intending to travel or sojourn in foreign countries. A “Philippine passport,” on the other hand, is a document certifying to the Philippine citizenship of the holder in use for travel purposes. Passport means a document issued by the Philippine government to its citizens and requesting other governments to allow its citizens to pass safely and freely, and in case of need to give him/her all lawful aid and protection.

A married woman has the option to use the surname of the husband in any of the ways provided by Article 370 of the Civil Code, to wit:

(1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname; OR
(2) Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname; OR
(3) Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”

The law allows a married woman to use her maiden name in her passport. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) allows a married woman who applies for a passport for the first time to use her maiden name. The applicant is NOT required to adopt her husband’s surname.

In the case of renewal of passport, a married woman may either adopt her husband’s surname or continuously use her maiden name. If she chooses to adopt her husband’s surname in her new passport, the DFA additionally requires the submission of an authenticated copy of the marriage certificate. Otherwise, if she prefers to continue using her maiden name, she may still do so. The DFA will not prohibit her from continuously using her maiden name.

However, once a married woman opts to adopt her husband’s surname in her passport, she may not revert to the use of her maiden name, except in the cases enumerated in Section 5(d) of RA 8239. These instances are: (1) death of husband; (2) divorce; (3) annulment; or (4) nullity of marriage. While the marriage is still subsisting, a married woman may not change her family name at will. The reason? To avoid confusion and inconsistency in the records of passport holders.

[References: Republic Act No. 8239, also known as the Philippine Passport Act of 1996; Remo vs. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, G.R. No. 169202, 5 March 2010; In re Petition for Habeas Corpus of Willie Yu vs. Defensor-Santiago, G.R. No. L-83882, 24 January 1989]

28 comments

  1. lw po atty. ask q lng po anu po ba pwd gawin na married po ako apply q po sa passport q is marriwd paano q po ba maibaluk sa sinlge maidem name q. po kc po mtgal nanpi kami hiwalay asawa q. since. 2008 pa po d po nmin. alam kng san sya nfaun. missing sya hngang ngaun po pati mga anak nmn d na mya po sinusuporthan. kc po d nmin. alam kng nasaan na sya ngun po. ano po ba dpat q po gawin atty. pra po ma balik sa. single ang passport q po marming slamat po sana mapayuhan. mo ako kng anu pwd gawin po pra mka. alis ako pra sa. future. ng mga anak q po

    1. Good morning po atty. Ask ko lang din po kung ok lang po ba na magrenew ako ng passport at gamitin ko pa din po un surname ko nun single pa po ako kasi po wla na po kame communication nun naging asawa ko at hindi na din po ako sinusuportahan financially ng pinakasalan ko na koreano kaya want ko po malaman kung pede ko pa din po gamitin un surname ko pag rerenew po ng passport ko. Thanks po

  2. Hi po atty. Tanong ko lng po pano ko po irrenew ang passport ko married to single. Mg7years na po kmi hiwalay at last april 28, 2016 don lng po kmi ngpirmahan ng hiwalayan my kinakasa sama na po ang husband ko at pati ung babae pinapirma rin po nmin, pero mga bata andon po sa knya kc ayw po nya ibigay mga bata, ang usapan pgbkasyon ako skin mga bta kong gusto ng mga bata at every month po pnpdalhan ko 2 anak ko ng allowance sa pgaaral at kylangan nla, sa nanay ko po pnpdla sa ama lng po ang png araw araw na pgkain nla. Gusto ko po sana pgmgrenew ako ng passport ko sa 2018 single na po passport ko.pano po b ggwin ko. Sana po matulungan nu ako.salamat po.

  3. good afternoon po. Gusto ko lang po malaman, how can i change my surname back to my maiden name in the company where i work? i just want to change it to my maiden since im separated 15 yrs. and im planning to file an annulment.

  4. i have so me concern… meron na po akong passport with my married name on it … my passport will expire this october 2016.. i want to renew my passport with my maiden name.. i already file presumptive death to my husband since its almost 10 years i got no news about him since he left us. my case was still in the court and there’s no decision about it… almost 3 years na ho ang case ko wala pa ring decision..
    will i able to renew my passport with my maiden name on it… wala pa ho kasing decision ang court
    hope to hear a reply regarding with my concern.

  5. hi po atty. im currently using a hyphenated name on my dfa passport and would like to renew using my husband’s surname? is this permissible since i am not going to revert back to the maiden name naman, will just have to place my maiden name as middle name

  6. Good day po atty. Nagugulohan po ako! Gusto Ko pong kumuha ng panibagong passport kaso lang po ayaw ko ng gamitin apelyedo ng asawa ko at single din po ang gusto kong ilagay sa status ko sa kadahilanang ikalawang asawa lang pala ako. Pwede ko po bang gawin ang kumuha ng panibagong passport na ang ilagay Ko sa status Ko single at di married dahil second wife lang din naman niya ako lately Ko lang po nalaman. Please po Nagugulohan po ako humihingi po ako ng payo mula sa inyo. Thank you and God bless po.!!! Gumagalang Grace

  7. My greetings po Atty.i have an illigetimate daughter at balak ng tatay nya na mapasyal siya ng disneyland dun kasisiya naka base sa hongkong,pero ang apeledo ng anak ko ay sa akin,papaano po siya makakuha ng passport?my daughter is 12 yrs old

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