Identity Crisis

It only took me two years, one month, two weeks & 5 days to have my name changed on all my official documents. Moving to London five days after we got married delayed the process at bit. I believe I got my name changed on my Maine driver’s license the December after we were married.

The passport was a little more complicated…I did make an attempt to get an updated passport through the US Embassy in London BUT in order to get a new passport your old passport must be cancelled HOWEVER my working visa would still be valid in my old [cancelled] passport. Remember my working visa was issued through the UK Embassy in New York (not to mention it cost about $1,500 if I remember correctly – we were lucky that Pete’s former employer sponsored aka paid for my visa). Try to wrap your head around that. I would have to carry both passports whenever I was entering the UK – a cancelled passport with an active visa in one name & an active passport with no visa in other name. OH did I mention my name was spelt incorrectly on my passport? Yup, it was – however many years later, no one ever noticed. Side note: I’ve NEVER been asked for a secondary form of ID when traveling with just my passport.

So to make my long story even longer, Pete booked our upcoming trip in my married name which was his passive aggressive way of pushing me to get a new passport. I haven’t mentioned this yet but the truth is I love my old passport & didn’t want to trade it in (good news is, I do get it back at some point) – it’s fat [extra pages!] & very well-loved. Of course, the story doesn’t end there. I sent in the passport application without the $110 fee because when your name is spelt wrong they are supposed to replace the passport FOR FREE any time during life of the passport. Nope, they sent it back. Last name change fee apparently trumps my first name being spelt wrong. The website isn’t smart enough figure out that logic, so it tells you that there is no fee & you send all your paperwork in (marriage license, birth certificate, old passport, forms galore) & then send it back telling you to try again. You panic a little when you get everything back in the mail (minus the new passport, plus a letter that tells you to cough up the money) because you’re heading to Africa in a few weeks. Everything goes back in the mail, including a check & a nastygram from yours truly complete with screenshots of the website explaining the glitch in the system. And lucky for me, a very stiff, very thin new passport arrived in the mail last Monday – with six business days to spare!

So my name is now changed on ALL my official documents. I now have a Maine license issued to Annie-Clare E. Pease, Maine & Illinois’ licenses issued to Annie-Clare E Gray, a passport issued to Annie-Clare E Gray, and am waiting for the return of my passport issued to Annie-Claire E Pease. I give you lots of credit if you read that entire rant.

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