Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney At Law Llc

How to modify travel documents after a divorce

During a divorce, the last thing on your mind is a vacation. You may love the idea of ditching all your divorce documents and jumping onto the next flight to Hawaii, but it’s not realistic for most divorcees.

However, you will take a trip after your divorce – eventually. Before you book your hotel or the car rental, you need to consider what travel documents need updates.


Passports are necessary documents for international travel and if you do not have an enhanced driver’s license for domestic flights. However, they are a pain to modify, especially after you legally change your name.

Changing the name on a passport is similar to renewing your passport. You submit a full application and wait four to six weeks to process the changes. If you need your passport quickly, you have to visit a regional processing center to apply.

The documents necessary to change your name in your passport depends on when you received your last passport. Typically, you need your previous passport, passport photo and evidence of a name change. If you want any more details, view the U.S. Passport Service Guide online.

Driver’s License

In Missouri, you change the name on your driver’s license after you petition for a legal name change in court. After you change your name, you visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a duplicate driver’s license with your new name.

You need to bring documentation to prove your name change; examples include an updated social security card and a certified court order. Also, you have to retake your photo and sign the application. With your new license, you can travel easier, modify reservations and change your plane ticket.

Plane ticket

Most airlines state on their websites that tickets on nonrefundable and nontransferable. Essentially, you cannot transfer a ticket to a friend or family member if you do not want it anymore. However, there are circumstances where an airline may modify the name on a specific ticket.

For example, you initially bought tickets for you and your spouse to go to Hawaii on your tenth anniversary. However, you and your partner decide to separate before the tenth anniversary rolls around. You forget all about the ticket in the process of changing your name and dividing your assets.

The airlines will work with you through their customer service desk or telephone number. You need to provide documentation of your legal name change, like your new passport or driver’s license. Once you update your documents, you are set to travel the globe and enjoy your new life.

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