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The passport is the governing document for identity for all nonimmigrants residing in the US.

Regardless of whether the name is incorrect, the name as it is printed in your passport is the name you should use for all official documents, applications, forms, etc. while in the US. The passport may be incorrect in your mind, but it is correct in the minds of all US bureaucrats. 

Examples of places where you’ll use your official name:

  • Division of Motor Vehicles
  • Social Security Administration
  • Applications for Immigration Benefits 
  • National Education Tests 

If you have a nickname, you are more than welcome to use it informally with friends, co-workers, etc. 

The passport can be used as an official form of identity in the US, but it is not recommended that you carry it with you at all times. Instead, you should look into obtaining another form of official ID such as a driver’s license or state ID card.

Expiration Dates and Renewing Your Passport

You should always be aware of the expiration date listed in your passport. Citizens of some countries may be denied boarding privileges or entry to the US if at the time of entry their passport is not valid for more than 6 months into the future. Please check your passport expiration dates before upcoming travel, to make sure your passport is dated at least 6 months into the future.  

Your passport can be renewed/replaced from within the borders of the US. In order to renew or replace your passport while in the US, you will need to consult your embassy’s website in order to determine requirements, application forms, fees, etc. For most countries, the nearest embassy/consulate will be in either Washington, DC or Atlanta, GA.

Quick Reference

Pamela Melton
Program Manager


M-F, 10 am - 5 pm
Office of International Services
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Medical Center Blvd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27407
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Last Updated: 08-10-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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