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Man not allowed to travel overseas as surname is 'too rude' for passport

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 1 Nov 2023, 4:00pm
A man due to appear in the Nelson District Court said he was unable to attend because he'd had to surrender his passport. Photo / 123rf
A man due to appear in the Nelson District Court said he was unable to attend because he'd had to surrender his passport. Photo / 123rf

Man not allowed to travel overseas as surname is 'too rude' for passport

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 1 Nov 2023, 4:00pm

A British man has been stopped from travelling overseas as his surname is deemed too rude to be written on a passport.

A few years ago Kenny Kennard decided he would change his name for a laugh.

He managed to get a driver’s license under his new name Fu-Kennard but his plan has since backfired after he was informed his new name would not be accepted on a passport.

Fu-Kennard changed his name in 2016, but was denied a new passport in 2019 when his old one expired because his new name “may cause offence”.

He appealed against the HM Passport Office’s verdict three times - but the Home Office has refused to budge.

Fu-Kennard explained he didn’t want to change his name again and resigned himself to the fact he’d never be able to travel overseas for a holiday.

“Now I’m skint with no passport, like a prisoner in my own country. On the one hand, I find the whole thing funny - as do all of my friends. But I’m also finding it hard to believe the name could be construed as anything but funny and slightly ridiculous. It’s just a joke.

“‘Fu-Kennard’ is not offensive, and I object to them denying my chosen name.”

It’s not the first time he’s changed his name.

He first changed it to “Coco Kenny” when he was 16, but was forced to change it after he joined the army at age 19 because it was “immature”.

But after eight years of serving his country he decided another change was required.

The official guidelines list a series of “names that may cause outrage or offence” that could be classed as ‘unacceptable’ and not fit for a passport.

They include ‘the use of swear words; sexually explicit references; inappropriate religious connotation; is vulgar, offensive, or libellous to an individual; makes use of a name of a person living or dead which may cause public concern’.

The guidance also states: “This applies to phonetic, as well as actual use of words comprising of part or the entire name.”

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