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

A man due to appear in Nelson District Court said he could not attend because he had to surrender his passport. Photo / 123rf

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

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

He managed to obtain a driver’s license under his new name Fu-Kennard, but his plan has since fallen through after he was informed that his new name would not be accepted in 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 “might cause offence”.

He appealed against the HM Passport Office verdict three times – but the Home Office refused to budge.

Fu-Kennard explained that he did not want to change his name again and was resigned to the fact that he would never be able to travel overseas for vacation.

“Now I’m skint without a passport, like a prisoner in my country. On the one hand, I find everything funny – like all my friends. But I also find it hard to believe that the name could be built as something funny and a little 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 to “Coco Kenny” when he was 16, but was forced to change after joining the army at the age of 19 because he was “immature”.

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

Official guidelines list a series of “names that may cause outrage or offense” that could be classified as “unacceptable” and not suitable for a passport.

They include the use of swearing; sexually explicit references; inappropriate religious connotation; is vulgar, offensive or libelous to an individual; makes use of a name of a living or dead person that may cause public concern.

The guide also says: “This applies to phonetics, as well as the actual use of words including part or all of the name.”

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