Government misspells Durham man's name on his passport and initially refuses to fix the error

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Friday, May 6, 2022
Misspelled passport threatens to derail Durham man's honeymoon
He followed all the rules; he had all the correct documents. But still the government misspelled his name on his passport. Then when he tried to get it fixed, he was told he was ineligible.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A mistake by the government put a Durham couple's honeymoon in jeopardy.

Jeremy Rascoe is getting married this summer, and he and his fiancé wanted to go out of the country for their honeymoon. Rascoe applied for his passport more than a year ago in April of 2021. Three months later he was approved and got the passport in the mail, but there was a mistake.

"My middle name is Durell but, in the middle, they have Purell. Again, it's the middle of the pandemic, so I'm guessing they were looking at my birth certificate and looking at hand sanitizer and continued to type," he said.

On the paperwork Rascoe filled out, he has his middle name spelled correctly and it's even spelled correctly on the mailing envelope his passport arrived in, it's just misspelled on his passport.

He called and emailed the US Department of State to report the problem and was told to fill out a form about the incorrect spelling of his middle name.

"I sent out my passport book again, with my birth certificate that I also have and I thought everything was fine."

Rascoe continued to check the status of his passport application which said 'In Process' for months, but then all of a sudden changed to 'Not Issued.' Online, Rascoe's account said it was determined that he wasn't eligible.

The government then sent him his original passport back with his middle name still misspelled.

"It just confuses me on the reason why I can't get a simple thing processed. It's more headache than I ever thought it would be," Rascoe said.

With his honeymoon just a few months away, Rascoe got in touch with Troubleshooter Diane Wilson and she reached out to the US Department of State, who thanked ABC11 for reaching out and working directly with Rascoe to fix the issue. Within a few weeks, Rascoe had success.

"I got my passport on Friday. We are in the money now; we are good to go to Jamaica for our honeymoon. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate you for everything," Rascoe said to Wilson.

He is relieved he now has a passport with the correct spelling of his middle name.

This is a good reminder, with travel picking back up after the pandemic, it's key to leave plenty of time when applying for a passport in case you run into any issues like this.