UK woman renames herself Skywalker, gets refused a passport over copyright

Aug 02, 2014, 07:23 IST | Agencies

Laura Matthews said she changed her name 'for a bit of a laugh'

Southend: A woman who gave herself the middle name ‘Skywalker’ could only dream of travelling to the planets of Naboo or Tattoine like her namesake, but she can’t even go across the English Channel to France — after the Home Office denied her a passport.

Laura Matthews, from Southend, changed her name by deed poll in 2008 and had no problems until she tried to renew her passport – and was denied because her name was subject to copyright.

The 29-year-old, who said she added the middle name ‘for a bit of a laugh’ after a conversation with friends, was stunned when the Home Office told her they would not recognise her name.

“We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute,” said a spokesperson.

However, Matthews, who missed her July trip to Amsterdam because of the issue, was far from impressed.

“It’s on my driving licence, my bank cards, everything,” she said. “Everyone else is happy with that signature, apart from the passport office.”

Fortunately for the Star Wars fan, she has been told she can reapply for a new passport using her old signature and name.

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