Use of Maiden Name

Frequently Asked Questions

Are married women obliged or required to use their husbands’ surname?

No. According to prevailing jurisprudence, “a married woman has the option, but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband.” Therefore, upon marriage, married women have the option to continuously use her maiden name or:

  1. Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname; or
  2. Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname; or
  3. Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”

I have already used my husband’s surname in my identification cards and other documents. Can I use my maiden name again?

While there is no blanket prohibition on reverting to one’s maiden name, certain special laws limit the instances in which a married woman can resume or revert to her maiden name, such as Republic Act No. 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.

The Philippine Passport Act does not prohibit married women from continuously using their maiden names in their passports. However, once a married woman has opted to adopt her husband’s surname in her passport, she may not revert to her maiden name, except in any of the following instances:

  1. Death of husband;
  2. Divorce;
  3. Annulment; or
  4. Nullity of Marriage.


Philippine Commission on Women (2016). Allowing Married Women to Retain and Use their Maiden Name in lieu of their Husband’s Surname in accordance to Existing Laws and Pertinent Jurisprudence (PCW Memorandum Circular No. 2016-07)

Remo v. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 628 Phil. 181 (2010). Retrieved here.