Passport name ‘too rude’ for flying
If you're into overseas travel but interested in changing your name, you may want to take note of this man's mistake.
After changing his name, Kenny Kennard is no longer able to travel overseas - because his new surname is too offensive to be printed on a passport.
The 33-year-old changed his surname to "Fu-Kennard" as a joke several years ago, but now he's not laughing after being told he cannot have it on any travel documents.
The supermarket worker from Cornwall in the UK has contested the passport office's verdict three times - but the Home Office has refused to budge on their verdict that his surname "may cause offence".
"I'd decided to change my name to Fu-Kennard a few years back," he told The Mirror.
"When I had to apply for a driving licence, it was accepted fine, so I figured it wouldn't make much difference in applying for a passport. How wrong I was.
"I got refused on grounds that my name could cause offence or was vulgar.
"So I complained, but they upheld their decision, so I complained again. I was then told they'd keep the fee for administration costs.
"If I wanted to take the matter further, they said I'd need to contact my MP.
"So I wrote to MP Scott Mann, and he replied saying they're within their remit to refuse."
Mr Fu-Kennard said he was shocked that people would take his name as more than a joke, and the verdict made him feel like a prisoner in his own homeland.
"Now I'm skint with no passport, like a prisoner in my own country," he said.
"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 the 33-year-old has changed his name.
When he was 16, he became "Coco Kenny", but after joining the army and wanting to be taken seriously, he had to change it to something more sensible.
But after eight years with the military, he was able to change his name again, deciding on something with a bit of "fun" to it.
"Life's too short to be boring," he said, noting he went with "Fu-Kennard" because "not everyone gets the joke".
According to the Home Office's official guidelines, a passport applicant cannot have a name that "may cause outrage or offence" or that could be classed as "unacceptable," including 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".
Mr Fu-Kennard said the Home Office had told him it would only proceed with an application for a passport if he either changed his name to one that was acceptable or used his previous name.
"Without a passport, I can't go on holiday abroad," he said.
"I live in a seaside town but have always enjoyed travelling.
"My last holiday - to Sri Lanka - was about three years ago. But there are so many countries I'd still like to visit, such as Cambodia.
"I have a stag do in three weeks, for instance. When the best man was deciding what to do for it, he knew I couldn't travel - so he settled on Cardiff instead.
"I don't know what else I can do to escalate the situation with HM Passport Office because no one has advised me how else I can challenge the verdict.
"I only have one red line, though - I'm keeping my surname.
"I don't want to change it again, especially because they're restricting my freedom.
"I like Fu-Kennard."