"King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite" (That's His Name) is Refused Passport

By Gerald Lynch on at

Yep: That's a person's name. Matthew Whelan, Britain's most tattooed man, changed his name to King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite by deed poll four years ago. And despite heavy facial tattooing, it's his new moniker that's caused a stir with the Passport Office.

The canvas-formerly-known-as-Whelan had filled out all the relevant forms and paid the £72.50 fee to have his passport be renewed under the name "Body Art", his preferred shortening of his new name. However, despite the DVLA accepting the name for a driver's license, the Passport Office has refused to accept it. It claims it breaks rules around the allowance of "strings of words or phrases" on the official document:

"Where an applicant changes his or her name to a string of words or phrases that would not normally be recognised as a name, this should not be entered on to the personal details page of the passport."

Body Art now fears the refusal could put a potential overseas work offer in jeopardy, and suggests that a review of consistent protocol across the approval process for official documents is needed. "This is a breach of my human rights. They want to put my birth name on my passport. But that is not my name any more." [Independent]

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