Essex

'Skywalker' passport cancelled because it was 'frivolous'

Laura Matthews and Luke Skywalker Image copyright AP/LUCASFILM
Image caption Laura "Skywalker" Matthews has been told her passport should never have been issued

A woman who added Skywalker as a middle name has had her passport cancelled after being told her application was "frivolous".

Laura Matthews, 29, was told her signature - "L. Skywalker" - infringed a trademark in July this year.

She was issued with the document several weeks later, after threatening to take legal action.

But she has now been told the passport was issued in error and has been cancelled.

Ms Matthews told the BBC the decision has left her feeling "upset, frustrated and disappointed".

A Home Office spokesman said: "Protecting the integrity of the UK passport is vital and we do not accept a change of name for frivolous reasons."

Passport error

In a letter to Ms Matthews, the Passport Office said its "published guidance provides that we will refuse to recognise a change of name... if it is made for a bet or frivolous purpose.

"Additionally, in your case, the signature used in the passport is different to your surname and by your own admission was done for 'a laugh'".

"Regrettably, an error was made in issuing your passport," the letter said.

"I am sorry that the error was made but I have to inform you that your passport will be cancelled."

Image caption Ms Matthew's passport has been cancelled "on grounds the application was frivolous"

Ms Matthews, from Southend in Essex, added the middle name using a deed poll in 2008 "for a bit of fun".

She had not renewed her passport since adding the moniker, and experienced several weeks of delays when she tried to do so in April.

She was told the delays were because her signature "infringed a trademark".

Her passport was issued at the end of August after she contacted a law firm specialising in intellectual property law and said she would take legal action unless her application was approved.

Image caption The Passport Office said it would refuse to recognise a name change "if it is made for a bet or frivolous purpose"

Ms Matthews said this was the fourth time the Passport Office had changed its mind about her case.

"Now I'm not sure if it's my signature they have a problem with, or my middle name," she said.

"All I know it's extremely disappointing that I've been let down again by an organisation which doesn't seem to know if it's coming or going.

"I don't think I'm going to be able to fight it. I don't know what else I can do."

The Home Office spokesman added: "We have apologised to the applicant and agreed to meet the cost of a new passport in a name that meets the published guidance."

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