If your passport doesn’t have a surname and USA visa has FNU (First Name Unknown), then you will have FNU Problem at Driving License and SSN office.

Let me give you a specific example of how FNU problem comes with USA Visa.

India Passport

  • First Name –  Arun Kumar
  • Surname – BLANK

According to Chennai Consulate Website

What if I do not have a first name? What if I do not have a surname?

GRE PassportIf your visa is approved, visas will be printed as your name appears in your passport. If you do not have a first name or surname, your entire name will be printed on the surname field of the visa. Your first name will be printed as “FNU” (first name unknown).

By having “FNU” listed as your given name on your visa, you may have difficulty obtaining a driver’s license and social security card in the United States. If you would like to correct the surname and given name fields on your passport biographic data page, you must have an observation made in your passport by the Indian Passport Authorities. In order for your name to be correctly printed on your visa, you must have this observation made before coming for your interview.

When you get USA Visa, your passport will be stamped with the following name

  • First Name – FNU
  • Surname –  Arun Kumar

If you are going to get SSN and Drivers License in USA with FNU in your first name, you might have problems.

FNU Problem Driving License and SSN

When you apply for SSN, they will verify your name in Passport with Name in USA Visa and I-94 Database.

Your name in the visa is not same as your name in the passport.

US Consulate issued your visa, but agents at SSN and DMV might not have come across situation like FNU and Surname mismatch with passport, USA Visa and Database.

You may have to take a printout from the Department of Homeland Security about FNU details while going to SSN Office and DMV.

Everything in the USA is depended on your SSN. If you can’t SSN, then you will start seeing the rollover effects. If you are planning to live, work in USA for extended period, it will be worth adding Surname in your passport.

If you plan to apply for Passport, make sure you use a Surname. Even if you don’t have Surname (or Last Name or Family Name) in your school certificates, add one in your passport.

Having Surname in the passport will prevent you from FNU Problem at Driving License and SSN office.

Take time to change your passport with Surname.

Question: If you are already in the USA, how to change the Name on your Indian Passport?

Follow the instructions described here – How to Change the Name on Indian Passport with FNU in USA Visa.

Question: If you are in India, what should I do before scheduling the visa interview?

Read this experience: How to Complete DS160 if Surnaem in Empty.


  1. Ric on November 8, 2018 at 2:40 AM

    My passport has.
    Surname: ABC XYZ
    Given names:
    Will there be any problem if I apply for an SSN and and a driving License?.

  2. rahul on October 2, 2018 at 10:42 PM

    hello all ,
    i had the same problem with my name as i only had given name in my passport.
    so i got my visa printed under FNU and my name ,i got ssn,dl and i94 form under my name and fnu in it. had no issues at all

    • Raghuram Sukumar on October 3, 2018 at 9:27 AM

      Glad you did not have issues till now. There’s more to come. Credit Cards, Extension, Applying for a tourist visa to other countries, US Stamping again, Green Card Applications. Marriage and changing spouses name. I’m talking from 16+ years experience of living in the US.

    • Ravi Teja Potineni on November 12, 2018 at 11:51 AM

      Which State are you in ?

      I am having major problems here in NJ.Might fly to India to get my adhar corrected.Then passport , SSN etc.

      I got SSN but I just cant get State ID or DL as My EAD Card says NNG instead of FNU.

      Ravi T

      • Raghuram Sukumar on November 12, 2018 at 3:40 PM

        Hello Ravi, what sort of problems are you having?

    • Rahul on April 6, 2019 at 2:14 AM

      thanks,it was helpfull,
      My names also Rahul,so I wrote FNU as first name and Rahul as last name,hoping no problem at all same as you…

      • Raghuram Sukumar on April 6, 2019 at 7:38 AM

        Get your passport fixed before the visa interview. It’s more expensive and takes longer later.

    • Chandra Dev on October 4, 2019 at 12:28 PM

      Hi Rahul
      Can you please share your experience in USA regarding obtaining SSN without having last name in your passport. Didn’t they ask you anything or what kind of formality you had to do to get your SSN and DL. Did you face any problem afterwards.
      I am facing the same problem. I don’t have any last name in my passport.

  3. Krishna on December 2, 2017 at 2:10 AM

    Fnu problem,

    Didn’t get DL because of this.
    Change in Passport name will be taken care by Indian embassy using the postal service in USA
    Want to correct visa name : please let me know the process for it.

  4. Pankaj Chothe on November 3, 2016 at 2:08 AM

    Hi Recently,

    I moved to US and I have same issue with FNU. I applied for SSN but my application is pending for verification since 5 weeks anybody have any idea how to get rid of this things?

    -Pankaj Chothe.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 4, 2016 at 9:11 AM

      This is your starting point of problems you are going to face because of FNU. Fix your passport!

  5. ASHISH SHUBHAM on July 12, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    Hi All FNUs,

    Mine was also the case of FNU. My story will surely give a hope to FNUs. I have my name in my Passport as:
    GIVEN NAME: Ashish Shubham
    SURNAME: Blank
    When i got my H1, i had my name mentioned as below;
    SURNAME: Ashish Shubham
    So i got my VISA, i came to USA and applied for SSN. At that time SSN had the same Name Format as my VISA. After 2 months when i applied for Driver’s License, they said that their system doesn’t accept FNU as the First Name and they wouldn’t be able to Proceed. Well i politely asked them what’s next. They asked me to go to Local SSN Office and get the name updated their. They also gave me a letter about that and my name written as NONE ASHISH SHUBHAM. When i went to SSN Office i had to explain them the case as everybody doesn’t have experience with cases of FNU. Well after some conversations with Manager, it was decided that behind the scene my name remains FNU ASHISH SHUBHAM. But they will tweak the system to just print the name as below in SSN Card;
    FIRST NAME: Blank
    I asked them what should i say and officially what should be name in all legal papers like bank statement , payslips and others. They said that if somebody wants to validate my details and run through the Homeland security system, they have to consider FNU ASHISH SHUBHAM. In my case although they updated my SSN but my i94 remained as it is with FNU ASHISH SHUBHAM.

    After 24 Hrs i was able to get my application proceeded for Driver’s License. Later i got the Bank followed up and they were fine with FNU ASHISH SHUBHAM as my name in their system. I got my Vehicle Loan with name FNU ASHISH SHUBHAM and same printed on my Credit Card.

    Drawback: All letters which i get says: “Dear FNU” but i am fine with it.

    SHUBHAM is not my Surname and i have a double name instead “ASHISH SHUBHAM”. If i get Passport Corrected as many people always say to me, that will also NOT be correct. I would prefer to let it be as it is unless i see any future fallback.
    Hope it helps..!!

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 14, 2016 at 2:28 PM

      Glad it worked out, but what you have done is temp fix. Every person has their name and initial (or family name). It’s rare for someone not to have a surname (or Initial). Typically nort India has family name and South India follows Initials. In such case, expanded initials become surname.

      When you applied for the Passport, the application did not include your surname (which would have been Shubham). You should get new passport with First Name (or given name) = Ashish and Surnmae = Shubham.

    • varun kumar on July 28, 2016 at 9:58 AM

      Dude I have also the same problem .I got my ssn with first name as FNU and last Name Varun Kumar ,my I94 Visa ,everything I am keeping as it is .Now I have to go for driving licence .I am confused now weather I should change the name in passport and get everything updated accordingly or should i keep it like that .Everyhting is working here for me in USA except its taking too much time in everystep (I got ssn in more than 1 months ,My E-verification failed but later got corrected in 2 months ,I got tax return in 4 months )


      • Raghuram Sukumar on July 28, 2016 at 2:36 PM

        Get your passport fixed. Life doesn’t get any easy without a surname in the passport.

    • Pankaj Chothe on November 3, 2016 at 2:10 AM

      Hi Shubham,

      How much did it took to provide SSN because my application is pending from last 5 weeks.

      -Pankaj Chothe.

  6. Bharti Jindal on January 3, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Same problem. I recently went for DMV and they asked me to get I94 and SSN corrected and then come back to get state ID issued.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 3, 2016 at 8:56 PM

      I have been saying this for ages. Don’t come to USA with FNU. It’s gonna be a mess to sort this out. Good Luck.

  7. Rashmi on July 23, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Hi Raghuram,

    I have a query.
    In passport my
    given name: Rashmi
    Surname: Karkur Venkatarayappa

    However, now when i’m planning to get my Driving License here in India with same name as in passport, they say they cant include all the letters of my name as there is word limit for the software to accept the full name while getting DL.
    So the concerned person suggested me to get my name printed as Rashmi K Venkatarayappa in DL. If i get it done this way, will it cause any prob once i’m in USA, as the name will be different in passport from DL??

  8. TE on July 15, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I need some help:

    My Indian passport issued in 2004 has my name Surname , Given Name i.e. name and surname. This was a mistake the first time around and never rectified.

    When my US visa was issued in 2007, the visa said Surname: and Given Name , i.e. different from the passport, but technically correct.

    So, based on this, I got my SSN and State ID with the name correctly split into given name and surname. The only document with the error remained the passport.

    But now when I got my US visa renewed, they put my given name as FNU.

    And now, I need to upgrade my state ID into a driver’s license.

    What should I do? Should I go to DMV for driver’s license first or should I first get the issue in the passport solved? If I do the latter, then there will be a discrepancy between the passport (once it is changed) and the US visa. Any advice?

    Thank yoU!

  9. Rajiv kumar on April 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Well i am in the same boat guys.
    I have My given name as Rajiv kumar on my Passport and visa has My Given Name as FNU and my Last Name as Rajiv kumar.
    Now my I-94 is matching with the passport but not with the visa ,it has Given Name as Rajiv Kumar.
    I have already got my SSN card,they seem to have put my First Name as Rajiv and last Name as Kumar( another mess 🙂 ).
    Now when i am going to DMV office ,they are not issuing me a license because of mismatch in the name information.
    I am confused as to shall i get my SSN name changed as Last Name=Rajiv kumar or Change my I-94 as family name=Rajiv kumar or i need to get both of them changed so that everything matches with the visa.
    Can anybody help me on this.Its driving me nuts.ANy help would be highly appreciated.

    • Ashish on May 14, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Hey Rajiv, I’m on H1 and have same exact credentials in all papers as you specified.
      The thing is, when I applied for SSN they couldn’t pull my information from the system. They have given me a reference no. in the letter of acknowledgement saying that, I have applied for an SSN.
      My question to you is, “Did you get your SSN right away at the window. Could they find you in the system themselves or did you had to wait just like my case” ?

  10. AAW on April 9, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    My name is written as a single name with three words “xxx yyy zzzz” on my passport. The ‘surname’ and ‘given name’ indications have been struck out and “xxx yyy” has been written in place of surname and “zzz” in place of given name.
    My first name is ” xxxx” and Last name is “yyy zzz” (two words which are BOTH the last name). My SSN , DL (in the US) and old F1 visa have the following:
    Given Name: “xxx yyy”
    Last Name: “zzz”
    Now, I plan to apply for another F1 visa. The school has asked me to mention my name as follows:
    Given Name: “zzzz”
    Last Name: “xxx yyy”
    They have asked me to do so as they believe this is “as per the passport”, although I tried explaining the ambiguity of the situation to them. I am really worried as I feel this discrepancy would create issues for me in the future, if I had to renew my DL for example.
    Any opinions on this?

  11. manish kumar on April 4, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    is kumar a valid surname

    • Sandeep on April 4, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Yes Kumar is valid Surname.Nobody can stop you.You are free to have any surname.If our prime minister has Singh as surname then why cant you have Kumar.
      I had same issue and it got fixed by god grace.

  12. manish kumar on April 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM


  13. Sandeep on March 19, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Hi Aaquib,

    I got FNU by NVC.My name is Sandeep Kumar(given name) and blank surname.I got it like FNU Sandeep Kumar
    I heard that if i will fill up I -94 with Kumar as last name and sandeep as first name.Then I will get DL and SSN are like ‘kumar last name and sandeep first name”.
    Is it true and also let me know how i can get ride on it.

    • Mantosh on April 20, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      i am getting same prob.

  14. Farookhus on January 31, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    How to take our name details from Homeland securities ?

  15. AB on January 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    First of all great blog to help people appreciate it !!
    My Case is:
    Surname: Blank
    First Name : XXX YYY
    Surname: YYY
    First Name: XXX
    Surname: YYY
    First Name: XXX
    I am going to apply for SSN soon, will this cause a problem? Though FNU is not mentioned any where
    Appreciate the reply !

  16. A on October 21, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    Hi Aaquib,

    Even I was also having a FNU in visa due to no surname in passport, but I got my SSN in one week. But my name do have 3 words A B C. I am not sure if they considered C as last name. But I filled the I94 without any Given name at the POE.

    When I went to apply for license in DMV they asked about my name mismatch and asked me to show the birth certificate. In the birth certificate also there was no distinction between first name and last name. But I was able to convince the officer telling that it is implicit in india and I showed that my fathers name is present in my name and it is considered as last name.

    Hope this helps


  17. jd on October 21, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    in my passport, i have:-
    GIven Name :- XXXXX YYYYY
    Last name:- (blank)

    in my visa, i have
    First name:- FNU
    last name:- XXXXX YYYYY

    I have already recieved my SSN long back..with the name XXXXX YYYYY

    now i am going to apply for a DL, wat problem i can face due the passport visa names mismatch.?
    wat name should i use going forward here in US for all other things including DL? Shuld i use last name blank(as in passport page) or shuld i use as per visa page? or any other way?

    • SUDHANSHU on December 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      What name did you use in first name and last name for applying SSN??

  18. aaquib on September 20, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    you will get SSN, DL without having surname. mine is same case , had FNU on visa and no surname on passport, but i got SSN and DL from illinois .

    • SSNdealay on October 4, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Hi Aaquib,
      My passport has no First name. I have applied for SSN. It takes 2-3 months. How long did your ssn take??

      • aaquib on January 9, 2013 at 1:06 AM

        mine took 1 week; i applied from illinois secretary of state.


    • SUDHANSHU on December 29, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      Hi aaquib,

      What did u mention in first name and last name for your SSN application..??

      What name do you have on your I-94, VISA and passport.

      Please reply asap


      • aaquib on January 9, 2013 at 1:02 AM

        Hi ,

        i used my name exactly as per passport
        first name = given name on passsport.
        last name = fnu ,
        they issued me SSN. as per my passport.
        name on SSN; first name : = given name on passport.
        last name : fnu;


        • Ravi Prabhakar on January 31, 2013 at 2:21 PM

          Hi Aaquib,

          How did you fill your I94? Did you fill as below or something else:
          First name: name as in passport
          Last name: fnu?

    • SUDHANSHU on December 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      What name you used for your SSN, FNU as first name or your name as First name… and what about last name ??

  19. suraj on September 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    This is a strange issue i would say….coz in india some parents don’t give surnames to girls coz after marrige surname change will create a headache for the…but in sates everything is related to surname coz their systems use surname as primary key or something….
    well ideally no surname should have been mentioned as Arun kuma LNU(no last name)…..

    • SUDHANSHU on December 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Hi Suraj,

      What shall i mention in First name and Last Name for SSN application form,

      I have First Name as SUDHANSHU and surname is blank in PASSPORT.

      And in VISA, i have FNU as first name and SUDHANSHU as Last Name..

      On my I-94, i filled SUDHANSHU as first name and last name as blank.

      So what shall i write in SSN application form.
      Shall i use : SUDHANSHU as first name and LNU as my last name,??


      • aaquib on January 9, 2013 at 1:05 AM

        hi sudhanshu,

        do u have only one name : i.e sudhanshu , nothing else like reddy or kumar or etc .

        let me know.


        • Rahul on October 1, 2015 at 2:42 PM

          I have first name as Rahul and last name blank in my passport.
          First Name: Rahul
          Last Name: BLANK

          I have H1B visa stamping this month. Could you please help me what should I do?

          Since I don’t have much time to change my name in passpost, Can’t I first get my visa stamped with only first name and later I apply for name change and again get me visa stamped with both First name and Last name?

          Please help! Thanks.

          • Raghuram Sukumar on October 3, 2015 at 9:45 PM

            You would have to go through the process listed above to change the name after coming to US.

        • Anjali on October 17, 2016 at 4:06 PM


          My name is Anjali as Given names Surname is blank in my Indian Passport.
          US Visa: FNU Anjali
          I94: First Name: Anjali Last name: Anjali
          I 20:: Last Name: Anjali First Name : Blank

          Please Let me know at this point of time and with these inputs will it be difficult for me to have SSN.
          I am not worried of Driving License now. IF yes for SSN which data should I get correct I94 or I20, Please specify. I cannot visit India right now in mid of my course to get my surname added in Passport. Any help will be appreciated.

          Many thanks

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