Mrs Pudsey Bear can’t have a passport!

April 29th, 2009 - 4:43 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr 29 (ANI): A Brit woman, who altered her name to Pudsey Bear after raising 4,000 pounds for Children In Need, has been refused a passport in her new name as the change was considered “frivolous.”

Eileen De Bont, 37, a receptionist, had legally adopted the name of the BBC appeal’s mascot and even updated it on all her documents, but when she applied for a new passport with the name, the application was turned down.

“I do not know what to do. It is utterly ridiculous. My old passport expired in October,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

“They say they will only issue me with one in the name of Eileen De Bont, but that is not my name. I do not have any documents with that name on now.

“If I get a passport in the name of Eileen I am going to have trouble checking into hotels, hiring cars and even changing money,” she said.

Bear, a mother-of-two daughters aged 10 and 13, changed her name legally through the UK Deed Poll Service and sent off her driver’s licence, bank cards, credit cards and tax forms to have them altered.

Her bank card now reads ‘Mrs P Bear’, and her driving licence ‘Mrs Pudsey Bear’. She is addressed as ‘Ms Pudsey Bear’ on her council tax statements, and the Inland Revenue lists her as ‘Mrs Pudsey Bear’.

The Identity & Passport Service, which addressed her as ‘Mrs Bear’, told her in a letter that her new name could pose a problem for her.

“It is deemed to be a frivolous change of name, which would bring IPS into disrepute. It could also pose problems for you at border control in some countries,” it said.

“IPS is not questioning the validity of the deed poll, however, it is not prepared to issue a passport in a frivolous name which could compromise our mission statement ’safeguarding your identity’,” it stated.

Bear said the decision would prevent her from taking holidays abroad.

“I love my new name. It has become part of my life. It is who I am. My girls both call me ‘Mummy Bear’,” she added.

A spokesman for the IPS said it sought to establish that a new name was “legitimate, consistent, permanent and genuine”.

“If the name change is temporary, for the purpose of publicity, for commercial reasons or for frivolous reasons then the Identity and Passport Service may consider refusing an application,” the spokesman added.

Mike Barratt, of the UK Deed Poll Service, has criticized the decision.

“It is unnecessary interference from a public authority in Mrs Bear’s private life that is in breach of her human rights,” he said. (ANI)

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