*Update August 26, 2021. Since this article was published, many readers have reported their experiences of trying to change the name on their vaccination certificates, with mixed success. Please read our latest article on this subject here for the most up-to-date information: Travel concerns go on over maiden names on French vaccine certificates
It is possible to have the name on your vaccination certificate changed in France so that it matches the name on your passport or ID card.
Several readers have told The Connexion that when they were vaccinated in France, the person issuing their certificate only included their maiden name on their certificate.
This is because it is common practice in France for maiden names to appear on official documents.
This can create issues as certain passports - including UK passports - do not include maiden names on them if the person is married and/or has taken another name.
France’s national health insurance Assurance Maladie states on its website Ameli:
“Since June 3, in view of the European format of the vaccination certificates, the certificates no longer include the current name (and only include the maiden name), in order to comply with European law.”
However, a spokesperson for the European Commission has told The Connexion that this is not the case.
She said that EU regulation states that the Digital Covid Certificates should include the surname and forename of the holder - it does not specify this has to be the maiden name.
It is also stated in the European Commission document ‘JSON Scheme for EU Digital COVID Certificates’ - published here (scroll down until you see the PDF with the appropriate title) - that:
“Person name is the official full name of the person, matching the name stated on travel documents.”
The Commission spokesperson said:
“The Commission has been in contact with the French authorities, asking them to ensure that in particular for foreigners, the surname included in the EU Digital Covid Certificate matches the surname in the person’s passport or ID card.
“Where mistakes still occur and a person’s birth name is included, the person encountering such an error can go back to the centre or approach any medical staff allowed to access the Covid vaccination IT system and have them correct their file and re-issue the EU Digital Covid Certificate.”
It is common that directives issued from the top do not reach staff on the ground quickly.
In this case, it is possible that many healthcare workers in charge of issuing vaccination certificates are not aware of the maiden name issue nor that they can re-issue vaccination certificates with the name that matches the passport or ID card.
If this happens, it may help to show the European Commission document ‘JSON Scheme for EU Digital COVID Certificates’.
One reader who has experienced this issue wrote to say that people can also show their cartes de séjours, as some of them have on them both the maiden name and current name (nom d’usage in French). It could serve as complimentary proof to your ID.