French Covid-19 vaccination certificates can be updated to show married names as well as maiden names for women whose passports only show their married names, an EU Commission spokeswoman has told The Connexion.
This issue affects women whose passports do not include their maiden name, such as UK passports.
It is common practice in France for maiden names to appear on official documents.
The EU Commission spokeswoman said it was aware of the issue and has contacted French authorities to ask that they ensure the surname on vaccination certificates matches the surname on the person’s passport or ID card.
She said that French authorities have confirmed to the Commission that for foreign residents, the process in vaccination centres should be that the surname on a person’s ID card or passport is the one that is entered into the Covid-19 vaccination IT system. The certificate is then generated based on this information.
If this is not the case, the spokeswoman advises people to return to the vaccination centre or to the health professional who vaccinated them and ask them to correct their file in the IT system and re-issue their vaccination certificate.
French vaccination certificates are now compatible with the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme that allows the certificates to be verified by health authorities and event staff around the EU.
Situation on the ground
It is common that directives issued from the top do not reach staff on the ground quickly.
In this case, it is likely 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.
One Connexion reader reported exactly this issue.
“My vaccination certificate is in my maiden name. When I went back to where I was vaccinated to ask them to change it, they said it had to be in my maiden name due to European regulations,” she said.
“I asked about the fact that my UK passport does not have my maiden name on it and they shrugged and said it could not be changed.”
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.
There is confusion over whether the maiden name regulation is due to EU law, as France’s Assurance Maladie claims, or due to French law, as the EU suggested to The Connexion.
The Connexion has asked the European Commission about this and is awaiting response.
There is no updated statement on Ameli’s website to say that the name on vaccination certificates issued in France can be updated to match the name on the person’s passport or ID.
What can I do if I am not in France and therefore cannot return to the place of vaccination?
The Connexion is aware of one person who collected an updated vaccination certificate on behalf of someone else by asking at the vaccination centre where the woman was vaccinated.
You may need to provide information such as the date and time of the person’s final vaccine dose, the arm they received the vaccine in and their address and postcode. This is to help the healthcare worker find the person on the system.
There is also a free helpline that you can call: 0800 08 71 48, which is open seven days a week between 09:00 and 20:00.
Can I enter France even if authorities do not accept my vaccination certificate?
If you are a French national resident or have a visa with the right to live in France, you can enter the country without the need to be vaccinated.
So, even if travel authorities refuse your vaccination certificate because the name does not match the one on your passport or ID card, you can still enter the country.
If this is the case and you are entering France from an amber country, such as the UK, then you need to provide an essential reason for your travel - which can be that you have the right to live and/or work in France.
The image below shows some of the reasons you can enter France from an amber country without being vaccinated.
For a full list, read our article here: 12 reasons unvaccinated people can visit France from an amber country
On top of having an essential reason, you will also need to present a negative Covid-19 test pre-departure. If you are travelling from the UK, this test needs to be taken within 24 hours of departure.
For all other amber-list countries, the test has to be taken within 48 hours if it is a rapid antigen test and within 72 hours if it is a PCR test.
You must also complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur, on the French government website here) form self-certifying that you are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.
This includes a promise to self-isolate for one week upon arrival.
To see the other travel rules for travelling between France and green, amber, and red countries, see our article here: Red, amber, green countries: France’s updated travel rules
Some Connexion readers have reported that they plan to carry their carte de séjour with them when travelling to France, as some cards have both the maiden name and current name on them.
The Connexion is not aware of anyone having issues travelling with a Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued in France that has a name on it that does not match the one on their passport or ID card. A carnet de santé (Health records) should also be valid.