Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Heavily-tattooed British man denied passport for his weird name

The passport office refused to issue the document for Body Art, despite his new name already showing on his driving license. (Reuters) The passport office refused to issue the document for Body Art, despite his new name already showing on his driving license. (Reuters)
Press Trust of India | London | Posted: February 3, 2014 6:59 pm | Updated: February 3, 2014 7:06 pm

Britain’s most heavily-tattooed man has been denied a passport for having an unusual name. His name reads “King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite”. The 34-year-old, previously known as Mathew Whelan, adopted the moniker by deed poll four years ago, The Independent reported. “This is a breach of my human rights,” he was quoted by the daily. “They want to put my birth name on my passport. But that is not my name any more,” he argued.

The passport office refused to issue the document to Body Art, as he is known in short, despite his new name already showing on his driving license. Body Art has spent more than 25,000 pounds covering his skin in tattoos, including the whites of his eyeballs. He was planning to travel overseas, where he had been offered body modification work.

But despite filling out the relevant forms and paying the 72.50 pounds fee, the passport office sent him a letter on January 15 that said they were sticking to their policy and could not issue a passport because of his name. The government agency told the Birmingham Mail that a policy section regarding “strings of words or phrases” meant his name was not admissible. “When an applicant changes his or her name to a string of words or phrases that would not normally be recognised as a name, this should not be entered on to the personal details page of the passport,” the section reads.

Body Art has now sent an official complaint letter to the passport office and is awaiting a reply.

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