Filling Your Names Correctly on DV lottery Application and DS-260 Form


This guide concerns filling of names during the application of the DV lottery and also during the filling in of the DS-260 form.

If you are currently making your application into the DV Lottery, or if you are currently dealing with the DS-260 form because you are a DV selectee, then this guide is for you.

Make sure you read this guide to the end because the answer is found in the end. Don’t read the first parts and jump into conclusion.

Names on DV lottery Application and DS-260 Form

The issue on names has raised a lot of questions to many, and the concern is on what to fill in the DV lottery application or in the DS-260 form.

In an earlier guide, I discussed in details, that the birth certificate is a very important document when doing your DV lottery application.

That means that the names that you have or that are indicated on your birth certificate in their order, you’re supposed to use that. Because that will eliminate a lot of errors or mistakes that can face you later on.

If you are married and you have a different name, maybe you took the name of your spouse, and on the marriage certificate, you have the name of the spouse added onto your names. You are allowed to use those names because they are your legal names as of now. You can use your married names in the application.

Another thing, many people are wondering that the names that appear on their passports differ from the names that appear on the birth certificate. That on their birth certificate they might be having two names, but on their passport, they have three names.

First of all, remember that in every country there is an embassy, a United States embassy. In those countries, the embassies in those countries, they are well-conversant and they know how your birth certificate and your passports look like.

For example, if you take an example of Ghana, the birth certificate might be having either two or three names, and the passport you might find others having up to four names. The embassy in Ghana, Accra, they know the naming systems that will apply on those both documents.

So when you use your birth certificate as the names during the application, then the embassy knows of that. Even if you come with your passport and it has four names, they well know the naming system of your country.

In Kenya, for example, majority of the birth certificate, if not all, they have two names, your two names, and there below we have the parents, the male parent and the female parent. But when it comes to the birth certificate and any other documents, the academic documents, you’ll find majority having three names. That is, they are given names plus the family name.

The embassy in Nairobi, the United States embassy in Nairobi, they are aware of that the birth certificate contain two names, the names of the parents. But any other document, including the passport, may have three names: the given name plus the family name.

This is not an issue that should bother you so much. But what happens when your birth certificate has two names, for example, and your passport has three name, for example, and your academic documents, some have two names while others have three names?


First of all, if you apply and you’ve used your birth certificate name, then if you get selected and in the process of filling in the DS-260 form, you will put the names that you used in the application and any other extra name.

If you have an inclusive family name, an additional family name, then you will include during the DS-260 form where it says, have you ever used other names? That is the maiden, the religious, the professional, etc.

In that slot, if you select yes, it gives you a slot where you are to insert any other name that you used. So it is in this place that you will add that extra name. Having done so, then you have no problem at all.

You have to include all the names used in the DS-260 form, and this will help because it will give additional information of all the names that you used, covering those on the documents, the academic documents, the passport, and also the birth.

So make sure during the filling in of the DS-260 form, you include all the names that you have ever used.

Secondly, you will have to go ahead and swear an affidavit of name. This is just to keep you on the safe side. If you have two names on your birth certificate and maybe three names on your passport or four, then it’s good that for you to be on the safe place, you swear an affidavit of name.

This is done before an advocate or before the court. It is a stamped document proving that though the names they differ, the number of names on your different documents they differ, you are still the same person holding that name.

An affidavit of name would be very effective. Before you go for your interview and you have different names appearing on your different documents, swear an affidavit of name and go with it to the interview.

In any case they ask you why they differ, you will present the affidavit of name. Also, the names that appear on your DS-260 form will also act as an evidence.

Some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Question: If you added a name which is different from the one on your high school certificate, where can you indicate the old name on the DS-260 form, incase of background check?

Answer: Other names used.

I hope this guide is clear.

DISCLAIMER: This post and content is designed for general information only and is NOT legal advice. This site is not offering any Diversity Visa and is not the official site for DV Lottery program. The information presented in this post should not be construed to be formal legal advice.