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Man who changed his name to long phrase denied passport

Feb. 3, 2014 at 3:02 PM

LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A British man who changed his name to King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite said he was denied a passport because of the moniker.

The 34-year-old Birmingham, England, man born Mathew Whelan and now known as Body Art for short, said he officially changed his name in 2009 and it's printed on his driver's license, but the Passport Office refused to issue him a document bearing it, the Mirror reported Monday.

"This is a breach of my human rights," he said. "They want to put my birth name on my passport. But that is not my name any more."

A Passport Office spokeswoman said she could not comment on specific cases, but she referred the British newspaper to the office's policy on a "string of words."

"Where an applicant changes his or her name to a string of words or phrases that would not normally be recognized as a name, this should not be entered on to the personal details page of the passport," the policy reads.

Body Art said he is contesting the office's decision and has the support of John Hemming, his member of Parliament.

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