CFA Program Identification Policy

CFA Institute requires that every CFA Program candidate have a valid international travel passport. This policy establishes one global standard we can use to confirm the identity of our candidates.

A valid international travel passport

  • Is issued by a national government which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder;
    • Passport cards, national identification cards, limited travel documents, internal passports, and passports that are clipped, hole-punched, or marked cancelled are not valid forms of identification for the CFA Program. Learn more
  • Is an original document (photocopies are not allowed) and is current (not expired);
  • Contains your name,* date of birth, passport number, expiration date, and the name of the country that issued the passport;
  • Is machine readable** (handwritten passports will not be accepted); and
  • Includes a recognizable photograph on the passport data page.

See how the information above appears on your passport

*Acceptable Name Variations

Name on Passport
Name on Admission Ticket
Doe Maria Jane Maria Jane Doe
Maria Jane Doe Jane Maria Doe
MARIA JANE DOE
Maria Jane Doe
Maria Jane Doé
Maria Jane Doe

**The United Nations agency ICAO has determined that all non machine-readable passports are considered expired as of 24 November 2015. Therefore, international travel passports that are not machine-readable (including handwritten passports) will be considered invalid for entry into the CFA exam. Please note: A machine readable passport has two lines of text as letters, numbers and chevrons (<<<<<) at the bottom of the data page (the page containing your photo and personal information) of your passport. See sample passport below.

When do you need your international travel passport?

  • When you register for the exam (you must present and/or verify your passport information); and
  • During check-in for both the morning and afternoon sessions on exam day.

If the name, passport number, and expiration date on your passport do not exactly match the information printed on your admission ticket, you will not be permitted to take the exam and you will forfeit your registration fee. Failure by proctors to detect an invalid ID does not imply that the ID is valid or that you will receive an exam result.

What if your passport expires?

You can update the expiration date, passport number, and country of issuance in your account. All other identification changes, including name, must be updated by submitting an Name/Identification Change Form (PDF). Processing time is 3-5 business days upon receipt, with the exception of peak exam periods.

Sample passport



Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our identification policy.