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CFA Program Identification Policy

CFA Institute requires that every CFA® Program candidate have a valid international travel passport to register and sit for the exam. See below for details to determine if your passport is valid under this policy. Failure by testing personnel to detect an invalid ID does not imply the ID is valid or that you will receive an exam result.

Passport Assistance Letters

Passport assistance letters can be used, if needed, with passport requests or applications. For candidates needing to move through a city on lockdown, you may use the passport assistance letter along with your exam admission ticket to explain your need to leave home. Choose the letter for your exam administration (PDF):

A Valid International Travel Passport

  • Certifies your identity for the purpose of international travel (learn more about unacceptable forms of identification);
  • Is an original document (photocopies are not allowed) and is current (not expired);
  • Contains your name* and passport details, exactly as it is in your CFA account
    • Login to confirm the passport information on file.
    • If your name does not exactly match, 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 the ID is valid or that you will receive an exam result.
    • To change your name you must submit an Name/Identification Change Form (PDF). Processing time varies as noted on the form.
  • Is machine readable** (handwritten passports will not be accepted);
  • Includes a recognizable photograph on the passport data page; and
  • Is required when you register for the exam and during check-in for both exam sessions on exam day.

During the check-in process for computer-based testing, personnel may use a passport reader to decipher the machine-readable strip on the data page. This is done to confirm the information presented on the data page of your passport is correct.

See how the information above appears on your passport. 

US Sample 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 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.

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