A Belgian’s Story

Isolde, Belgium
We have just come across a new situation about renewing our mortgage and are sharing it in case others might find themselves in similar situations. My (English) husband was telling me that our mortgage was up for renewal soon and we should look into it with his broker that he has worked with for years now. We went through everything and all was fine. Then we needed to have proof of ID. As a Belgian citizen, I have my national ID card for that, as I am required to have one by (Belgian) law. No, that was not acceptable. “But, it`s my national ID card, I use it to travel throughout Europe and it has never been an issue. I didn`t have a problem buying the house, so what is the problem?” “Well, madam it does not show your full name.” I have two middle names, and while the first one was mentioned, the second one was only an initial.. I dare you to find anyone else to match my name as well as my place and date of birth. Nope. Not the full name. “Don`t you have a passport?” That`s out of date because I don`t need one so I did not get another one after it expired in 2014. “Please get a new one and make sure your full name is on it.” But that means the train to London and £75 for something I don`t really need!!! Well, you`ll probably need one after Brexit anyway, that is if you can stay. (meant to be jokingly, not interpreted as such, not amused in the slightest). So now I have to get a passport to prove who I am, because my official national ID does not show everything. Not even the bank statements show my full name, they show exactly the same as my ID card!!! No dice, however, passport or forget about it. I used to think Belgian bureaucracy was bad…. I might have to rethink that. SO a heads up if anyone wants to renew the mortgage: check your ID and make sure your full name is showing. I have now had an update. Our passport shows exactly the same as our national ID, as they have been `updated` as well. After informing those involved I am now waiting to hear how I might prove my identity, as any legal document I might obtain will have the initial for my third name. Unless I use my birth certificate, but of course that has no picture. So an ID that is both legal and accepted as is (initial) throughout the EU is not sufficient for the British, who in spite of popular beliefs are still part of the EU. And yet, a quick look at my bank statements shows…. yep… my initials used instead of my full name. Go figure.

Help us spread the word