Britain's most tattooed man refused passport renewal

But the decision was made on the grounds of his unusual name rather than his inkings

Britain’s most heavily tattooed man has been denied a passport – but the decision has nothing to do with his extreme body art.

King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite has instead been refused the ID renewal on the grounds that his name is not appropriate.

The 34-year-old, previously known as Mathew Whelan, adopted the moniker by deed poll four years ago.

"This is a breach of my human rights," said the Lib Demo activist from Birmingham. "They want to put my birth name on my passport. But that is not my name any more."

The Passport Office refused to issue the document for Body Art, as he is known for short – despite the fact that his new name already appears on his driving licence.

Body Art has spent more than £25,000 covering his skin in tattoos, including the whites of his eyeballs.

He was planning to travel overseas, where he had been offered work doing body modification.

But despite filling out the relevant forms and sending the £72.50 fee, Body Art received a letter from the Passport Office on 15 January, which said that they were sticking to policy and were refusing to issue a passport because of his unusual name.

The government agency told the Birmingham Mail that a policy section regarding "strings of words or phrases" meant his name was not admissible.

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

Body Art has now sent an official letter of complaint to the Passport Office and is awaiting a reply.

Local MP John Hemming has also voiced his support and has written asking for clarification.

"Obviously there do need to be limits on what names are acceptable for public documents but these limits should be consistent and the policy as to what is acceptable should be clear," he said.

"I have written to the passport agency to see why they take a different view to the DVLA."


Watch the King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite get yet another tattoo in 2011

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Registered Manager

£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This local charity has an oppor...

Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager / Product Owner

COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Content Curator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a mobile television network wi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a fast growing ...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash