The Many Steps in Passport Name Change

In order to travel beyond the borders of our country, every citizen from an infant on up to a full grown adult must acquire a passport. There are many steps to this process. Once a passport is received, at some point, it may be necessary to change a person’s name for a plethora of different reasons. Passport name change has many steps of its own that need to be followed.

Who you are and the reasons why someone has changed their name are important factors that play into getting a name change for a passport. For instance, someone who changes their name because of marriage will have a different path than a person who has a court order. The date at which a previous passport was issued also has affects in the process.

In cases of marriage or legal name change within a year of the date a passport was issued, changing the name on a passport can be done through the mail. Someone trying to change their name needs to send the government their old valid passport and a completed DS-5504 form with name change application. Documentation, like a marriage license or court order proving the name change, must also be produced.

However, if a passport was issued over a year before needing the change, new guidelines need to be followed. This can also be completed through the mail by sending the current passport and a completed DS-82 form.. Proof of the legal name change, due to marriage or court order, and two recent pictures that meet standards set by the government must be submitted. A fee will also be charged to the party.

For people who cannot produce legal documents a new set of rules and regulations apply. When documents are not present, a person must go to the agency in person. They will need to bring along their current passport with the old name and prove to officials that this was their former identity. Once in this office they will be asked to complete a DS-11 form and will have to pay for the new passport.

To prove identity in cases when no legal documentation of the name change exists, the government will require other items to document the name change. The officials at the agency will need to be provided with 3 public records with the new or assumed name. This name change must be in place for at least five years. Two recent photographs must be provided or taken while at this office.

Parents or guardians who need to change the name of a child’s passport, several rules must be followed. Both parents and the child must appear at the passport agency. A birth certificate with both parents names on it or adoption decree must be provided. Along with a DS-11 form, parents must supply their own legal documents to prove a relationship exists between children and guardian.

There are many twists and turns and special caveats that go into a successful passport name change. Each situation requires different legal documentation and fees appropriated for processing documents. All procedures center on proving identity to the government. With the proper documentation, passport name changes can occur quickly through the mail. Without documents, it becomes much harder.

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One Response to “The Many Steps in Passport Name Change”

  1. [...] The Many Steps in Passport Name Change « US Passport Now Blog [...]

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