How to Travel With a Misspelled Last Name in a Passport

It takes the State Department two to three weeks to correct misspellings.
It takes the State Department two to three weeks to correct misspellings. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Receiving your passport only to find that your name was misspelled is not only frustrating but could have significant and inconvenient ramifications for your travel plans. If the name on your passport is not your legal name, you will not be able to travel using the passport. However, there are several ways to correct the error, hopefully in time for your travel arrangements.

Refer to your passport to determine the date it was issued, directly under “Issue Date” on the first page. Contact the State Department directly for instructions if you are trying to change a misspelling on your passport that was issued more than a year ago.

Complete and file Form DS-5504 to correct a printing error on your valid U.S. passport if it was issued to you less than one year ago. Follow the form instructions; any mistake could cause delays in processing your paperwork. File the form with a new passport photo if your passport was issued more than 90 days ago. There is no fee for this service.

Expedite your application if you are traveling in less than two weeks. While corrections to typos on passports are usually given top priority and are processed within two to three weeks, you will need to contact your regional passport agency if you are traveling sooner.

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