Reasons to Get Turned Down for a Passport

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Passports have to be displayed at the airport ticket counter for checking in.
Passports have to be displayed at the airport ticket counter for checking in. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The passport laws of the United States changed drastically after September 11, 2001. It used to be that you could travel to neighboring countries and use your driver’s license as proof of residence to re-enter the United States. Now, all U.S. citizens must have a valid passport in order to travel to and come back from any country. If thinking about applying for a passport, you need to be aware why you can get turned down.

Owing Child Support

One of the reasons for which you may get turned down for a passport is if you owe child support. If you owe over $ 2,500 in child support, the State Department can deny your passport application. (See Reference 1 & Resource 1) If you are denied your passport for this reason, the first thing you need to do is contact your local child support enforcement agency and make payment arrangements with them. After making the payment arrangements, make sure the agency contacts the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, so that it may let Passport Services know of the arrangement and then remove your name from the list of those owing child support.

Criminal Record

When applying for a passport, your name is checked against a federal criminal database to ensure that you are eligible to receive a passport. If you have a federal arrest warrant, or a state or federal criminal court order, or a request for extradition, then you will get turned down for a passport In some cases, just being under investigation for a crime is enough to be denied, as any state or federal law enforcement agency can request that your name be added to the passport name check system.

Parole or Probation Conditions

If you have been accused of a crime and are released under probation, the judge may demand that you not leave the country as part of the terms of probation. The same scenario applies to those under parole, as the judge or parole officer may set limits on whether or not you can leave the country. If a condition of your probation or parole is that you remain in the United States, then that is reason for Passport Services to deny your passport request.

Fraudulent Passports

If you have obtained your passport fraudulently, a court official or arresting officer may confiscate it. Persons who have their certificate of naturalization canceled would not be entitled to receive a new passport. If you obtained your passport using false information or through an error from Passport Services, then you will get turned down when applying for a new passport.

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