Who is Not Eligible for a US Passport?

You must be a US citizen in order to obtain a US passport. However, persons who’ve had serious run-ins with the law or who fall behind on certain types of mandated payments, can be prevented from obtaining one. So if you love traveling the world, avoid the following deplorabilities at all costs! For more reason than one.

MISSED CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS

Parents who owe $2,500 or more in missed child support payments will not be allowed to obtain a US passport. If you plan to apply for a US passport and have only recently made good on missed child support payments, it’s important to make sure computer databases are brought up to date. This way your passport application can be successfully processed.

OUTSTANDING WARRANTS

Anyone with an outstanding warrant will not be eligible for a US passport. That includes local warrants, state warrants, federal warrants, and even warrants issued by a foreign country. If you plan to apply for a US passport, make absolutely certain you are free from outstanding warrants.

COURT ORDERS

Court-ordered probation, psychiatric hospitalization, and drug rehab programs can all prevent someone from obtaining a US passport. Only once the terms of a court order have been completed, will persons under them be eligible to receive a US passport.

FELONIES

Felons currently incarcerated, on house arrest, or on work release, will be prevented from obtaining a US passport. That being said, once a felon has served his or her time and turned their life around, they should be able to obtain a US passport. It all depends on the conviction, and they may need special permission. But those with international drug trafficking convictions may never be able to obtain a US passport ever again.

FEDERAL LOANS

The US government will generously assist with paying for an education or starting a small business. But if you’re late paying them back, or worse, stop making payments altogether, you won’t be allowed to acquire a US passport.

Consulting with a travel expert can be very helpful if you’re uncertain about your eligibility for a US passport.

When To Renew a US Passport In Person

Most international travelers prefer the convenience of renewing a US passport through the mail. But in certain situations, renewing a US passport in person isn’t just an option. It’s required! Knowing when will guarantee your passport gets processed as quickly as possible.

EXPIRED FOR 15 YEARS

You should never wait too long to renew an expired passport. But some of us wait way too long. As in, 15 years too long. A lot can change about a person in 15 years. Their address. Their profession. Even their physical appearance. That’s why when your US passport has been expired for more than 15 years, you are required to renew it in person.

PASSPORTS FROM CHILDHOOD

Not much stays the same about a person after the age of 15. They can move into their own place. Maybe get married. Or even grow a beard! That’s why if your expired US passport was issued at the age of 15 or younger, you’ll need to renew it in person. The key word here is issued. Because even if you’ve had a valid passport after the age of 16, you’ll still need to show up in person if it was issued to you before that age.

DAMAGED PASSPORTS

Passports aren’t made of metal. 10 years of bending and stuffing into valises and pockets might cause the information inside to fade. Unfortunately if that happens, you won’t be able to renew your passport by mail. After all, the State Department needs a way to verify that the passport book is yours. So take care of your passport, and keep it in good condition!

A NEW NAME?

Were you married since the last time your passport was issued? Or did you change your name to something a bit more hip? Either way, if the name on your expired US passport is not your current name, you might have to apply in person. It all depends on if you can provide official documentation to prove your name change. If you can, then mail away! But if you can’t, it’s off to the passport agency.

RENEWALS FOR MINORS

Sure, most kids know how to seal envelopes and stick on stamps. But if they’re under 16, they aren’t yet legal adults, and aren’t allowed to mail in a US passport application. Everyone under the age of 16 must renew their passport in person with their parents.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you can apply for a US passport by mail, it’s best to ask a travel expert.

What to do if you lose your passport overseas

“I lost my passport!” That’s something you never want to hear yourself say. But it does happen, and it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make it easier to replace your lost passport and plenty of resources available for U.S. citizens who find themselves in this alarming position.

Hopefully you planned ahead and made copies of your passport as well as your other travel documents. This will expedite replacing your passport. But even if you don’t have a copy there are steps you can take.

Reputable, accredited passport and visa services such as Travel Visa Pro can help you in the event you lose your passport overseas or need to replace it due to severe damage.

If you lose your passport overseas report it immediately even if you think you won’t need it for several weeks or months. Reporting your lost passport immediately can guard against identify theft. The State Department recommends you contact or visit your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for help. You can also report your loss by telephone or online.

To report your passport lost or stolen by phone, contact the State Department at:  1-877-487-2778. Operators are not available 24 hours per day or on federal U.S. holidays, so you may need to keep trying.

If you have access to the Internet, you can report your loss online by following State Department instructions for filing form DS-64.

Reporting your passport as lost or stolen is only the first step in replacing your passport. You’ll still need to apply for a replacement passport by appearing in person at a Passport Agency or Passport Acceptance Facility. You can often find these in airports. Check with the State Department or a passport service in advance to determine what documentation you’ll need to provide in order to replace your lost passport.

Important note:  Reporting a passport lost or stolen immediately invalidates that passport, so make sure your passport is not just tucked away in your luggage somewhere before reporting its loss. Even if you find your passport immediately after reporting it lost, you won’t be able to use it for travel.

Happy Travels!