Just married? Newly divorced? Whatever the story behind your new name, you need to make sure that the change is reflected on your passport. To avoid travel disruptions, the name on your ticket and passport should match. If your name has changed, here are the steps on how to change the name on a passport.
If Your Passport is Less Than a Year Old
If your passport is less than one year old, you can get your name changed free of charge. Simply complete passport application Form DS-5504 and mail it in to the address listed on the form, along with the following documents:
- Your current, valid US passport.
- Legal evidence to back up your name change request, such as a copy of your marriage certificate or a court order referencing the change. Send either the original document or a certified copy, not a photocopy.
- One new passport photo.
- The Department of State will correct passports less than one-year old for free. However, if you need your updated passport in the next six weeks, it’s a good idea to go ahead and pay the $60 expedite fee. This will reduce the processing time to approximately 5 to 7 weeks.
If Your Passport Was Issued More Than a Year Ago
If your passport was issued more than one year ago, you’ll need to go ahead and renew your passport in order to get your name changed. To start, fill out passport renewal Form DS-82. Send it to the address listed on the form, along with the following documents:
- Your current, undamaged US passport.
- One new passport photo.
- Legal documentation, such as a marriage certificate or court order, that supports your request for a name change.
- A check or money order to pay the fees. A passport book alone is $130, a passport card (valid only for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean) is $30, and both together are $160.
Routine processing for passport renewals through the Department of State currently averages 8 to 11 weeks, though you can pay an additional $60 expedite fee to cut that time down to 5 to 7 weeks. If you need the name on your passport changed more quickly than that, you have a choice of either making an appointment at one of the State Department’s 24 regional passport agency offices, or using a private company like RushMyPassport.
We take your paperwork and deliver it directly to the State Department for priority processing, as quickly as one week. There’s no need to make an appointment, wait in line, or travel out of town to a passport agency. Additionally, we walk you through the process, step-by-step, reducing the chance of errors that commonly cause delays.