What is the Passport Denial Program, and could it keep you from getting your passport?
The Passport Denial Program was set up to prevent parents who owe child support from being able to get a passport and leave the country. Although it doesn’t say so on the passport application form, all passport applications are checked against a list of people who owe more than $2,500 in child support.
If you owe more child support than that and you apply for a passport, your application will be returned along with a letter explaining why you aren’t getting your passport book. However, the fee you paid along with your application will not be returned. The State Department keeps it-no backsies.
Don’t expect this program to go anywhere anytime soon, either. According to this article on the Fayetteville Observer website, the Passport Denial Program has proven its worth:
The Passport Denial Program has been in place since 1998 and, by the end of 2006, had collected more than $22 million in past-due child support. That figure swelled in 2007 when passports began to be required of people traveling to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
To avoid wasting $175 on a passport application that won’t be accepted, if you make child support payments and you think you might be behind, call your state child support agency to check your balance first. If your passport application does get denied for nonpayment of child support, you will have to pay everything that you owe and apply again when your child support payments are current.
Once you have your child support balance taken care of, it still takes approximately 6 weeks to get your passport if you apply with normal processing and about 3 weeks if you apply with the government’s expedited processing. If you need your passport more quickly, you have two options:
- Make an appointment at the nearest passport agency
- Use a private passport expediting company
Of the two, using an expediting company is often easier, especially if you don’t live near a passport agency office or you can’t get time off work to go when one is open.
RushMyPassport.com hand-delivers your passport application to the Department of State, cutting processing time down to as little as 24 hours. If you need a passport in a hurry, apply with us today!