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Recently Divorced: How Do I Change My Name on My Passport?

Recently Divorced: How Do I Change My Name on My Passport?

Recently Divorced: How Do I Change My Name on My Passport?

When you get married or divorced, you may start going by a different name. This implies a lot more work than some people might anticipate – credit cards, bills, and even your driver’s license. One of the documents people commonly forget is their passport. How do you change your name on your passport? Depending upon when your passport was issued, there are two possible answers to this question. If it’s been less than a year, then you can do this free of charge. However, if it’s been over a year since your passport has been issued. The process is a little bit different and will cost you money.

Less Than One Year

If your passport was recently issued, you’re in luck. Examine the date your passport was issued in order to determine if a year has passed. If you’re still within the one-year timeframe, you need to fill out Form DS-5504: Application for a U.S. Passport: Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement. You will need to complete the form and mail it with your current passport, an original (or certified copy) – photocopies are not accepted – of your name change document, and a color photo to the US Department of the State. Because it was issued within the last year, the service is free – unless you request expedited service. The expiration date of the new passport will remain the same as your current passport.

Over One Year

If your passport is over one-year-old, you’re not eligible for Form DS-5504. Instead, you will be using Form DS-82: Application for Passport by Mail. The process is very similar to the process for the previous form. Fill it out and mail it with your current passport, an original copy of your name change document, and a color photo to the US Department of the State. All applicable fees apply – including the cost to renew your passport. You will get a new expiration date with the new passport.

In the rare case that you’re not eligible for Form DS-82, you’ll need to fill out Form DS-11 and submit it in person to an acceptance facility or passport agency. Same rules apply – bring your current passport and an original copy of your name change document and a color photo when you apply.

If you make a clerical error on your application or forget one of your documents, your passport application will be denied. They will not hold your hand. Our best suggestion is to talk to a family law attorney to make sure you have all the documents squared away before you apply. Furthermore, by hiring an attorney, if there are any issues with your passport, your lawyer will take care of you. Being denied a passport can be stressful enough – particularly when time is of the essence.