Passport Denial: Why do passports get denied?

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Applying for a passport can be stressful. Many travelers want to know: why do passports get denied? What can you do if you get a passport denial letter? There are many reasons a passport denial can happen. We can help you avoid a passport denial or passport delays in processing.

The passport denial process is time-consuming. If you apply for a passport and it gets denied, suspended, or delayed, you will get a letter from the U.S. Department of State Passport Agency. The passport denial letter will explain the issue and how you can resolve it. You may also get an email with the denied passport explanation but that depends on if you include a valid email address on your passport application.

So why does a passport get denied? There are many reasons your passport application can be suspended by the Passport Agency. Our chart below will help you navigate the passport denial process.

Top 9 Reasons for Passport Denial

Passport Photos: The passport photo must meet the strict guidelines set by the U.S. Department of State. Use a trusted passport photo tool like the Passport Photo Creator to take the perfect passport photo. Non-compliant passport photos are the #1 reason for passport denials.

Child Support: Child support payments in arrears of $2500 or more will cause your passport denial or delay in processing.

Signature: Your signature should match on all documents. Make sure you sign your passport book.

Government Fees: The government fees should be made out to the U.S. Department of State in the form of a check or money order in the exact amount required by the U.S. Department of State. Your local acceptance agent will be able to assist with the fees.

Missing Documents: Missing application forms, name change documents, divorce decrees, marriage certificates, and any other legal documents missing will cause your passport to be delayed or denied. Make sure you follow all of the instructions for the passport type you need.

Passport Book Damage: If your passport is damaged, you should consider applying for a new replacement passport. You should include a statement of damage regarding your damaged passport.

Identification: Make sure you have a valid ID and other ID documentation. Your birth certificate should also be provided for most passport application types.

Birth Certificate: Your long-form birth certificate is required for most passport applications. This should be the raised seal with your vital stats and original signatures OR a certified copy of a long-form birth certificate.

Probation or Felony: You should check with your probation officer if you think applying for a passport will be an issue. If you were convicted of a felony, you may still be eligible for a passport. Felons are usually disqualified if they have federal arrest warrants or if they are forbidden by court order to leave the country. You may need to apply for a passport to see if you get a passport denial letter for these circumstances.

If you are worried about a passport denial happening to you, please visit our question and answer forum. We can help navigate the process of applying for a passport. Don’t let a passport denial cause a disruption in your travel plans. Avoid passport issued by being proactive and take extra care preparing your documents.

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