The U.S. Department of State issues passports to U.S. citizens for foreign travel. If the parent who owes support owes more than $2,500 in past-due support, the Department of State automatically denies any application for a U.S. passport until the past-due child support is paid. This includes requests to renew, replace or add pages to an existing passport. Existing valid passports issued by the Department of State will not be revoked or denied for child support purposes. Before a passport application is denied, a notice is mailed to the parent who owes support explaining passport denial and how to request a hearing to contest.
The parent has 30 days from the date on the notice to do one of the following:
- Pay down the past-due amount for all combined cases to $2,500 or below.
- Prove the past-due balance was less than $2,500 at the time the Department of State was notified.
- Contact the Child Support Program or visit a local office for an informal conference.
- Request an administrative review to contest the passport application denial.
If a parent who owes $2,500 or more in past-due support needs to travel outside the U.S. for any of the below reasons they should contact the Child Support Program as soon as possible:
- Close relative's death or medical emergency: parent must provide documentation from a medical authority verifying a death or medical emergency.
- Job-related travel: parent's employer must agree to wage withholding from parent who owes child support.
- Active duty military member: parent must provide letter signed by a field grade commanding officer (Major or Lieutenant Commander or above) stating parent's duties require a passport.
- Court order that requires reinstatement of a passport: parent must provide copy of the court order.