Passport Name Changes: The Essential Information

If your name has been legally changed, you are going to need a pasport name change as well. There are different procedures for this depending on your particular situation, such as how old your prior passport is. Depending on a several factors, there may be a fee involved and you may have to make your application in person.

If the passport you currently hold was issued within the last 12 months, you can have the name changed free of charge as long as you can show legal proof of the change. In this case, you need to mail the application, current passport, and an original or certified copy of the court order or marriage certificate documenting the change of name. You will also need to supply two recent photos which are less than 6 months old.

When the current passport you hold in your prior name is more than one year old, you need to use a different form. This can also be mailed in as long as you have legal proof of the change in name. In this case, there is also a fee that must be sent along with your application. The proof of the change and the photos must be sent with this form as well.

If you are unable to supply legal proof of your change in name, you must make your application in person. This situation is treated similarly to applying for a new passport. You will be required to show at least three forms of public records which detail your assumed name along with your birth place and date. They must show use of the name for at least five years.

Children who are less than 16 years of age must also apply in person for their passports and provide the same documents. They must be accompanied by their parents or guardians as well who will need to show legal proof of their relationship. The general requirements for passports for minors should be reviewed so that you have all the necessary documentation when you arrive at the agency.

Keep in mind that it can take four to six weeks, or even up to ten, to receive your new passport. If you have a need for it sooner, it is best to request your new passport form to be expedited. In this case, you will also need to include the additional fee for this service. This service can be requested for any passport application.

Expedited passports can still take two to three weeks to arrive. If you have an emergency that requires getting your updated passport sooner, you will need to call the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment, or contact a passport expediting service.

If you are mailing your application for a passport name change, make sure that all your documentation is packaged securely. It is also best if you send it so that it can be traced. Rather than waiting until you have travel plans, do yourself a favor and send in the passport application as soon as you actually change your name.

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