Is it possible to get approved for a passport with back child support owed?

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Is it possible to get approved for a passport with back child support owed?

I recently applied for a passport and was denied for being in arrears on my child support. The DHS case is in the state of ME but I live in OK. I have been paying my child support faithfully, including back support, for many years now. There wasn’t anything on the application to indicate that I would be denied for this reason. I will be getting married and was planning on taking a cruise for our honeymoon. I do not need a passport for my cruise but it would be helpful if I needed to come back to the US for an emergency. It sucks that I am out $120 for something that they could have told me.

Asked on September 3, 2010 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Ironically, while a criminal record will not prevent you from obtaining a passport, you may still be denied if you owe more than $2,500 in back child support. However, since you made arrangements regarding your arrears and have dutifully complied with them, you may have recourse here. The government is really just interested in those not making timely payments. Since you have made arrangements regarding the arrearages you are in a better position. 

All questions about your child support arrears or the status of a payment should be directed to the appropriate state child support enforcement agency. Once payment arrangements can be verified, it may take 2-3 weeks before Passport Services is permitted to process your application. Here is a link to a site that may be of help:  http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppi/family/family_863.html

If you have trouble with any of this, you may want to consult a family attorney about all of this. They frequently handle such matters.


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