I was denied a passport because of child support. What would be the best route to take to get a passport?

Question & AnswerQuestion:  I just got a job with a company in New York. I will be training in Canada for this position which will is based in New York. When I went to apply for my passport, I was denied a passport because of child support that I owe. What will be the best route that I can take for me to be able to go to Canada for training?

Answer:  Any U.S. citizen that is in arrears of more than $2500 will be denied a passport. The first thing to do is to make arrangements to pay. It will be most beneficial to you if you make these arrangements before you apply. You should contact your state child support enforcement agency to work out a payment plan. After setting up a plan, you will wait about 2-3 weeks before your application starts processing.

Any U.S. citizen that enters the U.S. by air from Canada will have to present a valid U.S. passport. If you were to enter by land or sea, you will have to present one of the following, passport card, a United States Passport, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License or any other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)

New York offers an Enhanced Drivers License which is an acceptable to use as a passport. If you already have a New York State driver’s license, you can renew it and upgrade to an enhanced version for $30 on top of any regular driver license fees.

There is also the NEXUS card that you can use to travel frequently to and from Canada. Being that you will only visit Canada only once for the training program, you are ineligible for the NEXUS card.

Your most beneficial approach will be to arrange to make payment for the child support arrears in order to obtain a passport since you cannot travel to and from Canada from the United States without one.