How to Get a Passport Name Change?
To change your name on a passport, which is necessary for newly-married women adopting their husband’s last name or for divorced women opting to use their maiden names, one needs to complete a simple process through the State Department by filling out a passport name-change form.
Several documents are required to support a passport name change request.
Required Documents for Passport Name Change
- DS-5504 Application Form for Passport Name Change
- Current Valid Passport: If you have an existing passport, you will need to submit it along with the other documents required for a name change.
- Passport Photo: The U.S. State Department requires anyone applying for a replacement passport to provide a “2X2” photo, in color, that was taken no more than six months ago.
- Proof of Name Change: Evidence of Passport Name Change such as a marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or another court document will suffice as proof of legal name change.
- Passport Fee: To process your application for a name change.
- Note: there is no fee for a name change if you obtained your passport within the last 12 months. If you are requesting expedited service you will have to pay the expedited service fee.
Standard Passport Name Change for U.S. Citizens
Other life circumstances may also warrant a name change, but these are the two primary reasons someone needs to change the name on their passport. From time to time, printing errors occur on the passport and would need to be corrected using a passport name change. If your name was changed voluntarily or by court order, you must follow the below directions.
Step 1: Fill out the Application Form
You should fill out form DS-5504 entirely and make sure you sign it in the appropriate location. Identify the proper location for mailing your application and supporting documents.
Step 2: Gather Supporting Documents
Assemble all necessary materials, including proof of name change, your current passport, and the fee payable to the U.S. State Department.
Step 3: Package & Send Documents
Remember, do not use a standard mailing envelope; in most cases, a Tyvek® envelope is often the preferred mailing method since the envelope is waterproof and sturdier than a traditional paper envelope. In most cases, it is recommended you mail these with the return receipt requested.
Additional Name Change Information
If you received your passport more than 12 months ago
If you are eligible for form DS-82, you may download the form, fill it out, include in the package your original name change document (certified or actual), color passport photos, and applicable fees
If you are not eligible for form DS-82, you will be required to submit form DS-11 in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency. You also need to provide proof of Citizenship along with all of the above documents.
All in all, it’s easier than you think to get a passport name change. Whether you’re transitioning your identity or changing your name for any other reason, the process is straightforward and simply requires taking the steps outlined above. It’s important to keep in mind that passport name changes do take several weeks. You should plan ahead when making your application for a name change to ensure that your new passport arrives in time for any trips you may have planned.
Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming trip abroad or simply want to update your passport to reflect your current identity, following these steps will ensure that you have the new identity documents that are essential for travel.