4 Common Passport Renewal Errors (And How to Fix Them)

Have you recently renewed your passport? Examine it carefully to ensure that the information on the personal data page is correct. Mistakes are uncommon, but they do occur and must be corrected prior to travel. While you're admiring your new passport, keep an eye out for the following passport renewal blunders:

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Passport Renewal Errors: Your Name Is Incorrect

Is your name correctly spelled? Even if it's a simple one like "John Smith," double-check. Typos and spelling errors are not uncommon and can derail your trip if not corrected in a timely manner.

You're not sure how you'll get this fixed in time. You must return the passport and visa by Saturday morning at the latest. Because you have the passport now and we won't be able to get it back into the hands of the visa guy until tomorrow morning, there is probably not enough time to fix it.

Passport Renewal Errors: Incorrect Birthday

What if your birthday is incorrect? While some of us don't mind being a little older or younger, if your passport has the wrong birthdate on it, you should get it corrected before you travel. You may believe that no one will notice, and you may have been correct years ago. The TSA's Secure Flight Program has required that you provide your birthdate when purchasing a plane ticket since 2010, and the information on your ID must match.

Passport Renewal Errors: Incorrect Photo

Consider the following scenario: you open your new passport, expecting to see a familiar face looking back at you. Instead, you're looking into the eyes of a stranger. This is extremely unusual. However, it has occurred.

Passport Renewal Errors: Incorrect Gender

You can't possibly be concerned about the gender on your passport being incorrect, can you? Wrong! Even the "girliest" girls and "manliest" men make mistakes. And, while it may appear to be a simple oversight, someone will most likely notice it sooner or later.

How to Make a Passport Correction

Fortunately, most passport errors are easily corrected...if you have enough time.

  • Simply fill out Form DS-5504 to correct an error. Send it in with one new passport photo and proof of the correction (usually a birth certificate, a marriage certificate or a court order).
  • Printing mistakes are corrected at no cost, and you should receive your corrected passport within six weeks. You can get your passport back in three weeks if you pay a $60 expedite fee.


You have two options if you don't want to miss your flight:

Go to the Regional Passport Agency that is closest to you. Use a third-party expediter, such as u.s. passport renewal.


We hand-deliver your passport to the Department of State for processing in as little as 24 hours at passportsandvisas Whether you need a new passport, a passport renewal, or a passport correction, we can help you get it done quickly.

Are you ready to begin? Try our simple passport renewal process right now!

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and Visas.com, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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