How to Change the Name on a Passport

Do you need to renew your passport? Here's what you'll need to do.

In most cases, you can change your passport's name by mail. And, as long as you gather all of the necessary documentation and correctly fill out the application, getting your passport updated shouldn't take too long.

Of course, government procedures are rarely intuitive, and minor errors can cause significant inconvenience and delays. You can avoid this by using our name change service; all you have to do is answer a few questions, and everything is pre-filled for you.

If you prefer to do it on your own, this page will walk you through the process of changing your name on your passport.

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Changing Your Passport's Name

The passport name change process is similar whether you changed your name through marriage, divorce, or court order. However, depending on your situation, the documents you'll need to submit and the applications you'll need to fill out will differ.

The best place to begin is to determine which of the three applications you must complete.

1. Application for Passport Renewal by Mail (Form DS-82):

This form will be used if:

  • You have proof of your name change in the form of a marriage certificate, court order, or divorce decree.
  • You are requesting a name change more than one year after receiving your passport.

2. Form DS-5504: Name Change, Data Correction, and Replacement of a Limited Passport Book

This form will be used if and only if the following conditions are met:

  • You have documentation of your name change, such as a marriage certificate, court order, or divorce decree.
  • You are requesting a name change less than one year after receiving your passport.

3. Form DS-11: Application for a New U.S. Passport:

Use this form if you don't have proof of your name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.

Documents Required to Change Your Passport Name

You can begin gathering your documents once you've determined which application you require. As previously stated, the documents you must submit will differ depending on which application you are filling out.

Documentation and an Application for a Passport Name Change are being submitted.

Once you've gathered your documents, all you have to do is fill out your application and mail or deliver it in person.

You'll need an online passport photo maker to view and print your application, which you can get here.

If a fee is required, you must include payment with your application. Payment methods accepted include:

  • Personal checks, certified checks, cashier's checks, or traveler’s checks
  • Make checks payable to the "U.S. Department of State."

Also, keep in mind that any evidence of your legal name change must be a certified copy, whether it's a divorce decree, marriage certificate, or court order. Photocopies of these documents will not be accepted by the passport office.

All you have to do now is wait after you've submitted your application. Once your application is processed, it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to receive your passport.

About This Author

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

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