Top 7 Delays With Your Expedited Passport

An illustration of a passport

Your passport being delayed or denied can be one of the most frustrating things to happen when applying for a passport. Especially, if you are applying for an expedited passport. Although some of the reasons are simple, like mix-matched signatures, or having an outdated passport photo, others can cause serious delays. 

Major delays can be caused by having felony charges or misdemeanors. Being a convicted felon, in many cases will not stop you from being able to obtain a passport. However, there are certain felonies that may prevent you from being able to travel internationally. More, if you are a convicted felon, you may be able to obtain a passport. Still, you may have certain restrictions for specific countries that either require a visa to enter, or that simply do not want to let a convicted felon enter their country. Again, most felons will be able to get ahold of a passport, but here are a few reasons why a felon’s passport may get denied.

If you aren’t a convicted felon, there may be other reasons why you may experience a delay.

1. Felony Drug Convictions

The U.S Government will not make a passport for anyone with a federal, state, or felony drug offense. Especially if the felon is charged with international cross-border drug trafficking. The distribution of drugs and or substances is another big one that will give you a small to no chance of being able to travel internationally.

Periods of Ineligibility 

There is also a period of ineligibility, that applies if the individual is imprisoned, or is legally required to be imprisoned. Also, being on probation or any other supervised release after being imprisoned for a felony drug-related charge fall under a period of ineligibility.


The only drug-related offenses that may be considered by the U.S Department of state may be first-offense possession charges, but this reason does not give you a one hundred percent chance of being able to receive a passport depending on the individual’s circumstances.

Although it is rare, the U.S Department of state may also issue a passport during emergency and humanitarian exceptions.

2. Child Support Payments 

If someone owes $2,500 or more in child support, they are not eligible to receive a U.S passport. This rule is set in place by a program called The Passport Denial Program. The program allows for not only the denial of a passport application but has the right to revoke or restrict your passport if you owe $2500 or more in child support. 

How to Get a Passport if You Owe Child Support 

There is a very important list put together by The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and district attorney offices of people who owe child support at or over the $2500 threshold. If you want to travel internationally, this is not a list you want to be on! Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to get on your way to obtaining a passport.

Those who owe child support at or over the $2500 threshold will not be able to get off the list until all of their child support payments are alleviated. 

  • First, it is vital that you make arrangements to pay the remaining balance. 
  • After all, payments are alleviated HHS will take your name off the list and report it to the U.S Department of State. This process can take about two or three weeks.
  • The U.S Department of State will verify that your name does not remain on the list.

After all of these steps are completed, your passport may be processed normally. Keep in mind that the time required to pay off child support payments, and the processing time between name removal can take weeks or even months. Make sure you plan accordingly before you make any international plans. 

3. Certain Unpaid Taxes 

Yes, you may be denied a passport, or even have your passport revoked for owing tax money to the IRS. The IRS actually notifies the U.S Department of State of any delinquent tax debt, which will then generally deny the passport application of any applicant with those outstanding debts. 

This applies to owing Individual income taxes, business taxes, and trust fund recovery penalties that are or are over the amount of $55,000.

If You apply for a passport with such outstanding tax debt, the IRS will send a notice at the time the U.S Department of State has been notified of your outstanding tax debt. The U.S Department of State will then hold on to your application for 90 days before they deny it.

The 90-day waiting period is implemented to give the applicant time to make full payment, a satisfactory payment with IRS, and to resolve any erroneous issues. However, the respective departments will not grant you access based on a payment that puts you below the threshold of 55,000

How to Obtain a Passport 

First, you will need to pay off your taxes. If the payment is not able to be completed in full, you are able to set up a payment plan with the IRS. In some cases, you are even able to obtain an Offer in Compromise, which can allow you to adjust the amount owed. 

Next, you will receive certification on whether your passport has been revoked or denied. If not after all have been processed and verified, your application may continue as normal. 

4. Denial of Passport Photo

One of the most common reasons why your passport application may be denied has to do with your passport photo. Though there are many reasons why your passport photo may get denied, here are some of the most common reasons and how to avoid them. 

Your Passport Photo May Have Expired 

Your passport photo needs to have been taken within the last 6 months. Passport acceptance facilities will know if your passport photo is older than 6 months because all printers print a light white serial code that says when a photo was printed and when it was printed. Failure to provide an up-to-date passport photo will result in delays or denial of your passport application.

The other common ones include the obstruction of facial features in a photo, caused by shadow and lighting, accessories, and headpieces. Some fail by not meeting the basic requirements: 

  • The dimensions of your passport photo must be in a 2”X2” format
  • The photo may be printed on glossy or matt paper
  • The photo must be printed in color 
  • You must take your photo in front of a plain, white, or off-white background
  • The photo may not be digitally altered

5. Application Errors

Application errors can be some of the easiest mistakes to look over. In all cases, it is important to review your application a few times before applying. Make sure your application is filled out correctly. Make sure you have no inaccurate information, and that you are not missing any documentation that is required to send in with your application.

6. Your Signatures Don’t Match 

A mistake that might set you back in your application process may be as simple as your signature on your application, not matching the signature on your check to the U.S Department of State.

Keep in mind that the main reason passport facilities exist is to verify your identity and are most likely to catch if your signatures do not match.

7. You Share a Name With a Criminal

Although it may seem silly, the government may absolutely hold your passport if they suspect that someone with a criminal’s name is trying to apply for a passport. The good news is that this is very rare, the bad thing is the government will hold your application, and will not tell you why. 

Receiving an Expedited Passport

If your passport has been denied for any of these reasons, it may seem like it will take ages for you to finally receive your passport. Normal processing times take about 6-10 weeks, and some may not have the time to spare after their application has been denied. Keep in mind that you are not able to apply for a passport with any other passport acceptance facility if the U.S Department of State has your application on hold.

If you are in need of an emergency passport or an expedited passenger, try applying with a private courier like The Passport Office. The Passport Office offers services that can get you your passport within 3-5 days. They have offices in Orlando, Miami, Hollywood, and Tampa.
Apply for an expedited passport today with The Passport Office!

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