How To Change Your Name On Your Passport

Red and White Plastic Name Tag with Hello My Name Is Isolated on White Background.

Have you gotten married? Are you newly divorced? Your travel documents need to reflect your new name. All identification documents need to be updated if you received a legal name change. The application may have different requirements, depending on your documents and the time you have had your passport. 

If Your Passport Was Issued Less Than a Year Ago

If you legally had a name change through marriage/divorce, and your passport was issued less than one year ago, you will fill out Form DS-5504. This application and service are free of charge unless you apply using expedited services. You will need to submit some documents with the application. It must be submitted by mail, specifically using USPS. Other post offices cannot deliver documents to the address listed on the application. 

You will need to submit the following by mail with your application:

  • A completed DS-5504
  • Your most recent U.S passport
  • One passport photo in color
  • An original government-issued name change document, court order, marriage certificate, or divorce decree 

If You are Requesting a Name Change More Than One Year After Your Passport Was Issued

If you request a name change and your passport was issued more than a year ago, you will need to renew your passport. You will have to fill out Form DS-82. However, you must be eligible to apply for a passport renewal by mail. You will have to apply in person if you still need to meet the following requirements.

Your passport must be undamaged except for regular wear and tear. For example, some discoloration or loose threads on the cover are fine, but a passport put through a washer or dryer will be too damaged to be renewed.

Your passport must have been issued at the age of 16 or older. If you are under 16, you must apply for a new passport. If the passport book you possess is a 5-year passport (valid for five years from the date it was issued), you are not eligible for a renewal process.

The passport must have been issued less than 15 years ago. You can’t renew a passport once it’s expired for more than five years.

It was issued in your current name, or you can provide documents to affirm the name change. The document is your original or certified name change document, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.

If you meet those requirements, you can apply for your name change using Form DS-82. Once the form is filled out, print it and sign it. You will have some additional documents and fees that you need to prepare. 

Your Application Documents  

  • Your most recent U.S passport
  • A passport photo that has been taken within the last six months
  • Include name change documents if needed, like a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or legal name change document
  • Calculate your fees. You can calculate your costs here. You must pay with a check or money order. It cannot be a business or third-party check. The check must be written out to the “U.S. Department of State.”

Once you have Form DS-82 filled out, printed, and signed and all your documents gathered, you can send your application by mail. Again, you will send the application using USPS.

Applying Without a Marriage Certificate or Divorce Decree

You may not be freshly married or newly divorced, but you still need to change the name on your passport. If you cannot submit a marriage certificate or divorce decree, you must apply using Form DS-11. You are applying for a new passport issued in your new name. Because you are applying for a new passport, you will need to apply in person.

If your new name is significantly different than the name on your evidence of U.S. citizenship, or if you cannot prove the name change through marriage or divorce documentation, you must submit a second form. Form DS-60: Affidavit Regarding a Change of Name must be filled. The form must also be completed by two people that have known you by both names. You must also submit at least three certified public records that prove you have used your new name for five years or more. 

New passport requirements include the following:

  • DS-11 application form printed and filled out, but NOT signed  ( You must have an employee witness your signature)
  • Proof of U.S Citizenship ( a photocopy including the front and back of the document)
  • Proof of identity (a photocopy including the front and back of the document)
  • A passport photo that meets the U.S Department of State’s requirements for passport photos
  • Payment: Post Offices will accept credit cards, checks, and money orders for acceptance fees, but you will also need a check or money order written out to the “U.S Department of State” that will be mailed out with your application.

Applying for an Expedited Passport

If you are traveling soon and need to get a new passport or renew your passport to reflect your name change, consider getting your passport expedited. Couriers like The Passport Office can rush the passport process as fast as three to five days!

Apply with The Passport Office today for your new passport or passport renewal Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Hollywood.

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