This is a privately owned website and not a government agency. Click to learn more.

Can I use my passport if I owe more than $5000 in child support?

by Rudolph
(Miami, Fl USA)

Question: If you owe more than $5000 in child support and you try to travel internationally round trip on your existing, valid passport, will you be denied travel? What will happen?


Answer: First of all, the amount for which a person can be denied a passport has been changed to $2500.

You should only have a problem with your current, valid passport if it has been revoked. If that had occurred, you would have received notice of the fact.

According to federal law, "Passport revocation may be effected when the person obtained the passport fraudulently, when the passport was issued in error, when the person’s certificate of naturalization was canceled by a federal court, or when the person would not be entitled to a new passport under 22 CFR 51.70 (a) or (b)."

It goes on to say, "The physical revocation of a passport is often difficult, and an apparently valid passport can be used for travel until officially taken by an arresting officer or by a court."

Seriously problems can arise if your passport is lost or stolen while traveling abroad and need to obtain another in order to return to the United States.

Comments for Can I use my passport if I owe more than $5000 in child support?

Click here to add your own comments

Suspended passoport
by: Anonymous

Question: I filed DS-64 and reported the passport lost or stolen due to UPS delaying delivery for over a month. Now they found it after delivering to the wrong address. I have a overseas trip in a month and when applying for a new passport was denied due to child support. Can I travel with my found passport?

Answer: Once reported lost, a passport is already invalidated and can no longer be used for travel. You need to settle your child support arrears to be taken off the denial list and be able to apply for a new passport.

Non-citizen
by: Anonymous

Question: Can you be denied to travel if your not a citizen of the USA and you owe support being a citizen of another country?

Answer: Owing over $2500 in child support disqualifies one from applying for a U.S. passport. Unless there is a court order prohibiting you to leave the United States, you should be able to travel out of the U.S. using your foreign passport.

Retirement
by: Anonymous

Question: Does being retired and having no income affect the "denial of passport from child support debt"?

Answer: Please contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement handling your case for information and assistance.

Expired passport - birth certificate
by: Anonymous

Question: My husband owns child support in arrears of over $2500. His passport expired and of course it can't be renewed because of the arrears. But can he travel overseas (to Canada or in a cruise) with his birth certificate only? Would he have any issues returning to the USA with only his birth certificate? Please advise. Thank you.

Answer: Your husband may enter Canada with his birth certificate and driver's license but these documents are not applicable for entry back to the United States. A passport book, card, enhanced driver's license or any other WHTI-compliant document is required to re-enter the United States by land or sea. A passport book is required when traveling by air.

If you are going on a closed-loop cruise (one that starts and ends in the same U.S. city), your husband may not need a passport. However, it is recommended that he carry proof of identity and U.S. citizenship. Also, in the event that he needs to travel back to the U.S. by air, he needs to present a passport book to gain re-entry. We recommend that you contact the cruise line you plan to travel with to verify documentary requirements before you book your trip.

Can I get a passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I currently owe 9000 in back child support due to loss of jobs but have an opportunity to go over seas for work. This will help me get caught up on my back plus keep up with my payments but when i applied they denied me . Is there any way to get a passport so I can get this job?

Answer: By law, you need to pay your arrears in full in order to be taken off the passport denial list. Please contact the Child Support Enforcement Agency handling your case to see if your situation will allow certain arrangements.


Living abroad and owe child support but have a new family
by: Juan

Question: I live in Mexico. I am a U.S. citizen and married to a Mexican national with 2 kids born here. I have been living here for 8 years but now I owe child support back home. I just want to renew my passport here in Mexico. Can it be done even if I do not plan to go to America?

Answer: Citizens who owe more than $2500 in child support arrears are entered into the passport denial list. You need to pay your arrears in full before you can renew your passport. Please contact the U.S. Citizen Services desk of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or at any of the U.S. Consulates located all over Mexico.

Passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I owe more than $5000 in child support and wanted to travel to Canada. I'm a permanent resident with a Jamaican passport. Will I be able to leave and return without being held?

Answer: We recommend that you contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Service Agency for advice before you travel.

Valid passport with child support arrears
by: Anonymous

Question: I owe over $2500 in child support. Can child support agency put a restriction or revoke my passport preventing me to travel overseas. I have a valid passport. no warrant , clear records besides child support arrears.

Answer: Passports of individuals who owe over $2500 in child support arrears may be revoke but it does not happen often. If your passport is revoked, you will be notified in writing.

Valid passport with arrears in child supports
by: Anonymous

Question: I was able to renew my US passport in 2012 even owing over $2500 in child support due to family emergency overseas. Now I have a valid passport good for 10 years. Can I use it to travel overseas without notifying the child support enforcement agency since it's a valid passport.

Answer: You will be able to travel overseas with the passport unless there is a standing order preventing you from leaving the United States.

Dual citizenship
by: Anonymous

Question: If I have dual citizenship and owe back child support can I use my non American passport to travel?

Answer: You may travel with your foreign passport unless there is a legal order that prevents you from departing the United States.

Traveling with child
by: Anonymous

Question: I was ordered thru family court to get a passport for my daughter to be able to travel with her father. A child support order for his arrears was done after family court order . He is in arrears for just $4800. Can he legally travel with her?

Answer: Yes, the father may travel with the child unless there is an order in effect that prevents him from doing so.


Are we sent a letter?
by: Anonymous

Question: Are we sent a letter from the US. Dept. of State to say that our passport is restricted for use? I do owe arrears but it was just granted to my ex. I have arrangements set up through my job, which is a federal job and it comes straight out my check, but I haven't received a letter stating I am being restricted.

Answer: Individuals who owe more than $2500 in child support are placed in the passport denial list. Passports may be revoked for particular reasons but it does not happen often. If your passport is revoked or restricted, you will be notified in writing.

Can I use my passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I owe 7,000 in child support and I have a valid passport. I leave in 2 weeks and I'm going overseas. Can I use my valid passport to come back in United States?

Answer: Owing over $2500 in child support arrears puts you in the passport denial list. If you have a valid passport, you may travel overseas and re-enter the United States unless there is any other legal reason for you not to be allowed to.

I haven't applied for a passport, but...
by: Anonymous

Question: If I never tried to apply because I knew there was a hold from child support but I did call and ask if child-support passport division would lift the hold so I can get it, does that mean when I cross they will hold me while coming back?

Answer: The only way to be taken off the passport denial list is to pay your child support arrears in full. If you are traveling from overseas, you will not be allowed back in to the U.S. without a passport book or any other valid travel document.

Freezing of passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I owe 2890 it was up to 3800 can I still use my valid passport I leave in a week can my child's mother get my passport revoked by calling in?

Answer: You may use your passport for travel. However, you need to pay your child support arrears in full in order to be taken off the passport denial list and be able to renew your passport when it expires.

Non child support revocation?
by: DS

Question: My ex claims she can have my passport revoked for arrears of retirement percentage she was awarded. Is this true?

Answer: Passport Services may deny issuance and restrict use of passports for a number of reasons. We recommend you consult an attorney regarding the matter.

Suspension of passport
by: Anonymous

Question: Is it true the ex-spouse has to contact the child support office to revoke or suspend a passport?

Answer: The child support office cannot revoke or suspend a passport. The law is that anyone with over $2500 in arrears of child support is entered into the passport denial list. To be removed from that list and obtain a passport, that parent must pay the arrears in full.

Can I still use my passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I owe 3000 in child support. I already have a passport. Can I still use it to travel?

Answer: Yes, you may use your current passport for travel. However, in order to renew your passport when it expires, you need to pay your arrears in full to remove your name from the denial list.

Obtaining a passport to work outside of the US
by: Anonymous

Question: I have never had a passport and can work outside of the US and make a lot more money than in the US, thus making it easier to pay my arrears. Is there a way to obtain a new passport strictly for work purposes? I currently owe about $17,000 in arrears, but pay extra every month to knock that down, and I pay on time. But traveling would help me pay this off a lot faster.

Answer: Please contact the local child support enforcement agency or family court. You may also consult your lawyer to see if you can file for a dispute.

Issue with getting passport back
by: Anonymous

Question: I renewed my passport a year early and now I have been denied due to child support however my current passport doesn't expire until March 2018 but they sent it in at the passport office as proof of citizenship when I applied for renewal. Will they send my old one back to me? I am traveling out the country in a couple of weeks. No letter was sent saying to me saying that my passport has been revoked and when I called the passport office they couldn't give me an answer saying they would get back to me.

Answer: Passport services does not return passports when applications are denied. Please contact the state agency to which you owe arrears to make arrangements for payment.

Denied renewal took my current passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I renewed my passport a year early and now I have been denied due to child support however my current passport doesn't expire until March 2018 but they took it at the passport office when I applied for renewal. Will they send my old one back to me? I am traveling out the country in a couple of weeks.

Answer: Since you were denied a passport due to child support arrears, your previously-issued passport will not be returned to you. Please contact the state agency to which you owe arrears to make arrangements for payment. Once the payment is made, your name will be removed from the passport denial list and your application will be processed.

Past due arrears
by: Anonymous

Question: It seems that even if you owe child support many people are still successful at obtaining a passport. Why is that? Is it possible to owe child support and not be on the passport denial list? My child's mother got one and she owes 15000.

Answer: Contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement in the state in which child support is paid to discuss this issue. The state agency is responsible for placing those who owe $2500 or more in arrears on the passport denial list.

Passport and California Car Tax
by: Anonymous

Question: I haven't paid this years car tags and I'm planning to go on vacation. It's 6 months late. Will they not let me on the plane because of this? I was planning on paying when I got back.

Answer: It will not be an issue.

passport revoked + repatriation loan
by: Anonymous

Question: Was overseas and passport was revoked & limited validity issued to travel back to US due to arrest warrant. Repatriation loan paid for my minor son's flight. Matters resolved in US & am back living overseas with my son. I'm a dual citizen so I have a valid passport from my other country of citizenship. Loan was around 1,500$ and I haven't paid it back nor have I received information from government, to the best of my knowledge, about paying it back. Need US passport for identity, banking, etc. If I apply for a new one, will I be able to receive it considering the debt?

Answer: Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general to discuss this matter.

Current passport - way to revoke?
by: Anonymous

Question: My ex-husband owes $70,000 in arrears, but has a current, valid passport. He certified for passport denial as of January 1. He travels a lot, and the enforcement of losing his ability to travel will be a big motivator to compel him to pay his back support. Can he continue to use his current passport? Is there a way to revoke the passport he has until he pays off his arrears?

Answer: Your ex-husband can continue to use his current, valid passport until it expires. Please contact the U.S. Department of State Office of Legal Affairs for information about the possible revocation of your ex-husband's passport.

U.S. Department of State
Office of Legal Affairs
CA/PPT/S/L/LA
44132 Mercure Circle
PO Box 1227
Sterling, VA 20166-1227

Phone: (202) 485-6400
Fax: (202) 485-6496

Back child support
by: Ricardo

Question: Am I able to travel out the US if I owe child support more than 2500 and I still pay child support till this day? Will I still be able to get a passport?

Answer: If you already have a valid passport and it has not been revoked, you can use it until it expires. You will not be able to get a new passport if you owe $2500 or more in arrears until you pay the full amount.

revoked passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My international passport have been revoked. Can I travel internationally and return to the United States?

Answer: Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general for answers to passport questions while abroad.

JohnnyRay
by: Anonymous

Question: My children's mother owes me nearly $20,000 in back child support and has already obtained a passport. She is planning on leaveing the US soon. Is there anything that can be done to put a freeze on her passport?

Answer: Please call 1-877-487-2778 to speak with a customer service representative.

Will passport be voided?
by: Anonymous

Question: I own a passport. If my arrears exceed $2500, will they void my passport?

Answer: Your passport can be revoked. However, it does not happen often. Usually, your name is placed on the passport denial list and you are unable to renew your passport. Contact the State Child Support Agency Passport Denial Program for the state to which you owe arrears for more information.

passport for child support
by: Anonymous

Question: What does back child support have to do with your passport? For some people, a passport is their proof of citizenship, or birth certificate that they have to have for jobs or entrying airbases, or even traveling overseas to see their families. By blocking or refusing people to obtain a passport, it is like taking away your citizenship. Don't you agree?

Answer: The Passport Denial Program, which is part of the Federal Offset Program, is designed to help states enforce delinquent child support obligations. Under the program, noncustodial parents certified by a state as having arrearages exceeding $2,500 are submitted by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to the Department of State (DoS), which denies them U.S. passports upon application or the use of a passport service.

Denial of a passport does not change citizenship status. There are millions of Americans who do not have passports. Those who do not possess a passport can use a birth certificate to prove their U.S. citizenship.

Individuals who want to obtain passports but owe $2500 or more in child support arrears need only pay the arrears in order to have their names removed from the Passport Denial Program.

Passport restriction for owing child support
by: Anonymous

Question: My fiance owes child support. His passport is restricted though payment plan has been made by him. What can he do to enable him travel abroad because of his new relationship?

Answer: If your fiancé's passport has been restricted due to child support arrears, he needs to contact the State Child Support Agency Passport Denial Program for the state to which he owes the arrears for information about how to get the restrictions removed.

Passport
by: Anonymous

Question: Can I reenter the United States if my passport has been revoked? I owe $3000.

Answer: A passport is not automatically revoked because the bearer owes $2500 or more in child support arrears. Unless you have received a letter informing you that the passport was revoked, it is still valid until the date of expiration.

If your passport has expired, you will not be able to renew it until you pay the arrears in full. If that is the case, you might be able to get an emergency, limited-validity passport to return to the United States. Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general for assistance.

Can I use my passport if I owe child support
by: Antoine

Question: I'm traveling to Mexico soon and want to know if I can use my passport. I owe over $5000 in child support but have been making payments every week since I got my job back in April 2015.

Answer: Your passport is valid until the date of expiration unless you have received notice that is was revoked which does not occur often. The problem will be when you need to renew your passport. If you owe more than $2500 at that time, your new passport will be denied.


Is my passport vaild to travel?
by: Anonymous

Question: I leave to go out the country in 2 days. Can I use my passport if I owe $1500? It's never reached $2500. Please let me know?

Answer: Only those who owe $2500 or more in child support arrears are placed on the passport denial list. For more information, contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement in your state for more information.

Is my passport vaild?
by: Anonymous

Question: If I owe less than $2500, is my passport still valid?

Answer: Your passport is valid until the date of expiration whether you owe less or more than $2500. The amount you owe only affects your ability to obtain a new passport or renew a previously-issued passport.

If the amount you owe reaches $2500, you will be placed on the passport denial list and will not be able to renew your passport until the arrears are paid in full.

If you owed more than $2500 but have now reduced that amount to below $2500, you may already be listed on the passport denial list. Again, this will only affect your ability to renew your passport.

Stepson's passport
by: Lynn

Question: My stepson has a passport. He currently pays child support payments that are set up through the state. Can he still travel internationally? He does owe $5000.00 and has been making monthly payments for the past 2 years. We are taking the family on vacation in December to Mexico and want to make sure he can go with us before we book the trip.

Answer: Your son's passport is valid for international travel until it expires or is revoked. He will not be able to renew his passport until arrears are paid in full.

past due child support holding current passport
by: Anonymous

Question: Can my ex leave the country with a current passport? He owes over $13,000 in back child support but he holds a passport from before our divorce.

Answer: Unless his passport has been revoked or restricted by the Department of State, he can use his valid passport to travel abroad. Contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement if you would like to find out about the possibility of having his passport revoked or restricted.

Cashless Mom
by: Cashless Mom

Question My son's father owes $9,000 in child support and was successful in obtaining a passport. He is now overseas. What can be done now to revoke his passport?

Answer: Contact the National Passport Information Center about this issue by calling 1-877-487-2778.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Passports and Child Support Issues.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Emergency Passport Renewal
How to get an emergency passport renewal in the U.S. or abroad. Discover the steps to renew your passport the same day.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Make Your Own Passport Photos
Use the online Passport Photo Wizard tool to make your own passport photos in minutes. Save money and time.

Passport Renewal Videos
Watch step-by-step instructional passport videos of how to renew a passport in 3 steps.