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Can you get a passport if I have a open bench warrant?

Question: I went to court for a DUI, got it all taken care of then about a year later, I got another DUI. I moved away due to army relocation.

Several months later, I was contacted by the courts saying that I had to appear in court because I was on unsupervised probation. I had no knowledge of this and explained that I could not make it to court in Washington state because I was currently living in Georgia and getting ready to deploy to Iraq. I was then informed that a warrant would be issued for me.

I am going to be coming back from Iraq in a couple of months and want to go on a cruise to the Bahamas with my girlfriend. I would like to know if I can get a passport with an open warrant, and if I will have any issues going through customs both leaving and returning?

Thank you for your time and any guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: According to Title 22: Foreign Relations, PART 51—PASSPORTS, Subpart E — Denial, Revocation, and Restriction of Passports,
§ 51.60 Denial and restriction of passports:
(b) The Department may refuse to issue a passport in any case in which the Department determines or is informed by competent authority that:

(1) The applicant is the subject of an outstanding Federal warrant of arrest for a felony, including a warrant issued under the Federal Fugitive Felon Act (18 U.S.C. 1073); or

(2) The applicant is subject to a criminal court order, condition of probation, or condition of parole, any of which forbids departure from the United States and the violation of which could result in the issuance of a Federal warrant of arrest, including a warrant issued under the Federal Fugitive Felon Act; or

(9) The applicant is the subject of an outstanding state or local warrant of arrest for a felony;

From the above, passports are only denied in the case of felony offenses or court orders that were issued prohibiting the person from exiting the country.

Having said that, you probably do not need a passport. Passports are not required on closed-loop cruises. A closed-loop cruise is one that begins and ends in the same U.S. location.

We cannot confirm whether you will or will not have problems at customs.

Comments for Can you get a passport if I have a open bench warrant?

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by: Rob!

Question: Will a 10-year-old bench warrant prevent me from coming back into the U.S. from Canada by car?

Answer: Please contact the CBP and the Canada Border Service Agency regarding your concern.

by: Anonymous

Question: I have a notice to appear warrant for a or a misdemeanor charge that is a county charge not a state charge, not a city charge but a county charge. Is it possible to still get my passport so that way I can go to Ireland?

Answer: Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 to discuss your eligibility.

by: Anonymous

Question: Hi I have a traffic warrant in Texas from a speeding ticket in 2021 as well as in Louisiana, same thing speeding. I applied for my passport 2 days ago, will I be denied for this reason? Also I have state taxes from my business that I have not paid which is about $600 that I can make arrangements to pay if it won’t allow me to travel due to not paying them yet.

Answer: Your traffic warrants will unlikely affect your eligibility for a passport. However, outstanding tax debt might. Please contact the NPIC or the IRS for more information.

7 year old felony warrant
by: Anonymous

Question: I recently found out that I have an old felony warrant from TX for lying to a police officer. I had no idea about it and to get it off my record is going to cost $3500. I am currently saving for that. However, I would like to start the process of getting my passport. Would I be able to get a passport with that on my record?

Answer: Yes, you should be able to get a passport.

7 year old warrant
by: Anonymous

Question: I have a warrant in Maryland that's 7 years old. Everything I was charged with is a misdemeanor. I was also able to renew my state ID by mail. I would like to know if it's possible to get a passport as well.

Answer: Getting a passport should not be an issue. Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

Bench warrants for a felony
by: Anonymous

Question: My friend has a bench warrant 5yrs old with no travel restrictions. Will she be able to renew her passport?

Answer: She will likely be able to. Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

by: Anonymous

Question: Over a year ago my friend had gotten us into a car accident while there was alcohol in the car while I was a minor. As I was not driving, I did not get charged with a DUI. I went to court but missed my second court date due, I since have a bench warrant, will this case prevent me from acquiring a passport?

Answer: It should not affect your application.

Federal Probation Finished
by: Anonymous

Question: I was recently released from federal supervision. I applied for my passport but did not include the release letter. Will I be denied or contacted to provide this information?

Answer: You will be contacted if you need ti submit additional documentation.

2008 Warrant
by: Anonymous

Question: I had a felony theft case in KY in 2008. I moved shortly after and apparently it wasn't resolved. There is a bench warrant. My dad wants to take me to Egypt. Will my passport be denied??

Answer: The warrant should not stop you from obtaining a passport. However, we cannot tell for sure if it will not affect your ability to travel overseas. It is best that you get this resolved first before planning any trips to avoid issues.

by: Anonymous

Question: Will they put your passport on hold if you have any traffic ticket warrants, having an issue in the border?

Answer: It is unlikely that you will have trouble because of traffic tickets. Please contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to know more.

by: Anonymous

Question: Living in Vietnam and passport has expired. I left in a hurry 10 years ago. I have some warrants but not sure the extent of them. May I apply for a new passport?

Answer: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City regarding your concern.

by: Anonymous

Question: I have a failure to appear on a family case warrant. Can I still get a passport?

Answer: Yes, you can.

Possible warrant
by: Anonymous

Question: I am not sure if I have a warrant from a ticket from 2 years ago. I was never notified of a court day or anything further following the traffic stop. Would I still be able to get a passport? I’ve never been in any kind of trouble before.

Answer: You should still be able to apply for a passport.

DUI-FTA bench warrant
by: Anonymous

Question: I have an open bench warrant from 2016 I just found out about for a failure to appear on a DUI case. Is this grounds for passport denial?

Answer: It is not.

No Proof of Citizenship/ Birth Cert
by: Anonymous

Question: I am a naturalized citizen. I have moved many times and lost my Certificate which is like my Birth Certificate. In addition, I had a felony 15 yrs ago. When I was charged, they took my passport and I never got it back. I only have a valid State ID. My felony charge was not drug-related or anything violent. It was mail fraud...still not sure what that's all about but anyway. Are records kept of me having had a passport before and will that help in me getting a new one now with the limited info I have?

Answer: You may request for a file search, the results of which may be used as your evidence of U.S. citizenship for a new passport application.

by: Anonymous

Question: I have a warrant from 4 years ago in Virginia which isn’t extraditable. Am I able to obtain a passport?

Answer: Some offenses do not prevent one from applying for a U.S. passport. Please contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to find out if you qualify for a passport.

by: Anonymous

Question: I currently have a passport and am planning on going to Cabo San Lucas. I have a bench warrant for a probation violation that’s two years old. Will I have any problems coming and going?

Answer: As long as there is no standing order preventing you from leaving the country, you should be able to travel. However, we recommend that you contact the Mexican Embassy to verify if your standing warrant will not prevent you from entering their country.

Failure to appear bench warrant
by: Anonymous

Question: I just found out I have a bench warrant from 2012 for failure to appear and a misdemeanor for child support. I paid off the support off years ago but never knew about the warrant. Will I be denied my passport?

Answer: A bench warrant or a misdemeanor is not cause for passport denial. Please call customer service at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

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