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The Complete Passport Name Change Guide: Step-By-Step

A woman smiles as she holds her newly-issued, passport following a name change at the Miami Regional Passport Agency

If you have legally changed your name, it is a good idea to apply to have your name changed on your passport as soon as possible.

The application and supporting documents that you will submit depend on a couple of factors, so read this comprehensive guide carefully to make sure that you are submitting the correct information in the correct way.

How Long a Passport Name Change Takes

A passport name change requires submitting a formal application. These applications, outlined in the step-by-step guide below, follow the same processing timeline as standard passport applications.

Currently, a passport application takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks to process. Requesting expedited service will get it processed in just 2 to 3 weeks.

Getting your name changed faster (14 days or less) requires you to visit a regional processing center to submit the form.

Expedite a Passport Name Change

If you need your name changed on your passport faster than the times listed above, you can expedite a name change, with the help of a reputable passport expediting service.

These passport experts can deliver your application to a regional passport agency and get your corrected passport to you as quickly as the same day in some cases.

Need to change your name on your passport fast? Read our top recommendations for the best third party passport expediting services.

Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.


How to Change Your Name on Your Passport: Step-By-Step Guide

No matter which processing timeline you choose, there are critical steps to follow to make sure your passport name change application is processed quickly and accurately.


Complete Application Form

There are 3 possible application forms that can be used to change the name on a passport. Choose the form that best applies to your situation from the list below. Each link will open a page where you can download the form and obtain instructions and tips for completing the application.

1. Passport Issued LESS THAN One Year Ago

2. Passport Issued MORE THAN One Year Ago

3. No Document to Prove Legal Name Change

If you prefer, you can complete the application form online. When the page opens, agree to the disclaimer and click the "Submit" button. You will then choose the correct form.

If you have problems opening or completing the online form, you can still print the application.

Note: some applicants have encountered connection difficulties or problems with the online form accepting certain data. If this happens to you, download the correct application form and complete it offline.


Gather Supporting Documents

Below is a list of the supporting documents that you need to submit with the request for changing the name on your passport. Be sure to assemble the correct materials and documentation for your situation.

1. Passport Issued LESS THAN One Year Ago

  • passport
  • passport photo
  • evidence of name change

2. Passport Issued MORE THAN One Year Ago

  • passport
  • passport photo
  • evidence of name change

3. No Document to Prove Legal Name Change

  • passport
  • passport photo
  • 3 public records with date and place of birth proving exclusive use of new name for at least 5 years

The documents submitted as evidence of your legal name change must be original copies or certified copies. Photocopies are never accepted.

Acceptable documents include:

  • a marriage certificate
  • a divorce decree
  • an adoption certificate,
  • a court order.

Driver's licenses and Social Security cards are not acceptable as proof of a legal name change.

Photocopies and notarized copies of documents are not acceptable for passport purposes. If you need to acquire a certified copy of your marriage certificate, you can do so through the vital records office of the state in which you were married.

For more information, visit Where to Write for Vital Records.


Package and Send

Both Forms DS-5504 and DS-82 can be mailed to the address printed on the applications. Place the completed applications, supporting documents, and payment fees in a protective packaging, such as a Tyvek envelope. It is recommended that you use a traceable delivery method.

Form DS-11 must be submitted in person at an application acceptance facility.

These are usually located in post offices, county and city clerk offices, and public libraries.

Call before visiting these offices to guarantee that the location is open and accepting applications. Some locations will allow you to make an appointment online.

Cost to Change a Name on a Passport

The cost for passport name change service varies based on the form used and whether you opt for expedited service.

If you are using Form DS-5504 and can answer 'Yes' to at least one of these questions, your name change request will be processed for free:

  • I changed my name, by marriage or court order, less than one year after my most recent U.S.passport book and/or card was issued and my U.S. passport book and/or card was issued less than one year ago.
  • My identifying information in my most recent U.S. passport book and/or card was printed incorrectly.
  • My most recent U.S. passport book was obtained at the full passport fee and limited to two years or less for a reason other than multiple losses or serious damage/mutilation of previous passports.

If you cannot answer 'Yes' to one of the questions above, you need to use a different form and will need to pay for either a renewal or a new passport.

Passport renewals currently cost $130 for an adult passport book.

A new adult passport book currently costs $165.

For more, consult our complete guides to the current passport fees and extra costs associated with getting a passport quickly.

Note: No matter which form you use, there is an additional fee (currently $60) for expedited processing.

Passport Name Change Frequently Asked Questions

In our over 20 years helping readers like you with their passport and travel document needs and concerns, here are some of the questions we get most often:

What are the reasons I might need a name change on my passport?

Answer: Common reasons for a name change on a passport include:

  • marriage
  • divorce
  • legal name change through the court
  • correction of a misspelling

Is it possible to change my name on my passport online?

Answer: You can start the process online by completing the appropriate form, but the full application, including supporting documents, must be mailed or submitted in person.

Where do I mail my passport name change application?

Answer: There are a number of different addresses that are used for passport name changes, depending on the form and processing speed you choose.

If you are using either forms DS-5504 or DS-82, you will find multiple addresses printed in each application. There is a specific address for expedited processing, as well as unique addresses for routine processing that depend on where you live.

For Form DS-11, there is no mailing address. You must appear in person at a passport application acceptance facility to apply for a new passport using this form.

What should I do if I encounter issues with the online form?

Answer: If you have problems with the online form, download and complete the correct application form offline. You can then mail it with the necessary documents.

More Passport Name Change Help

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

1. How can you get a passport when you're in a hurry?
2. What exactly does a passport expediter do?
3. Are passport expediting services legitimate?
4. How can I identify a reliable passport expeditor?
5. Is expedited passport service worth it?

Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

You can also visit our library of articles about passport expediting.

In a Hurry? Get Reliable Expedited Passport Courier Service:Expedite My U.S.Passport Now!
About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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