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How To Get A Passport Name Change

Whether you’ve gotten married, gotten divorced, or just decided to express yourself by changing your name to “Indigo Crystal Stargazer,” getting your name changed requires a lot of paperwork. Everyone from your bank to your car insurance company needs to be notified of your name. It can all get a little bit overwhelming, making it easy to overlook one of the most important places where you need to update your name: your US passport.

When you travel out of the country, it’s important that the name on your passport is correct. If the name on your passport does not match the name you are currently going by, you will need to get it changed.

The process for getting a passport name change varies depending on how long ago your passport was issued. If your passport was issued less than a year ago, you can get your name changed by submitting Form DS-5504. The form can be mailed in, and there is no fee unless you need expedited service. If it has been more than 3 months, however, you will need to go get your passport photos retaken.

Along with your current passport, Form DS-5504 and the passport photos (if necessary), you must also include some official documentation supporting your name change, such as your marriage certificate, divorce decree or a court order.

If your passport was issued more than year ago, you must apply for a passport renewal using form DS-82. To use form DS-82, your passport must have been issued after you turned 16, and must not be more than 15 years old. It must be undamaged and in your possession; you will be required to submit it with the renewal application.

When you use form DS-82, you must pay the standard passport renewal fees and submit the renewal application form by mail along with your old passport, 2 new passport photos and legal documentation of the name change. Regular passport renewal fees of $95 will apply, plus an additional $60 if you need expedited service.

If for some reason you don’t have legal documentation of your name change, you can’t apply for a passport name change by mail. Instead, you must apply for a new passport in person, just as if it were your first time applying.

You will need to bring proof of identity and proof of citizenship, plus a minimum of 3 public records that show your date of birth, your place of birth and that show you’ve been using the new name exclusively for no less than 5 years. You will pay the standard adult application fees of $95 plus a $25 execution fee and an additional $60 if you require expedited service.

Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer with a focus on the travel industry.
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