Passport Name Changes – All You Need to Know

Passport name changes demystified

Your passport is the most important identity document you possess. It can do far more than just prove who you are. It is permanent proof of your US citizenship, and it gives you access to the world. But what if the name on your passport isn’t the name you actually use? If you have legally changed your name since your passport was issued, you are eligible for a passport name change. If you have questions about how to change the name on your passport, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know about changing the name on your passport.

How do I change my name on my passport?

There are two different ways to do a passport name change. The one that is right for you will depend on how long it has been since your current passport was issued.

If your current passport was issued less than one year ago, you will use Form DS-5504 to change the name on your passport.

If your passport was issued more than one year ago, you will need to do a passport renewal to change the name on your passport. You’ll use Form DS-82 for this process, just like a normal passport renewal.

How long does it take to change a name on a passport?

Change the name in your passport

Passport name change service takes 6-8 weeks to process by mail, or 2-3 weeks if you opt for expedited service. Need your name changed on your passport in a hurry? You have two options. You can make an appointment to visit a Regional Passport Agency, if you have proof of urgent travel. If that’s not convenient for you, you can use the services of a passport expeditor to have a passport issued in your new name in as little as 24 hours.

What are the fees for a passport name change?

It will cost you $110 to change the name on your passport if it’s been more than a year since your passport was issued. The fees are exactly the same as for a standard passport renewal.

The good news is, if you have had your passport for less than a year, you won’t have to pay anything to have a passport reissued in your new name!

You will need to pay the $60 fee for expedited service if you need your new passport in 3 weeks or less.

Do I have to change the name on my passport after I get married?

Yes, you will need to change the name on your passport if you have taken a new last name. But you aren’t required to do a passport name change immediately after your wedding! If you’ve planned an international honeymoon, you can travel on the passport that bears your maiden name. Just make sure you have booked your flights with the name listed in your passport.

For more information, check out our guide to Passport Name Changes for Brides.

Change the name on your passport after marriage

Do I have to send my original marriage certificate or court order?

Yes, you are required to submit your original proof of name change, such as your marriage certificate, court order, or divorce decree. Don’t worry, it will be returned to you when your new passport was issued!

My passport was issued with an error in my name. How can I get my name corrected?

Mistakes happen, even at government offices. It’s rare, but every once in a while a passport  is issued with an incorrect name. If you find a mistake like that on your passport, you can apply for a passport correction using Form DS-5504. There’s no fee to have the name on your passport corrected if you submit Form DS-5504 within one year of the day your passport was issued.

How do I change the name on my child’s passport?

Update the name on your child's passportHas your child’s name been legally changed since his passport was issued? Whether your child has had a name change due to adoption, court order, or a correction to the birth certificate, you’ll need to update his passport, too. The passport name change process for children under age 16 is a variant of the minor passport service. You will need to complete Form DS-11, and provide both your child’s original birth certificate and an original copy of the name change document. If your child has been issued an amended birth certificate in a new name, you don’t need to submit any other birth certificate or name change document.

Both legal parents will need to go with your child to the Passport Acceptance Facility. If one of you can’t make it, you’ll need to fill out Form DS-3053, the consent document, and have it notarized.

Will I keep the same passport book after my passport name change?

Years ago, the State Department would update the name in your passport by printing an amendment in the back of your passport book. That’s not the way they change the name on US passports now. Instead, you will be issued a brand-new passport book in your new name. Your old passport will be marked cancelled and returned to you.

Hold on to that old passport – it still can help prove your US citizenship if you ever lose your passport.

Will my passport have the same number after the name change?

No, your new passport with your name change will have a completely new, unique number.

After I change the name on my passport, how long will it be valid?

Your new passport will be valid for a full ten years after the date it is issued. It doesn’t matter how much validity was left on your old passport.

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