There a variety of reasons one might need to change his or her name on standard legal documents. On the lighter side, entertainers might want a more marketable name and choose to legally change it in court as a matter of convenience. Couples who get married or divorced may have maiden or hyphenated names they no longer want to use. For whatever the reason, it certainly is possible to change one’s name on a US passport, but each process depends on the reason for the modification and the resulting paperwork.
Travel Visa Pro offers US passport name change service, so if you want to skip the paperwork, contact us now!
Now keep reading and learn How to Change Your Name on Your US Passport.
How to Change Your Name on Your US Passport?
Regardless of the reason, the timing in requesting a name change on your US passport is critical. If you happen to have renewed or applied for a new passport in the last year, then you’ll need to fill out Form DS-5504, as well as send your original passport, a passport-sized photo, and proof of the name change – court documents, etc. – by mail to Philadelphia. Both standard and expedited services are available.
On the other hand, if your passport has already been in use for at least a year when you need to apply for a name change, you may be able to use Form DS-82 to “renew” your book with the updated name. However, certain conditions apply, including: being able to submit your most recent US passport, having it issued after the age of 16, not having a passport book or card expired for five years or more, and having an undamaged passport book or card. If all of this applies and you can provide proof of the name change with a court order or marriage license, then Form DS-82 can be sent in by mail.
For all other cases – missing passports, passports expired for five years, etc. – applicants must use Form DS-11 and apply in person at a regional passport office with the supporting documentation.
Fees for name change to a US passport
All standard fees for a name change apply just as if you were applying for a passport for the first time or requesting a renewal: $110 for adults, $80 for children. There will also be a $25 execution fee should you be required to apply in person. However, as long as your passport was issued less than one year ago and you get Form DS-5504 in on time, there is no charge.
Do I always need to provide a court order or marriage certificate?
Not necessarily. If you have had enough time following your wedding to update your state-issued ID with your new surname, then you don’t need to provide anything more than this ID and an explanation as to why your name has changed by providing the date of marriage and your maiden name.
Gender Designation Change on US Passports
There are special cases depending on where you are in your gender reassignment. Generally when you are starting clinical treatment but have not fully transitioned, you can apply for a passport with Form DS-11 and the US Department of State will issue a limited validity document for two years. Because this is issued after starting the transition, then providing state-issued ID and applying under the new name should be sufficient (just in case, bring in a court order of the legal name change). If you complete treatment before this passport expires, you can use Form DS-5504 to upgrade it to a ten-year book for no additional charge.
However, if you finish your transition when you already have a passport issued in your old name or need to apply for one for the first time using a new name, you should use Form DS-11 and provide identification that resembles your current appearance (and ideally is under your new legal name), a passport photo with the same, medical certification confirming you have completed clinical treatment, and proof of your legal name change. As with all passport applications and renewals using DS-11, this will entitle the applicant to a ten-year book or card.
How long does a passport name change take?
There’s no major difference in processing time between applying for a name change on your US passport and getting it renewed. Applying by mail may take up to several weeks, or days if you’re lucky. Those applying in person at a regional passport office can pay for expedited service and provide proof of immediate travel. As always, going through a third party agency like Travel Visa Pro can help cut down on this processing time.