How to Update Your Name on Your Passport?

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Wed Jan 17 2018

Why would you need your name updated on your passport? If you’ve recently finished a gender transition, gotten married, had a divorce, or simply walked into a courtroom and legally changed your name, your passport should reflect this before your next international trip. However, before traveling to a regional passport agency or mailing your old passport directly to the US Department of State, there are a few facts you should be aware of.

Update your name on your passport in a hurry

Travel Visa Pro offers expedited service for a variety of passport needs, including renewals, first-time applicants, passport name changes, and tourist visas. If you’re ever in any doubt about what information the government is asking you to provide to process your name change, don’t leave things to chance: TVP has nine staffed offices in your area and pick up and drop off locations to get your documents into the hands of our travel experts.

How to update your name on your passport

If you think you can handle the forms and bureaucracy on your own, there are a few options to consider as to how to update the name on your passport.

Check the expiration date of your current passport book. Has it been less than a year since it was issued? If so, then you’re eligible for a replacement with your updated name at no additional charge, unless you need expedited processing ($60) or to apply in person ($25). In this case, fill out Form DS-5504, and send your original passport, a passport-sized photo, and proof of the name change by mail. If your international trip is scheduled to depart soon and you’re a little nervous about the processing time by mail, shipping everything or walking it over to the nearest Travel Visa Pro can save you time and alleviate stress.

Getting a passport with a new name for the first time

If you’ve never held a US passport as an adult before, or are renewing a five-year passport that was issued before you turned sixteen, you’ll need to present all documentation to the nearest regional passport agency – proof of citizenship, Form DS-11, photo ID, passport photo – in person along with any certification related to your name change: marriage certificate, court documents certifying the name change, note from your doctor regarding your transition. Applications such as these usually need to be processed in person, but Travel Visa Pro can present them on your behalf with an authorization form.

The cost and processing time to update your name on your passport

Whether you’re getting a standard passport renewal or including documentation for the US Department of State to update your name on any existing document (for all intents and purposes, you receive a new passport book), there’s no big difference in the processing time. 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 the processing time.

The costs are similarly unaffected: $80 for children and $110 for adults. However, if you applied for a new passport or renewed your old book in the last year, no additional fees are needed; turn in Form DS-5504 along with your old passport and proof of the name change to receive an updated document free of charge, save the execution fee and expediting fee.

Anything else I need to know to update my name on my passport?

If the reason for updating your name is due to marriage, and you’ve 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. Your birth certificate is still acceptable as proof of citizenship with your maiden name for first-time applicants.

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