passport deniedDo you owe child support but need to apply for your passport? You may not be eligible for your passport until you have your child support payments in good standing. Many states may require a zero dollar balance before allowing passport issuance if you previously were in arrearage due to unpaid child support.

Owe Child Support But Need a Passport?

Unfortunately, you may not be eligible to receive passport services because the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) certified that you owe child support.

 Section 51.60(a)(2) of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations reads as follows:

51.60– Denial of Passports

(a) The Department may not issue a passport, except a passport for direct return to the United States, in any case in which the Department determines or is informed by a competent authority that:

(2) The applicant has been certified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as notified by a state agency under 42 U.S.C. 652(k) to be in arrears of child support in an amount determined by the statute.

Neither this passport agency nor the Department of State has information concerning your child support obligation. A list of state child support enforcement agencies and their contact information can be found on-line at:

You must contact and make appropriate arrangements with the relevant state child support agency within ninety (90) days from the date of this letter. After you have made these arrangements, you must notify our office in writing or by calling the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) at the number listed below. Please allow 5 – 10 business days before calling NPIC to give HHS enough time to notify Passport Services.

Once the Secretary of Health and Human Services has certified to the Secretary of State that you have satisfied the child support arrearage, your name will be removed from the certified list. Please note that several states require a zero dollar ($0.00) balance before allowing passport issuance to an individual who was previously in arrearage. All questions regarding such policies must be addressed to the appropriate state child support office. If satisfactory payment arrangements have not been made with the relevant state within 90 days of the date of this letter, your application will be denied. The Department of State cannot change, override, or appeal this policy.

If you have any questions please contact the National Passport Information Center: 1-877-487-2778


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