How do I change my name on my passport?

How do I change my name on my passport?

If you’ve recently changed your name due to marriage, divorce, or any other reason, you’ll need to ensure that your fresh legal moniker adorns your US passport.

Even if you’re not planning on traveling abroad soon, you can use your passport to affirm your identity for a credit check or prove your United States citizenship when you accept a new job offer, so maintaining an up-to-date passport with your correct legal name is integral to the name change process.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to change your name on passport documents while remaining in legal compliance with your local jurisdiction during the process. Although the name change process can take some time, using your up-to-date name while traveling, providing information for a credit check, or applying for a new job is incredibly gratifying. Let’s take a look at the travel document steps below.

#1 Complete your jurisdiction’s requirements

Before you submit your name change documents to the United States Department of Homeland Security to receive a new passport, you must first complete the legal name change process for your local jurisdiction.

Name changes are most frequently completed at the county court level. However, there are three common name change scenarios, and each scenario has its own requirements for completion and legal recording of a new name:

  • Name Change After Marriage – Most jurisdictions simply require you to submit your marriage certificate to a local county court to change your middle or last name (or both) after you marry your spouse.
  • Name Change After Divorce – While most divorce court proceedings typically include a name change procedure, recent divorcees will need to report this change of name with any relevant agencies, including the local passport office.
  • Name Change by Choice – If you choose to change your first and last name outside of a marriage or divorce procedure, you must complete your jurisdiction’s requirements to obtain a Final Judgement of Change of Name Form. These steps usually include:
  • Undergoing a fingerprinting and criminal background check with your local Sheriff’s Department.
  • Completing the appropriate forms and filing a Petition for Change of Name with your local court system.
  • Attending at least one uncontested court hearing to confirm your change of name with a county judge and achieve a Final Judgement for Change of Name.

Name change procedures and costs differ in every state, so review your jurisdiction’s requirements before applying for a change to your passport. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay between $150–$500 to legally change your name.

#2 Send in the appropriate forms

Once you complete the name change procedure with your local jurisdiction, you’ll need to submit the appropriate forms to your local passport office. However, the process for requesting a name change on your current passport isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are a variety of circumstances and corresponding forms to consider before submitting, each with a different cost:

  • Travelers who received their passports less than one year ago submit form DS-5504. With this form, travelers do not have to pay a passport fee to change their current passport unless they request expedited service, which costs $60.
  • Travelers who have a passport issued more than one year ago file form DS-82 and pay a passport fee of $130.
  • Travelers who have no legal record of their name change submit form DS-11 along with a payment of $130 for the passport book and $35 for the processing fee.

For each circumstance, travelers seeking to change their name on their passport must submit supporting documents, this is similar to how to get a second passport. These documents typically include a Final Judgement of Change of Name from your jurisdiction’s court, proof of identity (such as a state ID or voter registration), or proof that your new name has been in use for a specific period of time.

In most cases, travelers must mail the appropriate documents to a national passport office instead of making an appointment with a local location that processes passport applications. Your name change circumstances will determine the necessity of mailing vs. making an in-person appointment.

#3 Confirm your name change with other institutions

When exploring how to change your name on passport documents, don’t forget that other institutions will require proof of your change of name as well. While your passport may seem like the most important travel document to change, you must also change every other identification document you have after changing your name.

Submitting a passport application for a name change on your passport requires submitting another form of ID bearing your new name, like:

  • A social security card
  • A voter registration card
  • A state ID card or driver’s license

Once you update these documents and use them to apply for a U.S. passport online, remember to inform your:

  • Bank
  • Credit card company
  • College or university
  • Insurance company
  • Medical provider

Changing your legal name can be a tedious process, but covering all of your bases before you embark on your next trip abroad will reduce some of the inconveniences of traveling after a name change.

To avoid the hustle and bustle of changing the name on your passport in person, simply fill out this form to apply for a name change on your passport right now.

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