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Navigating a Name Change: Renewing vs. Applying for a New Passport

A name change due to marriage, divorce, legal name change, or any other reason necessitates updating your passport to reflect your current legal name. Many wonder whether a name change requires renewing their existing passport or applying for a new one altogether. This article demystifies the process, ensuring you know exactly how to proceed with updating your passport following a name change.

Name change passport

Understanding the Process

When your name changes, the procedure to update your passport varies slightly based on the age of your current passport.


1. Passport Issued Less Than One Year Ago:

If your current passport was issued less than one year ago, you can update your name on your passport without paying the renewal fees. You'll need to:

  • Fill out Form DS-5504: Use this form for changes and corrections, including updating your name on your passport issued less than a year ago.

  • Provide Documentation of the Name Change: This could be a marriage certificate, a court order, or any other legal document that officially recognizes your new name.

  • Submit a New Passport Photo: Provide a recent photo that adheres to the standard passport photo requirements.

  • No Fee Required: There is no charge for updating your passport due to a name change if the passport is less than a year old.


2. Passport Issued More Than One Year Ago:

For passports issued more than a year ago, you'll need to:

  • Fill out Form DS-82: This is the standard form for passport renewal, which you'll use if your passport was issued more than a year ago.

  • Provide Proof of Name Change: As with Form DS-5504, you need to include legal documentation of your name change.

  • Submit a New Passport Photo: A current passport photo is required, meeting all the standard criteria.

  • Pay the Renewal Fee: The standard renewal fees apply when updating the name on a passport issued over a year ago.


Key Considerations

  • Validity of Passport: The validity of your new passport will depend on the form you're submitting. If you're using Form DS-5504, your updated passport will carry the same expiration date as your original passport. Using Form DS-82 will provide you with a passport valid for the next ten years.

  • Expedited Service: If you need your passport quickly, expedited service is available for an additional fee. This option is particularly useful for upcoming international travel plans.

  • Legal Documents for Name Change: It’s crucial that the document provided as proof of name change clearly indicates the transition from your old name to your new name. Ambiguities in documentation can lead to delays in the passport updating process.



Conclusion

Changing your name doesn't have to mean a complicated passport update process. Whether you're renewing your passport or applying for a correction, the key is to provide the correct documentation and fill out the appropriate form based on when your current passport was issued. With State Document's expertise and support, you can navigate this transition smoothly, ensuring your passport reflects your current legal name and is ready for your next journey.

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