< Back to Search

Overview of the Passport Denial Program

Published: December 5, 2011

The Passport Denial Program, which is part of the Federal Offset Program, is designed to help states enforce delinquent child support obligations. Under the program, noncustodial parents certified by a state as having arrearages exceeding $2,500 are submitted by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to the Department of State (DoS), which denies them U.S. passports upon application or the use of a passport service. Noncustodial parents are not automatically removed from the Passport Denial Program even if their arrearages fall below the $2,500 threshold.

Policy and Technical Operations Information

How To Obtain Your Passport After Release From The Program

The Passport Agency will hold your application for 90 days. If OCSE has released your case before the end of the 90-day hold period, the Passport Agency will mail the passport to you within two to five working days. If the release process exceeds 90 days, a new passport application must be submitted. If you need your passport before the end of the 90-day hold period, the following options are available for obtaining your passport:

  • Passport Agency Contact Information
    If you need your passport urgently, generally in less than 2 weeks, you may contact the Passport Agency listed on the upper right hand corner of the denial letter issued to you by DoS. Most Passport Agencies require an appointment.
  • The National Passport Information Center (NPIC)
    Individuals whose applications were denied at either the Charleston, SC Passport Agency or the National Passport Center Passport Agency, located in Portsmouth, NH, should contact the NPIC call center provided by the Department of State. These two Passport Agencies are not open to the public.
  • State Child Support Agency Passport Denial Program Contacts
    If your passport was denied for reasons of child support and you do not know which state submitted your case, or if you have never owed back child support, please consult this list for the contact information of the state where you currently reside, or your home of record if you are in the military and stationed overseas.
  • Foreign Entry Requirements/Visas
    If you are traveling overseas on tourism/business (not emigrating) and want to know what you must do to enter a foreign country, this site provides information on foreign entry requirements, visas, foreign embassy telephone numbers and addresses.

Denial Of Passports To Children Involved In Child Custody Disputes

  • Two Parent Consent Law
    As of July 2, 2001, as provided by Public Law 106-113, Section 236, both parents are required to execute the passport application for a minor child under age 14 or prove that the applying parent has sole authority to obtain the passport.
  • Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)
    The Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) is a service for the parents and legal guardians of minor children. It enables the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues to notify a parent or court ordered legal guardian that a passport application has been filed before issuing a U.S. passport for his or her child.
  • The Office of Children's Issues
    The Office of Children's Issues formulates, develops and coordinates policies and programs, and provides direction to Foreign Service posts on international parental child abduction.
Last Reviewed: June 1, 2016

Was this page helpful?

Step One
I found this page helpful because the content on the page: (check all that apply)
I did not find this page helpful because the content on the page: (check all that apply)

Your feedback is important to us and will help improve our website. Thank you!

Step Two
Back to Top