How does the Passport Denial Program work?

Publication Date: February 1, 2018


The Passport Denial Program helps child support agencies enforce repayment of debts from noncustodial parents who owe or have owed at least $2,500 in past-due support. A noncustodial parent whose support debt meets the criteria for certification receives a Pre-Offset Notice that explains the process. This notice includes the amount of past-due support owed at the time of mailing and information about the Passport Denial Program, as well as information on the Federal Tax Refund and Administrative Offset programs.

States submit case information of noncustodial parents who meet the criteria for passport denial to OCSE. When the past-due support exceeds $2,500, OCSE will automatically forward the noncustodial parent’s name to the State Department for passport denial unless the state requested that OCSE exclude the noncustodial parent from the Passport Denial Program.

The noncustodial parent is not removed from the Passport Denial Program, even if their arrearages fall below the $2,500 threshold, until one of the following occurs:

  • The submitting state specifically requests removal
  • The noncustodial parent’s support debt amount is reduced to zero
  • The case is deleted

When an individual applies for a passport, the State Department will deny the application based on the passport denial certification. The State Department will send a notice to the noncustodial parent explaining that the passport was denied because of past-due support. The notice informs the applicant to contact the appropriate state child support agency for more information.

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