Why Was My Passport Application or Renewal Denied?By DADvocacy™ | September 24, 2022
Did you receive a letter indicating that your application for, or your renewal of, your passport has been denied?
Denials can occur if you owe child support.
The Florida Department of Revenue tracks parents who are late in their payments of child support. The names of those who owe child support are supplied to the U.S. Department of State; these parents are enrolled in the Passport Denial Program, which does not allow those with delinquent child support accounts to obtain or to renew a passport. In addition, the U.S. Department of State will not allow them to replace or to add pages to an existing passport.
The U.S. Department of State controls whether you can successfully obtain a passport or renew your existing passport. In the United States, ownership of a passport is a privilege; it is not a right. If you owe more than $2,500 in child support that should have been paid already, you lose your privilege of access to a valid passport, including renewals, replacements, and added pages.
Let’s look more closely at the idea of owing “child support that should have been paid already.” The denial of passport privileges occurs when you are actually late in paying amounts that should have been paid, which is known as “arrears.” If your child support is described as “in arrears,” that means your account is delinquent because of late/missing/insufficient payments.
In contrast, a passport denial does not pertain to retroactive child support. Retroactive child support refers to support for the period before the date of the application for child support.
Let’s say that you experience your first child support determination in which you learn that Florida requires you to pay up to 2 prior years’ worth of child support payments. These are not late payments; they are simply retroactive, meaning they will be making up for a previous time period.
Retroactive payments can be set up on a monthly installment plan. As long as you are making your payments on time, none of your child support will be in arrears (i.e., late and therefore delinquent). You may have retroactive child support in place, which will not impact your passport privilege.
If your child support payments are, in fact, in arrears, you can pay the past-due support in full or pay them down to an amount under $2,500. We can help you to navigate this process, including setting up an approved payment arrangement.
Another option allows you to “[p]rove the past-due balance was less than $2,500 at the time the Department of State was notified” by the Florida Department of Revenue.
In Florida, you may seek a judicial hearing to address a passport denial, and you may successfully obtain an Order from the court for the reinstatement of your passport privilege; however, the U.S. Department of State remains the only entity with actual control over whether or not you can get a valid passport. Even if you obtain that Order for the reinstatement of your passport, you must still submit this Order to the U.S. Department of State for evaluation. In other words, you have not circumvented the authority of the U.S. Department of State, whether or not you are successful at the local judicial level.
What are your options now?
You may elect to pursue self-help at the U.S. Department of State’s website, or you can arrange for a free consultation with us to enjoy our streamlined process that frees your time for your needs while removing the stress.
Assuming that you do not go to court for an Order of reinstatement, the reinstatement of your passport privilege is an administrative process. You can approach the Florida Department of Revenue without pursuing a hearing and without making an argument. Instead, you must explain your situation and provide the required documentation as described above. You may pursue these paths on your own, or you can contact us for help.
If you have improved your payment history, then this route is for you. For example, if you experienced a period of being under – or unemployed, and now you have a steady job and are making regular payments, you are in a good place to apply for your passport reinstatement, as you have an improved record of payments and can explain the bad period as related to an employment problem that you have since resolved.
Warning: All posts on this website and partner website, JustPrenups.com, contain general information about legal matters for broad educational purposes only. The information is not legal advice and should not be treated as such. This blog post does not create any attorney-client relationship between the reader and the DADvocacy™ Law Firm.