What Materials Are Needed for Passport Name Change After Divorce?

by Lisa S. Kramer

    Your U.S. passport must be in your current, legal name. If you changed your legal name after your divorce, you need to change your name on your passport to travel outside of the country. The application procedure and supporting materials required for a passport name change differ, depending on whether your passport was issued less than one year ago.

    Passport Less Than One Year Old

    Step 1

    Visit travel.state.gov and print Form DS-5504, Application for a U.S. Passport: Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement Form.

    Step 2

    Fill out Form DS-5504 by hand using black ink, making sure to sign and date Page 1.

    Step 3

    Obtain a certified copy of either your divorce decree, that specifically declares the return to your former name, or your name change court order. Typically, you can obtain a certified copy from the office of the county clerk in the county where your divorce or name change occurred.

    Step 4

    Take a new, color passport photo that is 2 inches by 2 inches and clearly shows your face. Mandatory requirements for your passport photo can be found by viewing the the "Passport Photo Requirements" section at travel.state.gov. The State Department recommends using a professional passport photo service to make sure your passport photo complies with all requirements.

    Step 5

    Place your completed Form DS-5504, certified copy of your divorce decree or name change court order, passport photo and current passport in protective packaging and mail it to the address listed on Form DS-5504. The State Department recommends using a traceable delivery method, so you can confirm your package arrives at its intended destination.

    Password More Than One Year Old

    Step 1

    Visit travel.state.gov and download Form DS-82, Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail.

    Step 2

    Print out Form DS-82 and fill it out by hand using black ink. Make sure to sign and date Page 1.

    Step 3

    Obtain a certified copy of either your divorce decree, that specifically declares the return to your former name, or your name change court order.

    Step 4

    Take a new, color passport photo that is 2 inches by 2 inches and clearly shows your face. Mandatory requirements for your passport photo can be found by viewing the the "Passport Photo Requirements" section at travel.state.gov. The State Department recommends using a professional passport photo service to make sure your passport photo complies with all requirements.

    Step 5

    Write a personal check, payable to “Department of State,” to pay the current passport fees, which are listed at travel.state.gov. Your full name and date of birth must be printed or typed on the front of your check.

    Step 6

    Place your completed Form DS-82, certified copy of your divorce decree or name change court order, passport photo, check and most recent passport in protective packaging and mail it to the address listed on Form DS-82 using a traceable delivery method.

    Things Needed

    • Application form
    • Certified copy of divorce decree or name change court order
    • Passport photo
    • Current passport
    • Passport fee (if applicable)

    Tips & Warnings

    • There may be a small fee to obtain a certified copy of your divorce decree or court name change court order.
    • If you do not want to fill out Form DS-5504 or Form DS-82 by hand, you may fill out these forms online at travel.state.gov.
    • You may obtain Form DS-5504 or Form DS-82 in person from your local Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency.

    About the Author

    Lisa S. Kramer is a licensed attorney practicing civil litigation and estates and trusts law in southern Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude. Kramer earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images