Anytime you travel to another country, you open a world of opportunity for yourself. You get to experience a language and culture that others will only dream of.
They may dream about leaving the U.S., but most Americans never do. About 64% of Americans have never left the U.S.
You get to put yourself in rare company by traveling outside of the country.
There are a few things that you need to know about getting a passport. Your passport application could be denied. What can stop you from getting a passport? Read on to find out.
How to Get a Passport
You need a passport anytime you want to leave the country, even crossing the border to explore Canada.
The first step in getting a passport is knowing your situation. Will you renew or get a new passport? Are you getting a passport for a minor? This will help you figure out which passport application form you need to fill out.
These are your options:
- Form DS-11: New passports.
- Form DS-82: Passport renewals.
- Form DS-64: Application to replace stolen or lost passports.
- Form DS-3053: Application form for minors.
Once you know the form you need to fill out, you can start to gather the rest of your documentation.
Other Documents for Your Passport
When you apply for a passport, you’ll need to fill out your application form and provide proof of U.S. Citizenship. Here’s a list of the required documents.
Proof of U.S. Citizenship: Long form birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship.
Proof of Identification: Driver’s license or any government issued I.D. If you’re renewing, you can use your old passport as long as it’s in good condition.
Two Passport sized Photos
Social Security Number
Application Fee: This is important to note because there are two separate fees. There are an application fee and an acceptance fee for new applications.
Children’s applications have an $80 application fee and $35 acceptance fee. Adults have a $110 application fee and $35 acceptance fee.
Passport renewals only pay the $110 application fee.
You can mail, search for passport near me, or drop off your application once it’s complete.
What Can Stop You From Getting a Passport?
Your application is one of 19,000,000 passport applications reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security.
There aren’t statistics available as to why passports are denied, though there is plenty anecdotal evidence that shows common issues as to why passports are frequently denied. If you want to know what can stop you from getting a passport, read these top reasons to find out.
1. Felony Issues
It’s best to have a clean criminal record when applying for a passport. If you’re a fugitive or there’s a warrant for your arrest, you’re likely to be denied a passport.
Any court orders, probation, or parole court orders could also be grounds for denial of a passport.
2. Wrong Birth Certificate
Most people will agree that the passport application process is confusing. There are a lot of forms required, you have to fill out the right information, and go to the right passport office.
In all of that confusion, many people don’t realize that you need to have a long form birth certificate. This is to be a certified or original version. You can get this through the Office of Vital Statistics in the state where you were born.
You want to give yourself enough time to process your request. Some offices can take several weeks or longer to get a long form birth certificate to you.
3. Financial Reasons
If you have defaulted on a loan from the U.S. government, you could have your passport denied. This is pretty rare, but it does occur. Does that mean that if you default on a student loan, you’ll have your passport application denied? It’s very unlikely that will happen.
However, if you owe a lot in child support, that could be a reason to deny your passport application.
4. Wrong Application
You already saw how many different types of application forms there are. You want to make sure that you have the right one filled out.
Your application form has to be completely filled out, along with remembering to sign the application form.
All of these oversights are reasons why passport applications are denied.
5. Incorrect Application Fee
People often submit an incorrect application fee with their application. Double and triple check that your application is for the correct amount.
The State Department has this handy guide so you can calculate what your fees are given your situation.
6. You Owe the IRS in Back Taxes
Believe it or not, if you owe the IRS in back taxes, you can get your passport denied or revoked if you’re traveling abroad.
In 2015, Congress passed a law to give the State Department authority to deny or revoke passports to anyone who owed more than $51,000 in back taxes to the IRS.
If you think that you’re off the hook because you don’t owe $51,000, think again. If the IRS sent a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, and the IRS filed a levy, you can’t get your passport, whether it’s new or renewed.
What will happen is that the State Department will hang onto your application for 90 days. You’ll have to work with the IRS to get the tax lien or levy lifted.
To do that, you could pay off the balance, enter into an installment plan, or file an offer in compromise.
Don’t Stop Yourself from Getting a Passport
Think of a passport as a window of opportunity. You can explore amazing food, drink, and people when you have a passport.
To get there, however, you need to make sure your passport application is complete, and you know what can stop you from getting a passport. Then, you can easily work around the issue.
Once you have your passport in hand, you’re going to want to get away as soon as possible. Check out these places to go to when you’re planning a first-class weekend to Vienna.