How to Change Your Name on Your Passport

Need to update your passport? Here’s exactly what you need to do.

In most cases, you can change your name on your passport by mail.

And as long as you gather all the necessary documentation and correctly fill out the application, it shouldn’t take too much time to get your passport updated.

Of course, government procedures are rarely intuitive and small mistakes can cause inconvenience and significant delays. To avoid that, you can use our name change service; all you have to do is answer a few questions and everything’s pre-filled for you.

But if you want to go it alone, this page will guide you through the process of changing your name on your passport.

Updating Your Name on Your Passport

Whether you’ve changed your name by marriage, divorce, or court order, the passport name-change process is fairly similar. However, the documents you’ll need to submit and the applications you need to complete will vary based on your situation.

The best way to start is to figure out which application you need to complete, of which there are three.

1. Form DS-82: Application for Passport Renewal by Mail
You’ll use this form if:

  • You have evidence of your name change in the form of a marriage certificate, court order, or divorce decree.
  • You are requesting the name change more than one year or more after your passport was issued.

Note: If your passport is significantly damaged or was issued when you were 15 or younger, you’ll need to apply for a new passport using Form DS-11.

Jump to the documents you’ll need to submit with Form DS-82.

2. Form DS-5504: Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Book Replacement
You’ll use this form if:

  • You have evidence of your name change in the form of a marriage certificate, court order, or divorce decree.
  • You are requesting the name change less than one year after your passport was issued.

Jump to the documents you’ll need to submit with Form DS-5504

3. Form DS-11: New U.S. Passport Application
You’ll use this form if you have no evidence of your name change such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.

Documents Needed to Change Your Name on Your Passport

After you’ve determined which application you need, you can start to gather your documents. 

As mentioned, the documents you need to submit will vary based on which application you need to fill out. 

Once you’ve identified which form you need (by reading the section above), you can reference this table for the documents you need to gather and the fees you’ll have to pay.

Form DS-5504Form DS-82Form DS-11
Documents Needed
  • Your most recent U.S. passport
  • Your original or certified name change document, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order
  • One color passport photo
  • Your most recent U.S. passport
  • Your original or certified name change document, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order
  • One color passport photo
  • Your most recent U.S. passport
  • Your original or certified name change document, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order
  • One color passport photo
FeesNoneAdult Renewal Fees ($30 to $140)Adult Application Fees ($65 to $175)
How to SubmitVia mail or in-personVia mail or in-personIn-person only

Submitting Your Passport Name-Change Documentation and Application

With your documents gathered, you simply need to fill out your application and submit it by mail or in-person.

You can print any one of the forms and fill it out with a pen or you can fill it out online with the form filler tool provided by the U.S. Bureau of Consular affairs.

In either case, to view and print your application, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat, which you can download here.

If you’re required to pay a fee you must submit payment with your application. Accepted forms of payment include:

  1. Personal, certified, cashier’s, or traveler’s checks
  2. Money orders payable to “U.S. Department of State”

Also, keep in mind that the evidence of your legal name change—whether it’s a divorce decree, marriage certificate, or court order—must be a certified copy. The passport office will not accept photocopies of these documents.

Once you’ve submitted your application, all you have to do is wait. Generally, it’ll take around 4 to 6 weeks to get your passport once your application is processed.

FAQ

Do I have to change my name on my passport?

You do not have to, but it will make traveling to other countries difficult. Here’s why:

If you also provide your marriage certificate, some countries will accept your current passport even if it shows your old name. In other countries, you can get by if you make sure your plane ticket, hotel reservation, and other IDs match the name on your passport.

To avoid updating your passport with your new name and ensure that a foreign country will accept your passport, you’d have to:

  1. Contact the consulate of the country you’re visiting and ask about this issue.
  2. In some cases, travel with your marriage certificate.

To avoid these inconveniences, the only thing you can do is update your passport with your new name.

How much does it cost to change your name on your passport?

It depends on which application you need to submit. (If you’re not sure which application you need to submit, go here.)

If you’re submitting Form DS-5504 to change your name, you won’t have to pay any fees unless you elect for expedited service.

If you’re submitting Form DS-82, you’ll be required to pay renewal fees of $30 to $140 depending on whether you’re just getting a new passport card or if you’d also like a new passport book.

If you’re submitting Form DS-11, you’ll pay application fees of $30 to $140, depending on if you’re getting a new card or just a book. Plus, you will need to pay an execution fee of $35.

How long does it take to change your name on your passport?

Regardless of the type of application you need to submit, it takes between 4 and 6 weeks to process your application. However, you can request expedited service and your application will be processed in 2 to 3 weeks.

In either case, going to a processing center will shorten the length of time it takes to update your passport.

You can find a processing center near you by following this link.

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Change Your Name After Marriage

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