Child Support Arrears and Passport Denial

If you are a United States’ citizen, you are eligible for a passport; however, under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1997, if you owe $2,500.00 or more in child support arrears, you will be denied a passport until the balance is addressed.

The government can, under the PRWORA, revoke, restrict, or limit existing passport use; however, without physical access to the passport, they cannot do so; therefore, at the time of renewal or application, the request is denied if the applicant owes child support arrears of $2,500.00 or more.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains a database of individuals with child support arrears of $2,500.00 or more which is provided to the United States’ Passport Agency automatically.

If you are denied a passport due to child support arrears, before the application is granted, the balance must be paid or some agreement must be reached with the relevant state child support agency to address the amount owed. Once the balance is cleared, or an agreement is made, the individual’s name will be removed from the database and a passport can be issued.

If an application is submitted and denied based on child support arrears, the application will be held for 90 days to allow the applicant to clear the balance so the application can be processed.

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To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys or for further information, call us at the Law Offices of Gregory P. LaMonaca, P.C., at (610) 892-3877

About the author

About Alicia Fastman

Alicia Fastman graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then went on to complete her Juris Doctorate at the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE. Alicia graduated from law school with pro bono distinction, completed a Certificate in Criminal Law, and focused her intensive studies within the fields of litigation and trial advocacy. Alicia joined LaMonaca Law in April of 2011 and is a Partner at the firm. She was selected as a Top Lawyer in Main Line Magazine in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019 in the areas of Family Law and Divorce and has been named as a Best Lawyer in the areas of Adoption and Trial in the Delaware County Daily Times. Alicia is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, and is a member of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Delaware County Bar Associations. Alicia resides in Delaware County with her dog, Leonard. In her time outside of the courtroom or office, she enjoys creating art, listening to podcasts, and spending time with friends and family.