How to Change a Passport to a Married Name

In the excitement of planning your wedding day, changing the name on your passport is probably the last thing on your mind. If you intend to travel abroad after your marriage, however, you need to ensure that you have changed the name on your passport to your new married name. If the name on your passport does not match the name on other travel documentation, such as visas and airline tickets, you may not be able to leave the country. The process required to change the name on your passport varies slightly, depending on how long you have had your current passport.

Things You'll Need

  • Form DS-5504 or Form DS-82
  • Passport photo
  • Marriage certificate
  • Renewal fee
  • Current passport
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  1. Passport Issued Less Than A Year Ago

    • 1

      Visit the U.S. Department of State website, and locate form "DS-5504: Name Change, Data Correction and Limited Passport Book Replacement." You have a choice between printing out a blank copy of the form and completing your details by hand using black ink, or typing your details into an online version of the form. It is not possible to submit the form online, however, so you still have to print out a copy of your completed form in black ink and on one-sided paper. Sign and date the form on the first page.

    • 2

      Arrange to have a new passport photograph taken. Passport photographs must be 2 by 2 inches in size, in color and printed on photo-quality paper. Ensure the photo shows a front view of your full face with a plain white or off-white background. Wear normal street attire for the photograph, and remove any hats or other headgear that obscure your hairline. Take off any dark glasses unless your require them for medical reasons.

    • 3

      Mail your completed DS-5504 form to the address printed on the form together with your valid U.S. passport, your new passport photo and an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate. Use a traceable delivery method, such as USPS Priority Mail with delivery or signature confirmation, to send your passport application and personal documents in the mail. Because your passport is less than a year old, there is no fee for changing your name, so you do not need to submit a check with your application.

    Passport Issued More Than A Year Ago

    • 4

      Complete "Form DS-82: Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail," which you can obtain from the U.S. Department of State website. As long as your current passport is undamaged and was issued within the last 15 years at a time when you were 16 years or older, use this form to apply for a change of name; your application will be treated as a normal passport renewal. If your passport does not meet these conditions, you cannot change this passport to include your married name and will need to apply for a new passport using Form DS-11.

    • 5

      Pay your renewal fees. Even if your passport was issued within the last 15 years, you must pay the same fee as a normal passport renewal. As of 2011, the fee is $110. Write a check for the correct amount payable to "Department of State," or arrange a money order, likewise payable to "Department of State." If your passport is over 15 years old and you need to start the renewal process from scratch, you will have to pay an additional $25 execution fee.

    • 6

      Send your completed DS-82 form with your current U.S. passport, renewal fees and an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate to the address listed on the form. Use a traceable delivery method and secure means of packaging, such as a Tyvek envelope.

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