U.S. Passport Denials for Failure to Pay Child Support

Historically, parents can have difficulty paying child support and child support collection agencies can have a hard time getting parents to pay it. With today’s technology, it’s much easier to collect child support than it was in the past, but even still, there are plenty of parents who owe tens of thousands of dollars in support and it takes years for them to be tracked down and forced to pay up.

Nowadays, local child support agencies are fierce. They have developed aggressive tactics to collect child support arrears, such as driver license suspensions, professional license suspensions, bank account seizures, real estate liens, tax refunds, and stimulus check intercepts, and U.S. passport denials. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to discuss what’s called the “Passport Denial Program.”

The Passport Denial Program

“The Passport Denial Program, which is part of the Federal Collections and Enforcement Program, helps states enforce past-due support obligations. Under the program, the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) submits a record of parents certified by a state as having arrearages exceeding $2,500 to the State Department.

“The State Department denies the parents U.S. passports upon application or the use of a passport service. OCSE does not automatically remove them from the Passport Denial Program even if their arrearages fall below the $2,500 threshold,” according to the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

If you apply for a passport and it’s denied because of child support arrears, the State Department’s Passport Agency is going to hold on to your application for 90 days. If your case is released by the OCSE before the 90-days expires, you have to contact the National Passport Information Center and provide them with your release date.

“The Passport Agency will then mail the passport to you within two to five working days if you paid for expedited processing or up to 10 working days for regular processing. If the release exceeds 90 days, you must submit a new passport application,” states the OCSE.

If your passport was denied, you’re probably facing license suspensions as well. To explore your legal options, including a downward modification, contact us today.

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