9 Common Reasons Why a Passport Is Denied

May 8, 2024

2 min read


are there any reasons why a passport is denied


We can’t insist that preparing a passport application is as easy as ABC. Still, let’s make it as easy as possible. For example, taking a passport photo online or at a store per all the official rules can be a breeze, if you know the tips.

There are common reasons a passport is denied, and you need to know them in advance to pay close attention to what might go wrong. Let’s dig down on the most common reasons and common mistakes when the passport is denied.

In Focus

Nine reasons why a passport is denied

We singled out 8 high-level reasons why your passport gets denied. If you’re reading this article, you’re on the right track to receive your new passport hassle-free.

Passport photo for passport application

Usually, the top reason why a passport is denied is unobserved US passport photo requirements. The right size, background, acceptable attire, and headwear must be your priority when it comes to valid passport photos. If you’re too busy to study the rules for passport photos, leave it with one of the reliable online tools. Here, you can always trust PhotoBooth Online.

Legal reasons like child support

The passport application process can be put on hold or the new passport can be denied if a person qualifies for one of the following legal reasons:

  • Owing child support
  • Significant arrest warrant
  • Unpaid federal loans or taxes
  • Felony convictions
  • Debts to the U.S. Department of State
  • Court order

Why passports are denied: Incorrect Information

Make sure you double-check all your numbers, letters, addresses, and names. More often than not, typos or simple mistakes might be the reason your passport is denied on your first attempt.

Missing information

what are the reasons a passport is denied

If you forget to collect all the required information and the photocopies to accompany it, the passport application denial may take place. Do not let the fact of any missing document occur. To know exactly what you need to do, read the instructions provided on your passport application.

If you have any questions on your documents, call (877) 487-2778 toll-free on Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm ET, excluding federal holidays. You can also pop into one of the passport office locations for any additional information.

Why a passport is denied: Wrong ink

It’s imperative to follow the instructions provided on the application form and observe the standard, together with using a blank ink pen to write down your data. Make sure your handwriting is fully legible. Otherwise, that might be a reason for a passport denial or delay.

Insufficient proof of citizenship

It’s better to be consistent and follow all the recommendations stated in the form. Please provide proof, when you’re asked. If you don’t have the documentation required for your new passport application, ensure to get it beforehand. You can also confirm with the passport office whether you can apply without some documents in your particular case.

Also, be confident that you hand in documents that are certified or notarized if they need to be.

Why a passport is denied: Illegible photocopies

When getting ready for your local passport office, take all your original documents and high-quality photocopies as well. The passport office clerk will inspect the originals and the photocopies and will return the originals back to you. The photocopies will be delivered to the US State Department alongside your signed application form.

Even if your birth certificate says “DO NOT COPY,” you are still allowed to photocopy your own birth certificate for federal passport purposes.

Also mind that your photocopies must be single-sided vs. double-sided, not smaller in size when scaling on standard 8 1/2 x 11-inch white paper. Do not damage or alter the photocopies in any way.

Not paying right amount

reasons for denial of a passport

To apply for your travel document, you need to pay a mixture of fees, depending on your situation. Be confident, that incorrect payment will not be the reason for passport denial.

As a rule, there is a passport application fee, an execution fee, and the standard expedited fee of $60 payable to the US State Department. In circumstances when you need to rush delivery, that’s another $18.32 to add up to your check. The last two payments are optional.

You can pay in a personal check, a cashier’s check, or a money order. Make sure you have the exact amount written on your check in order not to extend the processing times for your passport.

Past denial or passport revocation

If your passport has been ever denied or revoked, you need to tackle the matter before reapplying. It can be a resolvent of a debt issue or its post-records, child support owing, federal debt, etc. that needs the help of an attorney or another legal specialist.

In some cases, a waiver from the U.S. Department of State can be requested. Though lengthy in time, it can be helpful to some to resolve the reason for passport denial.

Reapply when reasons why a passport is denied are resolved

After connecting the dots and dealing with the reason for passport denial, it’s time to reapply. You can re-submit your application personally or by mail. Be patient. The processing times may be extended. For more details, get in touch with the passport office or passport agency that has put your application on hold. You can also order expedited delivery to accelerate the process.