By Robert L. Mues   |   November 14th, 2020

What Can I Do If I Am Ineligible For A U.S. Passport Due To Unpaid Child Support?

passport denial program child supportThe Passport Denial Program  is a federal enforcement tool, codified in Ohio law, which is designed to bring obligors who are in legal default on their support obligations back into compliance.

If you owe $2,500 or more in child support, spousal support for the parent with whom the child is living, or medical support, then you will not be eligible to receive a U.S. passport and will be placed on the Passport Denial list .

What do I do if I have already applied for my passport and my passport application has been denied?

If you have already attempted to apply for a passport, you will need to make arrangements to pay your support arrears. Once you make arrangements to pay your support arrears, then the state agency in which you paid the arrears to will report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) that you have made acceptable payment arrangements.

HHS will then remove your name from their list and report this information to the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”), which is a process that may take 3 weeks to complete. Once the DOS confirms that HHS has removed your name from the Passport Denial list, then the DOS will process your passport application like normal.

Are there any exceptions to the Passport Denial list in Ohio?

There are very few exceptions that can be made when it comes to the Passport Denial list. A child support enforcement agency (“CSEA”)  is only allowed to request the release of the obligor passport that has been denied by the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”), if there is:

  1. a case of mistake identity,
  2. the obligor wants to travel leisurely and has paid the arrears in full,
  3. the obligor needs to travel for his employment or business and provides documentation and, at minimum, pays an amount acceptable by the CSEA at least equal to one months obligation,
  4. the reason for travel is a family emergency, or
  5. the obligor is a member of the military.

How Long Will It Take?

If you need the passport for your employment, the release can take any where from one to three weeks once the state agencies has approved and forwarded your release to the federal level.

If you need the passport for leisure travel, the release can take approximately six to eight weeks once the state agency has approved and forwarded the release to the federal level.

If you need the passport for a family emergency or for military travel, the release process will take approximately one week once the state agency has approved and forwarded the release to the federal level.

Is the Passport Denial program successful?

Yes! Since it’s implementation, the Office of Child Support Enforcement has reported that states have collected nearly $500 million dollars in past due support obligations through the Passport Denial program.

Questions about the Passport Denial Program? Schedule An Appointment Today!

At Holzfaste Cecil, McKnight & Mues, located in Dayton, Ohio, top-notch family law and divorce representation is provided by our experienced divorce lawyers! To learn more, go to our website at www.hcmmlaw.com. Or, please contact us at (937) 293-2141 to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation which can be conducted either via Zoom, by phone or in person.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: I want to thank Mickenzie Grubb for writing this blog. She is a 3rd year law student from the University of Dayton School of Law, who is externing with our firm this semester. Well done Mickenzie!

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Robert L. MuesAbout The Author: Robert L. Mues
Attorney Robert "Chip" Mues has been focusing his legal practice throughout Southwest Ohio primarily in divorce and family law matters since 1978. Chip is passionate about family law and has proudly published the Ohio Family Law Blog since 2007. In addition, he is the managing partner of Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues. To learn more about him or the law firm, visit the firm's website at www.hcmmlaw.com. Appointments are available in person, over the phone or by Zoom. Call us at 937 293-2141.

If You Owe Support, You May be Denied a Passport!

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