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Passport Denial

All cases which receive full services from the Child Support Services Division (CSSD) are eligible for passport denial once the arrears owed in the case are over $2,500. 

Why Is a Passport Important?

If you do not have a valid passport, you cannot travel outside of the United States.

How Does the Passport Denial Process Work?

Once the amount of overdue support that you owe exceeds $2,500, CSSD will submit your name to the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), the federal child support agency. OCSE then forwards your name to the U.S. State Department, the agency which issues passports. If you apply for a new or renewed passport, your application will be denied and you will be instructed to contact CSSD. 

CSSD will also mail you a letter informing you of CSSD’s intent to submit your name for passport denial. 


CSSD will mail you a notice if your name is being submitted for passport denial.  The notice will contain the following information:

  • The amount of arrears you owe
  • Information regarding your right to dispute the amount of arrears owed
  • The right to request an administrative review of the decision to submit your name for passport denial
  • A statement indicating that the U.S. Secretary of State will deny your application for new a passport and may revoke or restrict the use of a passport previously issued to you.
  • Information about how and when to contact CSSD in order to dispute the matter or to make payment arrangements so that your passport may be reinstated

What Happens Next?

If you disagree with the CSSD’s decision to deny or restrict your passport, you have the right to contest the decision and to request a review.

How to Contact CSSD

  • CSSD is eager to assist you if you have any questions concerning a child support matter. You may contact CSSD Customer Service Unit at (202) 442-9900.
  • You may visit the CSSD office at 441 4th Street, NW, 5th Floor North, Washington, DC 20001.
  • Once you contact CSSD, you will be given the Child Support Objection Notice form to complete.  Upon completing the form, you should return it to CSSD.
  • You must also submit evidence with the Child Support Objection Notice form in support of your claim.
  • CSSD will document receipt of your form and your intent to contest the decision.
  • CSSD will conduct a review of your case to determine whether or not your name should be removed from the Passport Denial List.

What Kind of Evidence Do I Need to Submit?

  • Cancelled checks
  • Copy of money orders
  • Payment receipts
  • Copy of your child support order
  • Any other documentation of payments made, including specific dates

When Will I Hear About a Decision on the Review of My Case?

  • CSSD’s Enforcement Unit will provide a response to your Objection Notice within 45 days from the day CSSD receives the Notice from you.
  • You will receive a final copy of your Objection Notice completed by a CSSD Enforcement Specialist informing you of CSSD’s decision.
  • If CSSD determines that your name was placed on the Passport Denial List in error, CSSD will remove it. This could happen if an incorrect arrears amount was reflected in your account.
  • If your name was not submitted in error, it may still be removed if you agree to a payment arrangement under the following terms:
    - Pay a lump sum that reduces your arrears to zero; and
    - Continue to make regular payments in the amount of your current support.


You may still receive a passport even though your arrears exceed $2500 if you can show hardship. Examples of hardship are:

  • Traveling overseas to visit a relative with a serious illness
  • Traveling overseas due to the death of a relative

You must provide proof of the hardship in order for the claim to be granted.