How To Check If A Passport Is Revoked?

Revoking a passport does not always mean that it will be taken away from the passport holder; it just means that it will be flagged, and restricted. Which means it will be refused when you try to use it to travel. Of course, it is quite rare for a Passport to be revoked; what usually happens is that the Department of State refuses to issue a new one when the old one expires- and even that does not happen every day.

For a passport to be revoked the older must have been involved in some serious criminal activity, which also includes indebtedness such as Tax Debt and Child Support. For the record; debts owed to private individuals do not count among the types of debts that can warrant a person’s passport to be revoked or denied.

How To Check If A Passport Is Revoked?

Ideally, you should not even have to check if your passport has been revoked; you should get a letter from the IRS or any other government agency notifying you of your legal situation, and advising you that you cannot travel. That means you should already know that you have a case to answer.

However, there is also a possibility that this notice has been sent to you, but you may not have received it. Perhaps it was lost in transit, or something else happened causing you not to get the notice.

If you are not sure about the status of your passport, then you can reach the Department of State through phone through their phone number: 202-485-6550. You can also contact the IRS through 1-855-519-4965 or 1-267-941-1004 (international) to get the get information about your state of indebtedness.

What Are Some Reasons Why Passports Can Be Revoked?

During Child Custody Dispute

When there is a dispute over child custody, and a parent is worried that the other parent may take the child abroad without his consent, one parent can work with the lawyers to have the child’s passport revoked so as to prevent abduction. This is usually resolved after the issue of custody has been decided by the court.

The passport belonging to the adult is usually not involved in this, and so the parent can usually fly unhindered.

Child Support Payments

If you owe $2,500 or more in child support, your passport status is in danger. While your passport may not have been revoked, you will almost certainly not be eligible to get a US Passport.

In order to avoid any problems with your passport, you are urged to pay your child support arrears to the appropriate state child support enforcement agency. Please do this prior to approaching the State Department to apply for, or to renew your passport.

When you make acceptable payments, the state agency will make a report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which will remove your name from its list, and make a report of this to the Department of State. The State Department will then restore your passport. This may take 2 to 3 weeks to effect.

Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt

“Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt” refers to tax debt is unpaid, legally enforceable federal tax debt (includes interest and penalties). Unfortunately, the exact amount that falls under this category is not clearly stipulated; but as a rule, the underlined term is “legally enforceable,” which means that there would be legal proceedings already underway, by the concerned authorities to retrieve this money.

This means that the person involved would probably be aware that his passport would be flagged or revoked, and that he would not be able to travel using that passport.

However, the Secretary of the Treasury would have to inform the Department of State, and request that your passport be revoked. The Department of State would then revoke the passport, and or deny you a new one.

Citizens who are outside the country as at that time may be issued with a limited-validity passport which can be used for direct return to the United States, in order to resolve the tax issue.

How A Passport Is Revoked

Law enforcement agencies, such as the Police, IRS or FBI may request that the Department of State revoke a passport, as is acceptable under 22 CFR 51.60-65. When the Department of State revokes a person’s passport, the passport information is entered into databases which are used and accessible by law enforcement and border agencies around the world. When a person attempts to travel with such a passport he is immediately flagged. This could lead to an arrest.

When any of the law enforcement agencies requests that a person’s passport be revoked they usually send a request to the Department Of State, involving:

Subject’s name, including aliases and suffixes (example: John Franklin Jr, or Alistair Crowley III)

Date of Birth, and Place of Birth

The passport holder’s Social Security Number

Previous passport numbers if known

Address of the subject (if known)

Any Identity documents such as ID cards, Drivers License, and so on.

Copies of any court order, or arrest warrant issued against the person in question.

Name, agency address, and phone number of the law enforcement officer who is in charge of the investigation, and his supervisor. This is to enable them know who to contact when a person tries to travel with a revoked passport.



The best way to find out if your passport has been revoked is to call the Department of State, and to make an enquiry. However, if a person’s passport has been revoked, he should already know because he would have received a warning from an investigating agency of government, informing him that he has a case to answer, and that court proceedings have been started against him.

Please note that if you have an arrest warrant issued against you, you automatically cannot travel with your passport because it has been revoked. At that point you should not be worried about traveling, but turning yourself over to the authorities to clear your name, and resolve the issues.

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