How Does Changing Your Name With the SSA Affect Passport Travel?
The Social Security Administration is a part of the federal government, which also runs the State Department, which is responsible for issuing passports. So it makes sense that once you change your name in one branch of government, you must do it with all branches. That means that if you change your name with the Social Security Administration, you'll also need to change it with the State Department. As you'd expect, it's not quite as easy as it might seem.
Once you legally change your name with the Social Security Administration, your passport is no longer valid; the only way to restore its validity is by updating your name with the State Department, too. If you have certifiable proof your name change, t his can be done quickly and easily through the mail. For example, the State Department will accept a state-issued marriage license or court order that shows your name change. If you don't have certifiable evidence, then you'll have to start over from scratch and apply for a new passport.
Less than a Year Ago
If your previous passport was issued less than a year ago and you have proof of your name change, the State Department won't charge you for the new passport. However, you will need to purchase a new set of passport photos. Popular stores such as Walgreens, CVS and Walmart offer passport photo services, as well as local photo shops. You'll also need form DS-5504, which you can print off the State Department's website or get in paper form at your local post office. Fill the form out in blue or black ink then mail it, your old passport and the passport photos to the Philadelphia-based address listed on the form. You'll receive your new passport in the mail within four weeks. If you want two-week processing, you can pay the expedited fee with a personal check or money order made out to the Department of State.
More than a Year Ago
If your passport was issued more than a year ago and you have proof of your name change, you can pay a renewal fee to have the passport re-issued in your new name. Your prior passport is still good for renewal if it was issued less than 15 years ago, even if it has expired, as long as you received it after your 16th birthday. You'll have to purchase passport photos, complete form DS-82, include a certifiable name-change document and arrange for payment. Pick up form DS-82 for free at your nearest post office, or fill it out electronically on the State Department's website and print it. Write a check or money order to the Department of State for the application fee, and mail the application package to the Philadelphia-based address listed on the form.
No Certifiable Proof
If don't have an original marriage certificate or court order as proof of your name change, you'll have to reapply as a first-time passport applicant. This has to be done in person at a passport acceptance facility; you'll need to bring form DS-11, which is available on the State Department website or at the post office; plus proof of citizenship, which can be a certified birth certificate, report of birth abroad, naturalization certificate or citizenship certificate; and proof of identification, photocopies of both sides of that identification, passport photos and a personal check or money order for the appropriate fees. Find the nearest facility using the department's Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page. Prove your citizenship with a birth certificate, report of birth abroad, naturalization certificate or citizenship certificate.