Can felons get a passport? What complications do they face while getting a passport?

People make mistakes that unfortunately lead to making them a person they are not and considered ‘felon’. But sometimes, regret initiates the feeling of being a good person eventually.

But things get complicated when some of them desire to travel or due to personal reasons they want to move from a place. But can felons get a passport to travel?

The answer may depend on the severity of the felony you were convicted for. If you live in the United States, then you are permitted to receive a passport, depart, and land back in the country. However, getting a passport is a privilege, not a right, and your application to receive a passport can be denied by the government for a variety of reasons. These reasons may include:

  • Unpaid child tax, alimony, or support

People who have arrears of unpaid child tax over $2,500 are ineligible to obtain a US passport. If you think that you owe child support, you should consult a local agency for child support enforcement and know about your legal obligations.

  • Unpaid federal loans

In cases where you face incarceration while living or traveling abroad and to get back to the country, you need monetary assistance from the US Federal government. To get back your passport, you need to return the financial debt you owe from the government.

In the same way, when the US officials make efforts to bring you and your family back to the country; you are obligated to pay off the financials they spent on your family as a loan.

For this, the State Department can reject your passport application if you have outstanding federal debts.

  • Being a minor without parental consent

Your passport application can also be denied if you are under 16 years of age and don’t have the consent of both your parents. If for any reason it becomes impossible for you to get the consent of your both parents or guardian, the other option that you can avail of is to have a written consent signed and validated by a notary.

Another way is to have a third person stand as a witness when you take consent from your parents to notarize. Any of these methods would work to obtain documents for travel.

Conditions where a felon faces intricacies in obtaining a passport

  • Can convicted felons get a passport? 

Felons convicted for severe crimes can have repercussions in almost every way.

The government will determine whether a felon will get a passport depending on the felony a criminal was involved in or convicted for. But it is possible to get a passport for felons and ex-felons.

If you’re an ex-felon and have got a passport, that doesn’t mean that you can travel around the world and visit every origin whenever you want. Many countries restrict felons and criminals to enter their boundaries, for many reasons that involve political and security reasons.

Therefore, if your name registers on the criminal list, you will face restrictions in getting a visa to travel to various countries. So, when you plan to visit another country check the list of the individuals that are allowed by the security to enter. Plus, before applying for a visa, you should check the country list around the world that does not allow felons.

Felony charges on an American Passport

If you are convicted of the following felonies in the past, your application to obtain a passport can become void. These felonies include:

  • International drug trafficking
  • Distribution of controlled substance

If you cross a border while committing any of the above-mentioned felonies, the first thing you will lose is your passport. At the international borders, human or drug trafficking is the most often illegal activity and people are convicted of serious penalties as a result. However, the possession of the control only does not become the reason for passport denial or felony charges.

  • Passports and felons

As explained above, a felon does not necessarily need to get disqualified from obtaining a passport automatically. Your passport application may become void as a result of significant drug felonies and convictions attached to it.

If you have received a conviction(s) as a result of a felony and want to travel international borders, then ensure that you do not have a criminal record of drug trafficking or any controlled substance.

And if you do not!! You can apply to obtain a passport and travel documents. According to US federal law, the passport of the person convicted of the felonies of drug trafficking will be canceled/void/denied.

Can convicted felons get a US passport?

Like every other citizen in the US, you have to fill and submit an online application/form or in-person to a Passport Acceptance Facility or Passport Agency.

The process is the same if you want to renew an expired passport or want to apply for a replacement after a stolen or a lost one.

The documents which are required to apply for a passport if you are a felon include:

  • Documentation proving your identity i.e. birth certificate
  • Citizenship and naturalization certificate or a report from a consular that proves your birth region.
  • Verified passport
  • Passport size Photos
  • The court will notice that you are not serving your probation period or not on parole. (failure to provide a court order can hinder the process of obtaining passport or travel documents)

Keep in mind that your passport photo must meet the requirements needed to be accepted by the government. For this, you don’t need to go to a studio, you can just use the passport photo tool online.

Convicted Felons – Can they get their passport back?

The US Criminal Courts can deprive a person of a valid passport if they suspect a person of committing a drug trafficking crime way before a crime occurs. The State Secretory can also revoke your passport even if your passport is not taken away for the same reason.

This is to discourage the felons from escaping the US and fleeing to a country without any extradition agreements. If your passport is revoked or taken away as a result of a felony conviction, applying for a new passport will not be possible until the court proceedings come to an end.

However, individuals with no drug trafficking record can apply with the right to obtain a passport once serving the sentence.

Want to know more about drug laws? Explore how you can save yourself from getting severe convictions and penalties once you are confined.

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