Obtaining a passport is a privilege afforded to United States citizens. The application process takes into account the age of the applicant, whether it's their first passport, whether their name has changed and whether the applicant's previous passport application was declined. In fact, there are a number of reasons the U.S. government will decline to issue a passport, and an applicant should be aware of them before making a request.
Child Support Payments
Under the 1998 Passport Denial Program, the U.S. government will deny U.S. passports to any applicant who is delinquent in child support payments. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, non-custodial parents who are in arrears more than £1,625 in child support payments will be denied a passport. Once the non-custodial parent becomes current in their payments, they can make a new request for a passport.
If any applicant for a U.S. passport is under a criminal investigation, has an outstanding warrant or a pending court order, a state or federal agency can place the applicant's name in a database that will prevent the issuance of a passport. The passport office will contact the law enforcement authority for confirmation, and refuse the passport based on that information.
Parole, Probation and National Security
Another reason a federal or state law enforcement authority can request a refusal of a passport is if the applicant is under a parole condition or probation that forbids them from leaving the United States. The applicant may petition the court for a review, but will not be issued a passport until the parole or probation conditions are removed. The government will also deny a passport to any applicant considered a threat to the national security of the United States.
Drugs and Extradition
Any applicant for a U.S. passport who has been arrested or convicted for a misdemeanour or felony drug charge including manufacturing, distribution or possession, will be refused a passport. In addition, any applicant that is wanted by a foreign country for extradition to face criminal charges, will not be issued a passport.