Passport denial

A passport application can be denied if the non-custodial parent currently owes, or had previously owed, past-due child support of $2,500 or more. The NJ Child Support Program will refer these cases to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. That agency works with the US State Department to deny passport applications or renewals for anyone who reaches or passes the $2,500 threshold. Several states, including NJ, have a zero arrears policy, which means that generally the arrears must be paid in full before the passport restriction will be removed.

Once a passport application or renewal has been denied, the non-custodial parent can contest the decision through the NJ Office of Child Support Services by documenting:

  • The child support arrears never exceeded $2,500, or
  • The travel is required for employment, a serious medical emergency, or the imminent death of an immediate family member

The NJ Office of Child Support Services will review the matter and refer it to the Administrative Office of the Courts for resolution, if necessary.