Today is the day! You’re finally going to receive your brand new passport. You can now start planning the international trip of your dreams, and you couldn’t be more thrilled. But, there’s one problem. Once your passport arrives, you come to notice that there is a mistake in it. All at once, it seems like your dreams of an adventure around the world are out of reach. You start to wonder, is there any way to get this passport error corrected?
If you find that your passport has a mistake on it, don’t panic! There are a few ways that you can get the problem fixed so that you can get started on planning your international trip in no time:
How to Address Passport Errors
Misprints in a US passport can include the incorrect spelling of a name, missing data on the biographical information page, place of birth, date of birth, and more. When your passport has a mistake, there are a few ways to get the problem fixed.
If You Aren’t in a Hurry: If you don’t need to immediately use your passport for international travel, your passport can be corrected at no charge if it is still valid per the State Department Website Instructions. Please note that if you have already traveled using your passport that has a misprint, especially if you have traveled several times, the Passport Agency may charge you full price for a new passport.
If You’re in a Hurry and Live Near a National Passport Agency: If your passport has a misprint and you need it fixed within 3 weeks or less, you can visit a National Passport Agency to get the passport replaced. Ideally, you’ll want to make an appointment when going this route. Please note that appointments are limited, and you’ll want to call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to see if you can make an appointment.
If You’re in a Hurry, and Don’t Live Near a National Passport Agency: If you don’t live near a National Passport Agency or can’t get an appointment, you can get your passport reprinted through a third party Passport Agency like Swift Passport Services. Using the new passport instructions, we will work with you to get your passport replaced as soon as possible. Please note that if you use this option, you will be submitting a DS-11 vs a DS-5504. When your application form prints out, please double-check that it is a DS-11 and not a DS-5504. If your passport is already expired, please contact us.
How to Fill Out the Correct Forms
There are some forms you’ll need to fill out depending on how quickly you need to fix the mistakes on your passport.
If You Aren’t in a Hurry: If you aren’t in a hurry and need to correct a data or printing error, you’ll need to fill out form DS-5504. Once you fill out the form, you will need to submit it by mail along with your passport, one color photo, and evidence of the error (e.g. your U.S. birth certificate showing the correct spelling of your last name).
If You’re in a Hurry, and Don’t Live Near a National Passport Agency: If you find yourself in this circumstance, you will need to follow the new passport instructions located on the Swift website. You will be submitting a DS-11 vs a DS-5504. When your application form prints out, please double-check that it is a DS-11 and not a DS-5504.
Are There Fees For Fixing Mistakes on a Passport?
When looking to fix the mistakes on your passport, you may be concerned that it will be an expensive process. Depending on how quickly you need to fix these mistakes, you may have to pay some fees to fix your passport.
If You Aren’t in a Hurry: No fee, except for inbound shipping
If You’re in a Hurry and Live Near a National Passport Agency: None
If You’re in a Hurry, and Don’t Live Near a National Passport Agency: $170 government fee + $249 service fee
Can I Still Travel With a Passport That Has Mistakes?
If you notice that you have a mistake on your passport and still try to travel with it, you may run into some road bumps while traveling. Your passport may not be considered “valid” if it has mistakes on it. This means that you could potentially be turned away from entering a country and sent right back home. Another reason you don’t want to travel with a passport that has mistakes is because you may be costing yourself some money. If you try and get your passport through the Passport Agency, typically there is no fee. But if you have already traveled on the passport with the misprint, especially if you have traveled several times, the Passport Agency may charge you full price for a new passport.
What if I Need My Passport Corrected Quickly?
If you need your passport corrected quickly, you’ll want to get your passport reprinted through a third-party passport agency like Swift. This is your best option to receive your passport as soon as possible. We will work closely with you to ensure that you get your passport corrected and in your hands in a timely manner.
If you’re ready to get the process started, you can do so by following the new passport instructions. As of January 4, 2022, we are offering a 7-10 business day option to obtain your passport. Please note that you must call ahead (312-929-2105) if you want to use our 7-10 business days option, as it’s being offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.