Will The State Department (DOS) Notify You If Your Passport Is Revoked?

Written by
Amber Hobert
Published on
January 3, 2023
Table of Contents

Have you ever considered what will happen if one day you make it to the airport for an important flight to another country only to discover that your passport has been revoked? Will you be notified when your passport is revoked? What are the offenses that could lead to the loss of your passport? These and many more answers are what you will find as you read along!

If A Passport Is Revoked, Will DOS Notify You?

Yes, they will!

If your application for a U.S. passport is denied or your passport is revoked, you will receive written notification from the State Department (DOS). A tax issue with the IRS is one of the most common reasons your passport may be revoked.

As part of a plan to increase revenue included in the 2015 highway bill and signed into law on December 4, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service now has the power to revoke or reject the passport of any taxpayer who owes a lot of back taxes.

The IRS considers an unpaid tax of more than $50,000 seriously delinquent, and the IRS can advise the Department of State to revoke your passport. When certifying seriously delinquent tax debt to the DOS, the IRS must notify taxpayers in writing.

The State Department must also tell you in writing if your application for a U.S. passport is refused or if your passport is canceled.

Why Will My Passport Be Revoked?

The Department of State (DOS) of the United States issues passports and determines their rules. It may revoke passports for the following reasons:

Illegally acquired

The Department of State can cancel a passport if it has reason to believe you obtained it illegally, fraudulently, or incorrectly or if its creation involved acts of illegality or fraud committed against the Department of State.

Not a US citizen

Your passport can be revoked if the Department of State has determined that the person holding the passport is not a citizen of the United States.

Another instance when a passport can be revoked is if the Department of State has been informed that the passport holder's certificate of citizenship or certificate of naturalization has been terminated.

Fraudulently obtained COR abroad

If the DOS learns that a passport was issued based on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (COR) that was obtained unlawfully, fraudulently, accidentally, or by doing something illegal or dishonest to the DOS, it can revoke the passport and COR.

Cancellation of citizenship

If the Department of State is aware that a person's certificate of citizenship has been revoked, it has the authority to revoke that individual's passport.

Altered abroad COR

If the Consular Report of Birth Abroad has been falsified in any manner, or if the Department of State has determined that the recipient of the (CRBA) Consular Report of Birth Abroad is not a U.S. citizen, the Consular Report of Birth Abroad will be invalid.

Unauthorized alteration

The Department of State may begin the provocation procedure if there is evidence that the passport has been unlawfully changed or abused.

Other reasons

Additionally, if a law enforcement agency requests a passport, the government has the authority to seize it for any of the following reasons:

  • The individual is wanted for criminal charges, and an arrest warrant has been issued. 
  • This individual is prohibited by court order from leaving the country. 
  • The owner of the passport is a drug dealer with a criminal record.
  • The police may ask the Department of State to revoke a suspect's passport if they don't want him or her to leave the nation. The passport may be revoked if the person arrested and charged with a crime has a history of criminal activity. 
  • If the suspect has a prior criminal record and the current charges against them might result in a lengthy jail sentence, the police may view them as a flight risk and revoke his passport.
  • Seriously delinquent taxes as determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

How Is The Revocation Process Initiated?

The law enforcement agency might initiate the revocation procedure by sending a letter to the DHS (Department of Human Settlements) detailing the individual's identity, criminal history, and outstanding arrest warrants.

The cancellation will be recorded in government databases for use by law enforcement and border control officials anywhere once the request has been authorized. Because of this, the passport holder is no longer able to travel.

When a taxpayer has a "substantially overdue tax debt" of at least $50,000, the government can reject, cancel, or place restrictions on their passport under the passport revocation regulation (to be adjusted for inflation).

It is important to remember that the $50,000 minimum debt amount includes interest and fees. So, if you pay your taxes after the due date, you will usually have to pay a penalty of 12 percent of your unpaid taxes each month or a fraction of a month that the taxes remain unpaid. This penalty may equal up to 25 percent of your delinquent taxes.

What Happens If A Passport Is Revoked?

The method for withdrawing a passport varies in part depending on the basis for the revocation; nevertheless, the DOS will typically issue written notification to the individual whose passport is being revoked.

A person can learn that their passport has been revoked if their application for a new passport is refused. Or, a person may find out that their passport has been taken away and send an application to renew it. For many of the same reasons why a passport may be canceled, it may also be rejected.

Passport applications need the completion of a form, the payment of a fee, and the submission of pictures. It may take six weeks or more to process an application for a first passport. For access to some countries, the passport must be at least six months old. A request for passport renewal may be handled within sixty days.

Still, it's usually a good idea to apply for a passport or to renew one a long time before you need it because the process can take a long time. If a person's passport is to be revoked, they will get a notification from the Department of State. A passport cannot be revoked without prior notice to the holder.

Can A Revoked Passport Be Obtained Again?


You can appeal a passport revocation. A person has sixty days after getting notice of the revocation to ask the DOS for an administrative hearing. The hearing is held within 60 days of the DOS receiving the written request. The Department of State chooses the person who will run the hearing, and the person whose passport has been revoked can go and be represented by an attorney.

The hearing officer sets up conclusions of fact following the hearing. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for US Passport Services looks at these and decides whether or not the cancellation should be kept or changed.

If the hearing doesn't lead to getting the passport back, the next step is to appeal the decision of the administrative hearing to a federal district court. Suppose a passport was canceled for financial reasons, such as unpaid taxes or child support. In that case, the individual has 90 days from the date of the refusal letter to resolve the situation and agree on payment plans.

The original application procedure can proceed if child support or tax obligations are paid in full within 90 days following the installment agreement. The application will be invalid after 90 days, and you will have to fill out a new one.

Consult An Expert If Your Passport Is Revoked

In this article, we looked at some issues surrounding passport revocation. Passports can be revoked for several reasons, including tax default, because they were acquired illegally, or because the holder committed fraud.

Whatever may be the case, if you find yourself in this situation, consult with experts who will advise you on the best way to go about it and provide you with an easy path to getting the revoked passport back.

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