When child support is collected through the county child support office, there are more enforcement remedies available than when child support is collected by the parent to whom it is owed. One of those remedies involves the obligor’s, or person who has to pay support, ability to get or renew a passport.
Child Support Payments
Pursuant to federal law, if an individual is $2,500.00 or more in arrears in child support and does not have a payment plan with the county child support office to pay it off, the Minnesota Department of Human Services may report the individual to the U.S. Department of State. Once that individual’s name has been shared with the U.S. Department of State, the Secretary of State will not issue a passport for that individual.
The passport denial continues until the individual has completely paid off their child support arrears; the obligor is not able to just pay it down to the $2,500.00 amount and get their passport.
Once the child support arrears are paid in full, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will notify the U.S. Department of State that there is no longer a hold for unpaid child support. The U.S. Department of State will make sure that there are no other outstanding obligations in other states and may at that time lift the restriction on obtaining a passport.
This process is exemplified here by the U.S. Department of State. However, it is best to discuss your options with an attorney if you are in this situation.