Having a felony conviction does not disqualify you from getting a passport. However, the type of conviction may disqualify you, but because the rules that define felons are not well defined, you may be able to get a passport. So, if you want to travel outside the United States and need a passport, you can apply for one the same way everyone else does.
In the U.S., most individuals who have a felony conviction because of drug trafficking across borders will not get a passport. That means, if you are convicted of other felonies you can still get a passport. A felony is classified as a crime for which the penalty exceeds one year in prison. So, if you commit murder, treason, or financial crimes, which all have lengthy sentences, you may be able to get a passport.
Remember, a passport is merely a document which allows you to enter the country. Getting one does not mean you can travel to another country. Each country has its laws and if they don’t allow a felon to enter, having a passport will serve no purpose.
So, the State Department will likely not disqualify anyone, except for a drug trafficking conviction across borders, from getting a passport.
Other Reasons For Disqualifications
There are other reasons apart from a criminal conviction that will disqualify you from getting a passport. Even if you have a clean slate from any criminal activities, but fall into one of these categories, your chance of getting a passport is slim.
Here are some reasons that will disqualify you from getting a U.S. passport:
- You owe $2,500 or more in back child support
- Owe the government because of loans
Other reasons to get denied are:
- You are currently charged with a felony or a felony arrest warrant is outstanding
- You are currently in prison
- On parole for felony drug charges
- You have a court order, a probation order, or a parole order status that you cannot leave the country
These are some of the reasons you will get disqualified from getting a passport.