If your passport displays incorrect information, it is important to file a correction as soon as possible. The specific errors that must be corrected are the wrong date of birth or a spelling mistake. The correction request can be submitted anytime during the time the passport is valid and there is no additional fee unless expedited service is needed. A new photo is required if 90 days have passed since the passport was first issued.
Replacement Passport Instead of Amendment
As of September 2005, all individuals that require a correction to their passport will be issued a replacement passport instead of amending the incorrect information. A replacement passport improves the security of the document. Also, since the new Electronic Passport will be issued soon, the printed data must match the data on the chip implanted in the Electronic Passport. The chip contains the Write Once, Read Many, or WORM technology to make sure the data is genuinely created from an official source with no alterations.
Passports with printing errors are awarded top priority and processed as quickly as possible. The turn around time depends on the demand, but sometimes the process can take two to four weeks or longer. The U.S. Department of State’s official website posts the processing times for both routine service and expedited services. You can also track your applications online within five to seven days. If you need the correction within three to four weeks, you can mail the request and ask for expedited service. For requests that must be completed within 14 days or less, you can submit the request at a regional passport agency or through a private passport processor.
To request a passport correction, you must submit the DS-5504 form, if certain conditions apply. The form applies to the correction of a printing error, name change, and extension of a limited passport. If it has been more than one year since your passport was issued, you may need to submit a different form. You have two options for completing the form: entering your information online and printing the form or printing a blank form and filling it out by hand. The form must be signed and dated and submitted with supporting documents. For printing errors, you must submit your valid passport, documents that support the requested change, and a new photograph if you passport is older than 90 days. If you are submitting a name change request or replacing a limited passport, you much include your valid passport, documents that support the requested change, and a new passport photograph.