Can a felon get a US passport?
What Is a Passport and Can I Get One?A passport is a means of identification used for international travel. It is not a criminal record check. Regardless of your criminal record you can get one as long as it is not prohibited by the terms of your probation or parole. There are several classes of people who will be denied US passports however. See below.
Drug Traffickers Will Be Denied a PassportA recent U.S. law prohibits the issuing of a passport if a person
crossed an international border to commit a felonious drug offense.
(In some cases, a passport can be denied even if the offense was a
misdemeanor, provided the person crossed an international border to
commit the crime.) That law can be found here:
Section 2714. Denial of passports to certain convicted drug
Deadbeat Parents Will Be Denied a PassportA passport can also be denied if the individual has outstanding child-support payments of more than $5,000. So you are not going anywhere isf you've run up a big support bill.
General Discretionary DenialIn any case, including for direct return to the United States, a passport may be refused where the applicant has not repaid a loan received from the United States to effectuate his return from a foreign country, where the applicant has been declared incompetent, or where a minor applicant does not have the necessary consent of legal guardians. Moreover, a passport may be refused if the Secretary of State determines that the applicant's activities abroad are causing or are likely to cause serious damage to the national security or foreign policy of the United States. Finally, a passport may be refused when the applicant is subject to imprisonment or supervised release for a misdemeanor drug conviction, other than a first offense for possession, if the individual used a U.S. passport or otherwise crossed an international border in committing the offense.
Mandatory RefusalPassports are issued to
applicants as a matter of course in all but a few
rare situations. Except for direct return to the
U.S., the law provides that a passport shall not be
issued to an applicant subject to a federal arrest
warrant or subpoena for any matter involving a
felony. Furthermore, a passport shall not be issued
where the applicant is subject to a court order or
condition of parole or probation which forbids
departure from the U.S. Passports will also be
refused if the applicant has not repaid loans
received from the United States for certain expenses
incurred while the applicant was a prisoner abroad.
Nor will a passport be issued if the applicant is
under imprisonment or supervised release for any
conviction, at either the state or federal level,
for a felony involving a controlled substance.