Many, if not most Americans end up traveling abroad at some point in their
lives. After all, it’s very common for people to travel overseas
to visit family, for their jobs, or for vacation. If you were previously
convicted of a crime, as a term of your probation or parole, you may have
been prohibited by the court to leave Florida, let alone the country.
Now, you have completed your sentence and you wish to travel abroad. Is
there anything legally stopping you from obtaining a U.S. passport? For
starters, most people with felonies on their records do not have any issue
obtaining a U.S. passport.
Why? Because U.S. passports are merely identification documents that show
citizenship; they do not contain people’s criminal record information.
Convicted felons should not run into trouble obtaining U.S. passports
unless there is an active warrant for their arrest or they’re facing
Reasons a U.S. Passport Can Be Denied
While most of the time felons won’t have any issues obtaining a passport,
that’s not guaranteed. There are circumstances where a felon may
be denied a U.S. passport. Under Federal law, a U.S. citizen will be prohibited
from obtaining a passport if:
- The induvial has been convicted of drug trafficking and they entered another
country to commit the crime.
- The individual owes $2,500 or more in child support arrears.
- The individual is prohibited from leaving the country under a court order,
probation, or parole.
- The individual is presently serving time under a supervised release program
or in prison for felons who’ve been convicted of possessing or distributing
a controlled substance – this is covered under state and federal law.
If you’re a convicted felon and none of the above apply, you may
not have any issues obtaining a U.S. passport, however, not all countries
let people in with criminal records. Canada, for example, doesn’t
let people with
DUIs, even misdemeanor DUIs enter the country. So, our advice is to do your
research first and make sure the country you want to visit won’t
prohibit you from entering because of your criminal record.