Can a felon get a US Passport? The quick answer is yes, at least in the United States. There is nothing in U.S. law that prevents most felons from getting a US Passport — unless the terms of parole, probation or sentencing deny that person a right to a US Passport or international travel.
Can a felon get a US Passport? It is recommended that the parolee check with their parole officer or the court that has jurisdiction. The issue is a matter of the parole conditions, not of the law regarding US Passports.
A passport is a document that certifies a person’s citizenship. It is basically a identity document. In fact, the US Passport form doesn’t ask the applicant about criminal history. Traditionally, there is just one type of felony that would prevent the person from getting a passport. A person is ineligible if he or she has “been convicted by a court or court martial of competent jurisdiction of committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, or conspiring to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force, the Government of the United States.”
A more recent U.S. law prohibits the issuing of US Passports 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. Other than those exceptions, there is no provision in federal law for denying a passport for the mere act of having a felony record. It can be denied only if the person is subject to arrest or if the person is prohibited by terms of parole or probation from having a passport.
Can a felon get a US Passport? Here is a summary of the U.S. law:
Mandatory Denial. US Passports 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 US. 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 US 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.
Discretionary Denial. In 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 US 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 US Passport or otherwise crossed an international border in committing the offense.
Revocation. A passport may be revoked, restricted or limited where the national would not be entitled to a passport as described above, or where the passport was obtained by fraud, or fraudulently altered or misused. Unless specifically validated therefore, a US Passport shall cease to be valid for travel into or through any country or area at war with the United States. US Passports may also be invalidated for travel through areas in which armed hostilities are in progress, or where there is imminent danger to the public health or physical safety of U.S. travelers. Such determinations are made by the Secretary of State and are published in the Federal Register.
Source: U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/law/Covenant94/Specific_Articles/12.html
A passport can also be denied if the individual has outstanding child-support payments of more than $5,000.Note also that many countries will not issue visas or allow entry to persons with a felony record (or even drunken driving convictions in the case of Canada)
Can a felon get a US Passport