A conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas leads to serious consequences. For example, a first DWI means a fine up to $2,000, up to six months in jail, up to a one-year driver license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 for three years to keep your driver license. It also means skyrocketing auto insurance premiums.
Aside from the standard penalties mentioned above, a DWI can affect housing, employment, college scholarships and sports, professional licenses, and even immigration status. So, the question is, can it also bar you from getting a U.S. passport?
Generally, a DWI will not stop you from obtaining a U.S. passport. However, you may run into trouble with certain countries because some nations, such as Canada don’t let foreigners enter their borders with recent DUI convictions.
So, while you may have no trouble obtaining a U.S. passport, you couldhave trouble being admitted to certain countries. Our advice is to check with the country you wish to travel to before you purchase those non-refundable plane tickets.
Why Would a U.S. Passport Be Denied?
Though a DWI doesn’t normally prevent a U.S. citizen from obtaining a U.S. passport, there are other factors that could cause a U.S. passport to be denied, including:
- The individual owes more than $2,500 in child support arrears.
- The individual is a minor and he or she is party to a custody dispute.
- A criminal court judge has ordered that an individual on probation or parole
is not to travel outside the country.
- The individual is considered to be a “flight risk” by the court
and has been ordered not to leave a specified area.
- The individual has defaulted on an assistance loan from the Department
of State. In this case, he or she must repay their loan or enter into
a payment arrangement before getting a passport.
- A previous U.S. passport was revoked.