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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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This question is regarding passport requirements. I've never

Customer Question

This question is regarding passport requirements. I've never had a passport before. One of the questions that it asks is, what is the date of my divorce? This applies to the most current spouse. How can I get this information? He's dead but the form doesn't
ask about that. Also my birth certificate is in my maiden name, of course, they ask about my most recent husband, but I didn't take his last name. My last name is ***** ***** first marriage but since it doesn't ask about my first spouse, won't they wonder where
my last name came from?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm looking at the passport application, and what they're asking for is whether you were widowed OR divorced, and if so, when? That means that you'd put the date your husband passed away. Try using this link to see if it's the same document you're filling out.http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf You should be able to get the date your divorce was finalized just by calling the courthouse and asking them to check the docket for you. But you can also go to the courthouse and get a copy of your divorce papers, plus the docket, so you have a record that the marriage ended and when. The instructions state that they reserve the right to request additional proof of identity before issuing a passport. If you're going to apply for the passport in person, it may help to bring your marriage certificate from your first marriage to show the name change. You can also bring the records from your divorce and second marriage if you want to help ensure that there aren't any problems (especially if the office is a long drive for you). If you're applying by mail, they'll let you know what additional documentation they require, if any.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a marriage certificate for my first husband. That was 42 years ago. He deserted his family in 1977. The problem with requesting certificates, you have to have all the information to get them, but I need them to get all the information I need. I know I was married Nov. 3, 1973. What Court House would I go to? The court house nearest the place I was married? The County Courthouse? Just checked that link you sent me and it is the same form. I thought public records were free but every web site I have gone to, charges. Any that you can recommend?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Those websites you're looking at are companies that are offering a service - that's why they're charging you. It's usually significantly less to get records directly from the state.
The courthouse where the divorce was granted should have your case file still, even if it's many years ago. Call and ask what information they need for you to get a copy of your divorce decree. And they should only charge you the cost of making copies, which is usually not much.
You're not required to have your marriage certificate, but you were concerned about the name discrepancy, and I thought that could ease your mind. They know that people marry and divorce and remarry.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Lucy:
I'm still working on filling the requirements for a passport. I went to the website called WA state archives where I entered all the information I have on both husbands. Because it's free, it may take weeks for them to get back to me. Time really is of the essence so I may have to try something else. All records including divorce records are kept in Olympia. That's probably close to 100 miles from here. I need a little more time before I end our conversation. Thank you.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Not a problem. The site sends reminders automatically. They're not really from me.
You honestly probably do not need the divorce records. I only mentioned it as an option, because you seemed concerned. You should be able to get the passport with just the information requested on the form.
You can also try the Washington state digital archives:
http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/