Current Passport Denial Program Guidelines for States
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
ATTACHMENT: Passport Denial Program – Guidelines for States
DATE: April 25, 2007
TO: ALL STATE AND TRIBAL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Current Passport Denial Program Guidelines for States
Effective January 2007 the first phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was implemented requiring a valid U.S. passport to travel by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. This requirement, combined with the busiest time of year for Department of State’s (DoS) Passport Services, has resulted in a tremendous surge of passport applications. As a result, the DoS has notified OCSE that obligors certified for passport denial may experience delays in obtaining their passports due to changes in routine and expedited processing times. According to the DoS, a routine passport application may take up to 10 weeks (as opposed to the old timeframe of 6 weeks) to process, while an expedited application may take up to 4 weeks (as opposed to the old timeframe of 2 weeks) to process.
The Regional Passport Agencies (by appointment only) are processing routine applications for individuals traveling within 10 days. In addition, DoS informed OCSE that the only expedited applications that will be processed immediately are those received via fax for the following reasons: for individuals who 1) have a death in the family, 2) who have a dying or very ill relative, 3) who have a family member (or themselves) needing surgery outside of the United States, or 4) who were denied a passport for child support reasons but never had a child support case. Per DoS instructions, at this time, there are no exceptions. An obligor should contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) or make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency two days (not the day of) from the release date shown in the OCSE system.
Enclosed are guidelines for processing individuals with denied passports and the current timeframe required for processing. Also included is information on how to contact DoS to inquire about an existing passport application. For more information about OCSE’s Passport Denial Program, please refer to Section 5, “DoS Passport Denial Process,” in the Federal Offset Program User Guide. Additionally, OCSE will review the guidelines on the upcoming monthly Federal Collections and Enforcement conference calls. Advance notice of these calls is forthcoming.
We will continue to keep you informed on any future updates provided by DoS. If you have questions or need further information, please contact Rebecca Hamil at (202) 690-5378 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of Child Support Enforcement