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Department of State Passport Denial Procedures


Published: July 24, 2000


July 24, 2000


RE: DOS Passport Denial Procedures

Dear Colleague:

The Department of State (DOS) has requested that the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) share with the States the following guidance regarding the Passport Denial Program.

1. An obligor should never be instructed to present a Notice of Passport Withdrawal letter to a passport agency. Because obligors think the letter grants them clearance to receive their passports, it is causing problems for DOS. In addition, the notice should not be mailed to DOS; any notices received by DOS are forwarded to OCSE.

2. To remove obligors from the passport denial program, States must notify OCSE through the automated update process. The Notice of Passport Withdrawal letter can be faxed to OCSE only for life or death situations involving an immediate family member or the erroneous submittal of an individual. In life or death situations, verification of the death or medical emergency is mandatory. DOS requires a letter from a doctor, or Red Cross notification.

Immediate family is defined as:

  • Parent or guardian of obligor
  • Child (natural or adopted)
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Step-child
  • Step-parent
  • Step-sibling
  • Spouse; sometimes the spouse may need to travel if they are supporting the obligor

An erroneous submittal is for an individual that has never owed child support, not someone that owed child support at the time of submittal/denial and has since made payment.

3. DOS will no longer refund Fees if an applicant is denied their passport. DOS has instructed the Passport Agencies to hold passports for 60 days before they destroy them to allow obligors time to settle accounts and reapply so they won't lose money.

If you have any questions, please call the Special Collections Unit at (202) 401-9389.


David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement

cc: Regional Program Managers
ACF Regional Administrators
Federal Offset Coordinators

Last Reviewed: June 1, 2019

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