TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Passport Denial Procedures
The Department of State has issued the enclosed guidelines for the Passport Denial Process. By law, the Department of State cannot issue a passport for an applicant if their name is certified by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) as owing more than $5,000 in arrears. Once an applicant completes satisfactory payment arrangements, the State notifies OCSE and, in turn, OCSE notifies the Department of State. Passports cannot be issued until final notification has been received from OCSE and processed by the Department of State.
As part of the update process, OCSE no longer accepts faxed paper copies of the withdrawal notice for routine processing of passports. States must notify OCSE to remove an obligor from the passport denial file by submitting a weekly update file (Exhibit N). The only exceptions include life or death situations or the erroneous submittal of an individual, i.e., the denial of an individual that has never owed child support, not an individual that owed child support at the time of submittal/denial and has since made payment. Only in these situations, can a State request OCSE to expedite notification to the Department of State that the obligor has made satisfactory payment arrangements. This may be accomplished by faxing OCSE a Notice of Passport Withdrawal letter.
In emergency and routine withdrawals, Notice of Passport Withdrawal letters can be given to obligors. If the obligor presents the letter to the Department of State from their State indicating that the obligation has been satisfied, the Department of State will recheck the name against the passport denial file. Please ensure that the obligor is aware that the notice itself does not release the passport. Updates are accomplished on a weekly basis, so the obligor must allow time for OCSE to transmit the withdrawal to the Department of State. Also, please note that the States must update their records (via Exhibit N) to withdraw the obligor from the passport denial process. The notice is provided to the obligor only to expedite the "recheck" at the passport office.
If you have any questions, please call the Special Collections Unit at (202) 401-9389.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Enclosures: State Department Letter
cc: ACF Regional Administrators
Federal Offset Coordinators
Regional Program Managers