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Procedures for "Quick Locate" Requests and Procedures for Reporting Locate Activity


Published: September 5, 1991



September 5, 1991


SUBJECT: Procedures for "Quick Locate" Requests and Clarification of Procedures for Reporting Locate Activity

BACKGROUND:The preamble to the final program standards regulation (see 54 FR 32298, August 4, 1989) indicated that, in cases in which a State has information that the absent parent may be in one of several States, the State may ask those States to attempt to locate an absent parent or alleged father. At State option, these requests may be made directly to another State Parent Locator Service (SPLS) under certain conditions. These requests for "quick locate" would not be considered an official interstate case. If a responding State's central registry receives a Child Support Enforcement Interstate Transmittal form (FSA-200) on which location is the only requested action, however, the responding State must handle the case in accordance with requirements at 45 CFR õ303.7 (i.e., use of the FSA-200 makes the case an official interstate case).

In addition, OCSE-AT-90-l2, dated November 2, 1990, presents definitions and instructions for completing the Child Support Enforcement program data reporting forms, OCSE-156 and OCSE-158. OCSE-AT-90-12 generated numerous questions and comments. To address these issues the instructions will be revised in the near future. However, this action transmittal announces several changes to the data reporting instructions presented in OCSE-AT-90-l2 as they apply to reporting locates.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Action Transmittal is to clarify and summarize issues that have arisen relative to the use of the "quick locate" process. Attached are questions and answers that address interstate locate and provide guidance on when and how to request that another State perform a "quick locate" without using the formal interstate case transmittal process. This Action Transmittal also revises how locates are reported on form OCSE-156.

SUPERSEDED MATERIAL: Makes slight changes to OCSE-AT-90-l2, dated November 2, 1990.

INQUIRIES: ACF Regional Administrators

Allie Page Matthews

Deputy Director

Office of Child Support


Question: Under what circumstances would a State most likely use the "quick locate" process?

Response: If a State has reason to believe that one of their absent parents is in one of several States, sending a request for "quick locate" to each of the FPLSs may be the most expeditious method for locating the absent parent. Likewise, if a State intends to use its long-arm jurisdiction to establish or enforce an order, it may choose to use the "quick locate" method to confirm the absent parent's location. If, on the other hand, a State is relatively sure that the absent parent is in a specific State, the "quick locate" method should not be used. Instead, the initiating State should use the Child Support Enforcement Interstate Transmittal form to refer the case as an official interstate case to the responding State.

Question: If a State wants another State to perform a "quick locate", would they send the request to the other SPLS or the central registry?

Response: States should make requests for "quick locate" directly to another State's SPLS. If a State sends a locate request directly to a SPLS, that request must be made (and responses received) as part of, and within the required timeframes for, the requesting State's location activities (i,e., within 75 calendar days of determining that location is necessary, as required in 45 CFR õ303.3(b)(3), effective October 1, 1990). The requesting State is responsible for case processing timeframes in these instances because the case is not being transmitted officially as an interstate case. To expedite the "quick locate" process, the receiving State should generally respond with information obtained by accessing various automated sources.

Question: Can requests for "quick locate" be sent to another State's central registry using the Child Support Enforcement Interstate Transmittal form (FSA-200)?

Response: No. States must not send requests for "quick locate" to the other State's central registry on the FSA-200. They should send them to the other SPLS in whatever format the requesting State chooses.  Once an initiating State has prepared and forwarded a FSA-200 to a responding State's central registry, the responding State must handle the case in accordance with the requirements in õ303.7 and may not redirect the case or by-pass the central registry process. If the initiating State requests location services on its FSA-200, the responding State's central registry must meet its responsibilities under 45 CFR õ303.7(a)(2), including forwarding the case for location services.

Question: How should requests for "quick locate" be transmitted to another State?

Response: Requests for "quick locate" may be transmitted to the other SPLS in whatever format the requesting State chooses. The requesting State may use the Locate Data Sheet to provide information to the receiving State, however, the use of the Data Sheet is not required. Do not use the Child Support Enforcement Interstate Transmittal (FSA-200) to request a "quick locate" since its use constitutes an official interstate request and the requirements in 45 CFR õ303.7 apply.

Question: How should "quick locate" be reported on the OCSE- 156?

Response: "Quick locate" should be counted on lines 6, 7, 12, and 13 of the OCSE-l56 only by the State initiating the request.  The responding State should not report "quick locate" since program regulations do not require the responding State to open a case.  Locate-only requests in IV-D cases using the Child Support Enforcement Interstate Transmittal form (FSA-200) and processed through another State's central registry should be counted by both the initiating and responding State. Both States must officially open a case and meet all timeframes required in õ303.7. This is a change from instructions given in OCSE-AT-90-12 for lines 6, 7, 12, 13, and 19 in which States were informed that responding States could not report IV-D locate- only cases.

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