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[Federal Register: March 26, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 59)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 15669-15671]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26mr04-11]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 51

[Public Notice 4619]
RIN 1400-ZA05

 
Passport Procedures--Amendment to Passport Regulations

AGENCY: State Department.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The interim final rule clarifies that passports that are 
revoked, or reported lost or stolen, are invalid. The interim final 
rule also requires the personal appearance of all passport applicants 
who are not eligible to apply by mail. It also requires that minors 
under 14 years of age appear in person unless such appearance has been 
specifically waived. Finally, the interim final rule requires that 
applicants for United States passports provide photographs in 
accordance with the instructions printed on the passport application.

DATES: This interim final rule is effective on the date of publication. 
Written comments must be received no later than April 26, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to: Chief, Legal 
Division, Office of Passport Policy, Planning and Advisory Services, 
2100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20037. E-mail 
for comments: PassportRules@state.gov or submit your comments through 
the Web site at  http://www.regulations.gov/.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Palmer-Royston, Office of 
Passport Policy, Planning and Advisory Services, Bureau of Consular 
Affairs, Department of State (202) 663-2662; Fax (202) 663-2654.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1101(a)(30) of Title 8, United 
States Code (U.S.C.), defines a passport as any travel document issued 
by a competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity and 
nationality, which is valid for the admission of the bearer into a 
foreign country. Section 1185(b) of Title 8, U.S.C., requires U.S. 
citizens to bear a valid U.S. passport to enter or depart the United 
States unless specifically exempted--exemptions are provided in 22 CFR 
53.2. The Secretary of State has sole authority to grant and issue 
passports, pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 211a. Before a passport is issued to 
any person by or under authority of the United States, such person 
shall subscribe to and submit a written application, as required by 22 
U.S.C. 213. During its period of validity, a passport (when issued for 
the maximum period authorized by law) is a document establishing proof 
of United States citizenship, pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 2705; and, 22 CFR 
51.2(b) provides that unless authorized by the Department no person 
shall bear more than one valid or potentially valid U.S. passport at 
any one time; and, 8 U.S.C. 1504 authorizes the Secretary of State to 
cancel a passport if it was obtained illegally, fraudulently or 
erroneously.

Reporting Lost or Stolen Passports

    Section 51.4 of Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 
governs the validity of passports. The interim final rule amends Sec.  
51.4 by adding a new paragraph (h) providing that a passport is invalid 
if formally revoked by the Department; or registered by the Department 
as lost or stolen when reported in writing or by telephone to the 
Department of State, or in writing as part of the passport application 
process at a passport agency, or a diplomatic or consular post abroad.
    The effect of this change is to forestall the use of passports that 
have been revoked or reported as lost or stolen for illegal entry into 
the United States or at international ports of entry in other 
countries. This means that whenever a person has reported to the 
Department that his or her passport is lost or stolen, and the 
Department has registered the passport as invalid, the passport will 
not be usable for travel purposes if it is later recovered. The 
Department considers the promulgation of this regulatory provision as a 
matter of urgency to bolster border security by preventing the misuse 
of a lost or stolen United States passport.

Photographs

    Section 51.25(a) of Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 
requires the applicant for a United States passport to submit with his 
or her application duplicate photographs of the size specified in the 
application. Section 51.25(a) further requires that the photographs 
should be sufficiently recent to be a good likeness of and 
satisfactorily identify the applicant. The interim final rule provides 
flexibility to determine what specifications of the photographs may be 
defined in the future, if determined to be necessary for proper facial 
identification and technological compatibility. The interim final rule 
amends the first sentence in Sec.  51.25(a) simply to require 
submission of photographs as specified in the passport application.
    Since 1914, passport applicants have been required to provide 
photographs to be included in their passports. As an identity document, 
a passport is intended to provide proof that the person named therein 
is the very same as the bearer alleges himself or herself to be. A 
passport without a photograph cannot adequately prove the bearer's 
identity. Any future changes in the photograph requirement would 
conform to agreed international practice to improve the accuracy of 
automated face recognition.

Personal Appearance of Minors

    Section 51.21 of Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 
governs the execution of passport applications in general, and Sec.  
51.27 governs the execution of passport applications for minors. The 
interim final rule amends Sec. Sec.  51.21 and 51.27 to require the 
personal appearance when applying for a passport of all persons, 
including minors under 14 years of age, ineligible to apply for a 
passport by mail under 51.21(c) and (d), except as waived under 
51.27(b)(2)(i). Section 51.27(b)(2) is amended by inserting a new 
paragraph (i) that requires all minors under 14 years of age applying 
for passports to appear in person, with limited provisions for waiver. 
This new requirement will enhance accurate identification of all 
applicants and is an important step to prevent the possible misuse of a 
passport in facilitating international child abduction.
    The Department considers the enactment of this rule as a matter of 
urgency to strengthen fraud prevention with respect to individuals, 
especially minors whose personal appearance during the passport 
application process has been generally waived in the past. In this 
regard, this new requirement reflects the findings and recommendation 
of the Department's Office of the Inspector General: Review of the 
Domestic Passport Operations, Phase II Fraud Prevention Programs Report 
number ISP-CA-03-25, December 2002, recommendation 4.
    Further, members of Congress had expressed strong interest in 
providing a statutory and regulatory provision for this purpose, and 
the Department informed Congress that this rule would be established to 
protect minors under 14 years of age on an urgent basis.

[[Page 15670]]

    In compelling cases, personal appearance may be waived by a senior 
passport specialist at the issuing passport agency in the United 
States, or by a senior consular officer at the issuing overseas 
consular office; a non-Department of State acceptance agent would not 
have the authority to waive personal appearance. When a minor's 
personal appearance is waived, the person executing the passport 
application on behalf of the minor must appear in person and verify the 
application by oath or affirmation unless, in the case of applications 
received overseas, these requirements are also waived by a senior 
consular officer.
    The Department of State will issue guidance regarding the use of 
such waivers.

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department is publishing this rule as an interim final rule, 
with a 30-day provision for post-promulgation public comments, based on 
the ``good cause'' exceptions set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and 
553(d)(3). It is dictated by the necessity of additional controls over 
the documentation of U.S. citizens who are ages 14 and under, to help 
prevent the possible misuse of a passport in facilitating international 
child abduction.

Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

    These changes to the regulations are hereby certified as not 
expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 
601-612.

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for 
purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-121. 
This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 
million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or adverse 
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete 
with foreign based companies in domestic and import markets.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UFMA), 
Pub. L. 104-4; 109 Stat. 48; 2 U.S.C. 1532, generally requires agencies 
to prepare a statement before proposing any rule that may result in an 
annual expenditure of $100 million or more by State, local, or tribal 
governments, or by the private sector. This rule does not result in any 
such expenditure nor will it significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments.

Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    The Department finds that this regulation will not have substantial 
direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does the 
rule have federalism implications warranting the application of 
Executive Orders No. 12372 and No. 13132.

Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Review

    The Department of State considers this rule to be a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866, section 3(f), 
Regulatory Planning and Review. Therefore, the Department has submitted 
the rule to the Office of Management and Budget for its review.

Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform

    The Department has reviewed the regulations in light of sections 
3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order No. 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, 
minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce 
burden.

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This rule does not impose information collection requirements under 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C., Chapter 35.

The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999--
Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    In light of the nature of these regulations and section 654 of the 
Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999, Pub. L. 
105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998), the Department has assessed the impact 
of these regulations on family well being in accordance with section 
654(c) of that Act. This rule is intended to promote child and family 
safety by helping prevent child abduction and trafficking.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 51

    Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, 
Passports and visas.


0
Accordingly, the Department amends 22 CFR Chapter I as follows:

PART 51--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for Part 51 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 22 U.S.C. 211a, 213, 2651a, 2671(d)(3), 2714 and 
3926; 31 U.S.C. 9701; E.O. 11295, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p 570; 
sec. 236, Pub. L. 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-430; 18 U.S.C. 
1621(a)(2).


0
2. Section 51.4 is amended to add a new paragraph (h) before the 
section authority citation that reads as follows:


Sec.  51.4  Validity of passports.

* * * * *
    (h) Invalidity. A United States passport is invalid whenever:
    (1) The passport has been formally revoked by the Department; or
    (2) The Department has registered a passport reported either in 
writing or by telephone to the Department of State, or in writing to a 
U.S. passport agency or to a diplomatic or consular post abroad as lost 
or stolen.

0
3. Section 51.21 is amended as follows:
0
a. Paragraph (a) is revised to read as set forth below.
0
b. Paragraphs (c) introductory text and (d) introductory text are 
amended by removing the word ``photographs'' and adding ``photographs 
as specified in the application'' in its place each time it appears.
0
c. Paragraph (d) is further amended by replacing the period at the end 
of paragraph (d)(1) with a semicolon; adding ``and'' directly following 
the end of paragraph (d)(2); and removing paragraph (d)(4).


Sec.  51.21  Execution of passport application.

    (a) First time applicants, or persons who have not been issued a 
passport within the past fifteen years, and persons who are not 
eligible to apply for a passport under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this 
section. Except as provided in Sec.  51.27(b)(2)(i), a person who has 
never been issued a passport in his or her own name, or who has not 
been issued a passport for the full validity period of 10 years in his 
or her own name within 15 years of the date of a new application, or 
who is otherwise not eligible to apply for a passport under paragraphs 
(c) and (d) of this section, shall apply for a passport by appearing in 
person before a person authorized by the Secretary to give oaths, 
verify the application by oath or affirmation before that authorized 
person, provide two recent photographs as specified in the application, 
and pay the established fees.
* * * * *

[[Page 15671]]


0
4. Section 51.25 is amended by removing the phrase ``photographs of the 
size'' and adding in its place ``photographs as'' in paragraph (a).

0
5. Section 51.27 is amended by redesignating paragraphs (b)(2)(i), 
(ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), and (vii), as paragraphs (b)(2)(ii), 
(iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), and (viii), and adding a new paragraph 
(b)(2)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  51.27  Minors.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Minors under the age of 14. (i) Minors under 14 years of age 
applying for a passport shall appear in person, unless the personal 
appearance of the minor is specifically waived by a senior passport 
specialist at the issuing passport agency in the United States, or by a 
senior consular officer at the issuing overseas consular office, 
pursuant to guidance issued by the Department of State. In cases where 
such a waiver is granted, the person executing the passport application 
on behalf of the minor shall appear in person and verify the 
application by oath or affirmation before a person authorized by the 
Secretary to give oaths unless, in the case of applications received 
overseas, these requirements are also waived by a senior consular 
officer, pursuant to guidance issued by the Department of State.
* * * * *

    Dated: March 16, 2004.
Maura Harty,
Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department of State.
[FR Doc. 04-6576 Filed 3-25-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P




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