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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: January 9, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 6)]
[Page 1660-1664]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 6055]

Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

    Summary: Passport Services has prepared an update of its system of 
records notice (SORN) as required by the Privacy Act 5 U.S.C. 552a and 
Appendix I to OMB Circular A-130 (``Federal Agency Responsibilities for 
Maintaining Records About Individuals''). Publication in the Federal 
Register of the updated SORN will establish a number of new ``routine 
uses'' for sharing passport records outside the Department of State. 
The purpose in granting access to other entities varies, but 
principally encompasses the following functions:

[[Page 1661]]

     To support national defense, border security, and foreign 
policy activities;
     To ensure the proper functioning and integrity of law 
enforcement, counterterrorism, and fraud-prevention activities by 
supporting law enforcement personnel in the conduct of their duties;
     To support the investigatory process; and
     To assist with verification of passport validity to 
support employment eligibility and identity corroboration for public 
and private employment.
    New routine users listed in the SORN include the Department of 
Homeland Security, the National Counter-Terrorism Center, the 
Department of Justice (including components such as the FBI), foreign 
governments, and entities such as Interpol, for counter-terrorism and 
other purposes such as border security and fraud prevention.
    New routine uses are not considered effective until after a 40-day 
period enabling review and comment by the public, OMB and Congress.
    Passport Records (STATE-26).

    Classified and unclassified.

    Department of State, Passport Services, Annex 17, 1111 19th Street, 
NW., Washington, DC 20522-1705.

    Records are maintained in the Passport Records system about 
individuals who:
    (a) Have applied for the issuance, amendment, extension, or renewal 
of U.S. passport books and passport cards;
    (b) Were issued U.S. passport books or cards, or had passports 
amended, extended, renewed, limited, revoked, or denied;
    (c) Have applied to have births overseas reported as births of U.S. 
citizens overseas;
    (d) Were issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of U.S. citizens 
or for whom Certification(s) of Birth have been issued;
    (e) Applied at American Diplomatic or Consular posts for 
registration and have so registered;
    (f) Were issued Cards of Registration and Identity as U.S. 
    (g) Were issued Certificates of Loss of Nationality of the United 
States by the Department of State;
    (h) Applied at American Diplomatic or Consular Posts for issuance 
of Certificates of Witness to Marriage, and individuals who have been 
issued Certificates of Witness to Marriage;
    (i) Were deceased individuals for whom a Report of Death of an 
American Citizen Abroad has been obtained;
    (j) Although U.S. citizens, are not or may not be entitled under 
relevant passport laws and regulations to the issuance or possession of 
U.S. passport books, cards, or other documentation or service(s);
    (k) Have previous passport records that must be reviewed before 
further action can be taken on their passport application or request 
for other consular services;
    (l) Requested their own or another's passport records under FOIA or 
the Privacy Act, whether successfully or not; or
    (m) Have corresponded with Passport Services concerning various 
aspects of the issuance or denial of a specific applicant's U.S. 
passport books or cards.

    (a) 8 U.S.C. 1401-1503 (2007) (Acquisition and Loss of U.S. 
Citizenship or U.S. Nationality; Use of U.S. Passports);
    (b) 18 U.S.C. 911, 1001, 1541-1546 (2007) (Crimes and Criminal 
    (c) 22 U.S.C. 211a-218, 2651a, 2705 (2007); Executive Order 11295, 
August 5, 1966, 31 FR 10603; (Authority of the Secretary of State in 
granting and issuing U.S. passports); and
    (d) 8 U.S.C. 1185 (2007) (Travel Control of Citizens).

    Passport Services maintains U.S. passport records for passports 
issued from 1925 to the present, as well as vital records related to 
births abroad, deaths, and witnesses to marriages overseas. The 
passport records system does not maintain evidence of travel such as 
entrance/exit stamps, visas, or residence permits, since this 
information is entered into the passport book after it is issued. The 
passport records system includes the following categories of records:
     Passport books and passport cards, applications for 
passport books and passport cards, and applications for additional visa 
pages, amendments, extensions, replacements, and/or renewals of 
passport books or cards (including all information and materials 
submitted as part of or with all such applications);
     Applications for registration at American Diplomatic and 
Consular Posts as U.S. citizens or for issuance of Cards of Identity 
and Registration as U.S. Citizens;
     Consular Reports of Birth Abroad of United States 
     Certificates of Witness to Marriage;
     Certificates of Loss of United States Nationality;
     Oaths of Repatriation;
     Consular Certificates of Repatriation;
     Reports of Death of an American Citizen Abroad;
     Cards of Identity and Registration as U.S. citizens;
     Lookout files which identify those persons whose 
applications for a consular or related service require other than 
routine examination or action; and
     Miscellaneous materials, which are documents and/or 
records maintained separately, if not in the application, including but 
not limited to the following types of documents:
    [cir] Investigatory reports compiled in connection with granting or 
denying passport and related services or prosecuting violations of 
passport criminal statutes;
    [cir] Transcripts and opinions on administrative hearings, appeals 
and civil actions in federal courts;
    [cir] Legal briefs, memoranda, judicial orders and opinions arising 
from administrative determinations relating to passports and 
    [cir] Birth and baptismal certificates;
    [cir] Court orders;
    [cir] Arrest warrants;
    [cir] Medical, personal and financial reports;
    [cir] Affidavits;
    [cir] Inter-agency and intra-agency memoranda, telegrams, letters, 
and other miscellaneous correspondence;
    [cir] An electronic index of all passport application records 
created since 1978, and some passport application records created 
between 1962 and 1978;
    [cir] An electronic index of Department of State Reports of Birth 
of American Citizens abroad; and/or
    [cir] Records of lost and stolen passports.

    The information maintained in the Passport Services records is used 
to establish the U.S. citizenship and identity of persons for a variety 
of legal purposes including, but not limited to, the adjudication of 
passport applications and requests for related services, social 
security benefits, employment applications, estate settlements, and 
federal and state law enforcement investigations.
    The principal users of this information outside the Department of 
State include the following users:

[[Page 1662]]

     Department of Homeland Security for border patrol, 
screening, and security purposes; law enforcement, counterterrorism, 
and fraud prevention activities; and for verification of passport 
validity to support employment eligibility and identity corroboration 
for public and private employment;
     Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 
the U.S. Marshals Service, and other components, for law enforcement, 
counterterrorism, border security, fraud prevention, and criminal and 
civil litigation activities;
     Internal Revenue Service for the current addresses of 
specifically identified taxpayers in connection with pending actions to 
collect taxes accrued, examinations, and/or other related tax 
     INTERPOL and other international organizations for law 
enforcement, counterterrorism, fraud prevention, criminal activities 
related to lost and stolen passports;
     National Counterterrorism Center to support strategic 
operational planning and counterterrorism intelligence activities;
     Office of Personnel Management (OPM), other federal 
agencies, or contracted outside entities to support the investigations 
OPM, other federal agencies, and contractor personnel conduct for the 
federal government in connection with verification of employment 
eligibility and/or the issuance of a security clearance;
     Social Security Administration to support employment-
eligibility verification for public and private employers, and for 
support in verification of social security numbers used in processing 
U.S. passport applications;
     Federal, state, local, or other agencies having 
information on an individual's history, nationality, or identity, to 
the extent necessary to obtain information from these agencies relevant 
to adjudicating an application for a passport or related service, or 
where there is reason to believe that an individual has applied for or 
is in possession of a U.S. passport fraudulently or has violated the 
     Federal, state, local or other agencies for use in legal 
proceedings as government counsel deems appropriate, in accordance with 
any understanding reached by the agency with the U.S. Department of 
     Public and private employers seeking to confirm the 
authenticity of the U.S. passport when it is presented as evidence of 
identity and eligibility to work in the United States;
     Immediate families when the information is required by an 
individual's immediate family;
     Private U.S. citizen ``wardens'' designated by U.S. 
embassies and consulates to serve, primarily in emergency and 
evacuation situations, as channels of communication with other U.S. 
citizens in the local community;
     Attorneys representing an individual in administrative or 
judicial passport proceedings when the individual to whom the 
information pertains is the client of the attorney making the request;
     Members of Congress when the information is requested on 
behalf of or at the request of the individual to whom the record 
     Contractor personnel conducting data entry, scanning, 
corrections, and modifications;
     Foreign governments, to permit such governments to fulfill 
passport control and immigration duties and their own law enforcement, 
counterterrorism, and fraud prevention functions, and to support U.S. 
law enforcement, counterterrorism, and fraud prevention activities; and
     Government agencies other than the ones listed above that 
have statutory or other lawful authority to maintain such information 
may also receive access on a need-to-know basis; however, all 
information is made available to users only for a previously-
established routine use.
    Also see the ``Routine Uses'' paragraph of the Department of State 
Prefatory Statement published in the Federal Register.

    Hard copy, electronic media.

    By individual name or passport book or card number.

    Passport records are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 
552a (2007). All employees of the Department of State have undergone a 
thorough background security investigation and contractors have 
background investigations in accordance with their contracts. Access to 
the Department of State and its annexes is controlled by security 
guards, and admission is limited to those individuals possessing a 
valid identification card or individuals under proper escort. Passport 
office annexes have security access controls (code entrances) and/or 
security alarm systems. All records containing personal information are 
maintained in secured file cabinets or in restricted areas, access to 
which is limited to authorized personnel. Access to computerized 
databases is password-protected and under the responsibility of the 
system manager and persons who report to him or her. The system manager 
has the capability of viewing and printing audit trails of access from 
the electronic media, thereby permitting monitoring of computer usage.

    Retention of these records varies depending upon the specific 
record involved. They are retired or destroyed in accordance with 
published record schedules of the Department of State and as approved 
by the National Archives and Records Administration. More specific 
information may be obtained by writing to the Office of Information 
Programs and Services, SA-2, 555 22nd Street, NW., Washington, DC 

    Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, Room 
5807; Department of State; 2201 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20520-

    An individual seeking to determine whether Passport Services 
maintains records pertaining to him/her must submit a written request 
for notification of whether the system of records contains a record 
pertaining to him/her. The body of the request must state that s/he 
wishes the Passport Records database to be checked, and must include 
the following information:
     Date and place of birth;
     Current mailing address;
     Signature, and
     Passport number, if known.
    A request to search Passport Records, STATE-26, will be treated 
also as a request to search Overseas Citizens Services Records, STATE-
05, when it pertains to passport, registration, citizenship, birth, or 
death records transferred from STATE-05 to STATE-26. Requests should be 
mailed to the following address: Department of State, Passport 
Services, Law Enforcement Liaison Division, Room 500, 1111 19th Street, 
NW., Washington, DC 20524-1705.
    Responses to such requests will consist of a letter indicating the 
records that exist in the passport records system.
    Additional information regarding applicable fees, third-party 
requests, certified copies, and frequently asked

[[Page 1663]]

questions is available at

    Individuals who wish to gain access to or amend records pertaining 
to themselves or their minor children should write to the appropriate 
address listed below. There are several ways individuals may gain 
access to or amend passport records pertaining to themselves or their 
minor children. First, individuals may request access to records in 
his/her name and the records of any minor children under the Privacy 
Act of 1974. 5 U.S.C. 552a (2007). Alternatively, third parties may 
request access to records under the guidelines of the Freedom of 
Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 (2007). Additionally, individuals may 
request access to their passport and/or vital records through the 
applicable Passport Office request process, as described below. Access 
may be granted to third parties to the extent provided for under 
applicable laws and regulations. Please refer to http:// for detailed information regarding applicable 
fees, third-party requests, certified copies, and frequently asked 
    The appropriate methods by which passport records and vital records 
may be requested are as follows:

    I. Privacy Act of 1974 and Freedom of Information Act

    Under the Privacy Act of 1974, individuals have the right to 
request access to his or her records at no charge, and to request that 
the Department of State amend any such records that s/he believes are 
not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete. 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(3) 
(2007). Additionally, third parties may request passport and vital 
records information from 1925 to the present, within the guidelines of 
the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 
(2007). Written requests for access to or amendment of records must 
comply with the Department's regulations published at 22 CFR part 171.
    In accordance with 22 CFR 171.32 and 171.33, amendment requests 
must include the following information:
     Verification of personal identity (including full name, 
current address, and date and place of birth), either notarized or 
submitted under penalty of perjury;
     Any additional information if it would be needed to locate 
the record at issue;
     A description of the specific correction requested;
     An explanation of why the existing record is not accurate, 
relevant, timely, or complete; and
     Any available documents, arguments, or other data to 
support the request.
    Requests under the Privacy Act and/or the Freedom of Information 
Act must be made in writing to the following office: Office of 
Information Programs and Services, U.S. Department of State, SA-2, Room 
8100, 515 22nd Street, NW., Washington, DC 20522-8100.

    II. Access to Records through the Passport Office Request Process

    A. Passport Records

    1. 1925 to the Present

    Individuals must submit a typed or clearly printed, notarized 
request that provides the following information to request passport 
records for themselves and/or their minor children:
     Full name at birth and any subsequent name changes, and/or 
the full name of any minor child or children, if requesting their 
     Date and place of birth, and/or date and place of birth 
for any minor child or children;
     Current mailing address;
     Current daytime telephone number;
     Current e-mail address, if available;
     Reason for the request;
     Dates or estimated dates the passport was issued;
     Passport numbers or any other information that will help 
locate the records; and
     A copy of the requestor's valid photo identification.
    All requests for passport records issued from 1925 to the present 
should be mailed to the following address: Department of State, 
Passport Services, Law Enforcement Liaison Division, Room 500, 1111 
19th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20524-1705.

    2. Prior to 1925
    The National Archives and Records Administration maintains records 
for passport issuances prior to 1925, which may be requested by writing 
to the following address: National Archives and Records Administration, 
Archives 1, Reference Branch, 8th & Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, 

    B. Vital Records--Certificates of Birth Abroad, Report of Death, 
Certificate of Witness to Marriage, and Certification of No Record

    Submit a signed and notarized written request including all 
pertinent facts of the occasion along with a copy of the requester's 
valid photo identification. Only the subject, parent, or legal guardian 
may request a birth record. The following information must be included 
in the request:

    General Background Information

     Date of request.
     Purpose of request.
     Document Requesting (Certificate of Birth, Report of 
Death, Certificate of Witness of Marriage (prior to 1985), or 
Certification of No Record).
     Number of documents requesting.
     Current mailing address and daytime telephone number.

    Facts of Birth, Death, or Marriage

     Name (at birth/death/marriage).
     Name after adoption (if applicable).
     Date of birth/death/marriage.
     Country of birth/death/marriage.
     Father's name.
     Father's date and place (state/country) of birth.
     Mother's name.
     Mother's date and place (state/country) of birth.

    Previous Passport Information

     Passport used to first enter the U.S. (if applicable).
     Name of bearer.
     Date of issuance.
     Passport number.
     Date of inclusion (if applicable, and if passport was not 
issued to the subject).

    Current Passport Information

     Name of bearer.
     Date of issuance.
     Passport number.
    If requesting an amendment or correction to a Consular Report of 
Birth Abroad, please include certified copies of all documents 
appropriate for effecting the change (i.e., foreign birth certificate, 
marriage certificate, court ordered adoption or name change, birth 
certificates of adopting or legitimating parents, etc.). The original 
or replacement FS-240, or a notarized affidavit concerning its 
whereabouts also must be included.
    All requests for vital records through the Passport Office request 
process should be mailed to the following address: U.S. Department of 
State, Passport Services, Vital Records Section, 1111 19th Street, NW., 
Suite 510, Washington, DC 20522-1705.

    These records contain information obtained primarily from the 
individual who is the subject of these records; law enforcement 
agencies; investigative intelligence sources, investigative security 
sources; and officials of foreign governments.

    Certain records contained within this system of records may be 
exempt from the requirements of the Privacy Act when it is necessary 

[[Page 1664]]

     Protect material required to be kept secret in the 
interest of national defense and foreign policy;
     Prevent individuals that are the subject of investigation 
from frustrating the investigatory process, to ensure the proper 
functioning and integrity of law enforcement activities, to prevent 
disclosure of investigative techniques, to maintain the confidence of 
foreign governments in the integrity of the procedures under which 
privileged or confidential information may be provided, and to fulfill 
commitments made to sources to protect their identities and the 
confidentiality of information and to avoid endangering these sources 
and law enforcement personnel; or
     Preclude impairment of the Department's effective 
performance in carrying out its lawful protective responsibilities 
under 18 U.S.C. 3056 and 22 U.S.C. 4802.
    Records meeting any of the above criteria are exempt from the 
following subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), 
(e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f) (2007). See 22 CFR 171.36(b)(1), (b)(2), 
and (b)(3) (2007).

    Dated: December 31, 2007.
Maura Harty,
Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of 
[FR Doc. E8-202 Filed 1-8-08; 8:45 am]

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