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U.S. State Department Tightens Proof of Passport Requirement

June 25, 2007

U.S. State Department Tightens Proof of Passport Requirement
June 25, 2007 –The U.S. Department of State has strengthened the security standards to access proof of passport application. Earlier this month, the Bush administration granted U.S. citizens temporarily flexibility when re-entering the United States from anywhere in the Western Hemisphere provided the traveler can prove he or she applied for a passport. U.S. citizens are allowed to travel by air with a government issued photo identification and Department of State official proof of application for a passport now through Sept. 30, 2007. To control access to the proof of application, the locator number alone will no longer allow access to the proof of passport application.

This change was recommended by a member of the public to safeguard passport customers’ personal information, while allowing them to obtain the data they need to meet documentation requirements for travel to the Western Hemisphere by air.

To obtain the required proof of a pending passport application, travelers must visit and provide their last name, date of birth and the last four digits of their social security number to verify their identity.

The Department of State reports that it is currently taking 7-10 days for passport applications to be tracked online and less time if the application was expedited and sent overnight delivery. Travelers are asked to allow at least that time before checking the status of their application.

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