Passport Issuance and Denial to Minors Involved in Custody Disputes
The Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program
The Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) is a service for the parents and legal guardians of minor children. It enables the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues to notify a parent or court ordered legal guardian before issuing a U.S. passport for his or her child. The parent, legal guardian, legal representatives, or the court of competent jurisdiction must submit a written request for entry of a child's name into the program to the Office of Children's Issues.
Passport Issuance to Children under Age 16:
As of February 1, 2008 as provided by 22 C.F.R. 51.1, both parents are required to execute the passport application for a minor child under age 16. Please refer to our Passports for Minors Under Age 16 page for further information. If you believe that your child, no matter his or her age, may be abducted internationally, immediately contact the Office of Children's Issues and inform appropriate law enforcement officials. Information regarding the issuance of a passport to a minor is available to either parent, regardless of custody rights, as long as the requesting parents' rights have not been terminated.
The Department of State's Passport Namecheck Clearance System is a system to alert you when an application for a U.S. passport is made. In order for our office to notify an objecting parent, our office will need to have in our files the parent's request and a copy of a document such as a birth certificate or court order of guardianship that shows the relationship between the child and the objecting parent. This is not a system for tracking the use of a passport. Once a passport is issued, its use is not tracked or controlled by the Department of State. There are no exit controls for American citizens leaving the United States. This system can be used to inform a parent or a court when an application for a U.S. passport is executed on behalf of a child. The alert system generally remains in effect until each child turns 18. It is very important that parents keep us informed in writing of any changes to contact information and legal representation. Failure to notify this Office of a current address may result in a passport issuance for your child without your consent.
Passports - General Information:
A passport is a travel document issued by a competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity, and nationality, if any, which is valid for the entry of the bearer into a foreign country. (8 U.S.C 1101(30)). Under U.S. law, U.S. citizens must enter and depart the U.S. with valid U.S. passports. (8 U.S.C. 1185(b)). This requirement is waived, however, for travel from countries within the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of Cuba. (22 CFR 53.2). However, each foreign country has its own entry requirements concerning citizenship, passports and visas. Information regarding those requirements may be obtained from the appropriate foreign embassy or consulate or from our Country Information page.
The Privacy Act and Passports:
Please be aware that Passport Services records are subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 USC 552a). The information contained therein, if any, is considered privileged and not a public record. If a file is located, it would be available only to the subject, his legal guardian, custodian or pursuant to a court order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. Passport information is protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act (PL 93-579) passed by Congress in 1974. Information regarding adults may be available to law enforcement officials or pursuant to a court order issued by the court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with (22 CFR 51.27).
While we make every effort to be of assistance, the Office of Children's Issues can assume no legal responsibility for the services provided.
Dual Nationality for Children:
Many children, although born in the U.S. or born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent, are citizens of both the U.S. and another country. This may occur through the child's birth abroad, through a parent who was born outside the U.S., or a parent who has acquired a second nationality through naturalization in another country. A child may acquire another nationality without the consent of the U.S. citizen parent.
The inability to obtain a U.S. passport through the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program does not automatically prevent a dual national child from obtaining and traveling on a foreign passport. There is no requirement that foreign embassies adhere to U.S. regulations regarding issuance and denial of their passports to U.S. citizen minors who have dual nationality. If there is a possibility that the child has another nationality, you may contact the country's embassy or consulate directly to inquire about denial of that country's passport. The addresses and telephone numbers for the foreign embassies and consulates near you are found on the Department of State website.
Parents interested in obtaining passport records of their child(ren) may submit a NOTARIZED letter to the U.S. Department of State, Law Enforcement Liaison Division, CA/PPT/S/L/LE, 1150 Passport Services Pl, 4th Floor, Dulles, VA 20189-1150. The request must contain the full name, date and place of birth of the child(ren), address and telephone number for the requesting parent, as well as your reason for needing the information. If you are requesting a copy of the issued passport application, there is no fee. If an authenticated copy of the passport application is requested the fee is $30.00 for the first copy and $20.00 for each additional copy. The telephone number for information is 202-485-6550. The Law Enforecement Liaison Division does not accept fax requests. Please note that passport records requested from this office can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to be completed.
For further information regarding the issuance or denial of U.S. passports to minors involved in custody disputes, or about international child abduction, please contact:
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
SA-17 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
General information regarding child abduction and U.S. passports is also available on the Department's home page.
April 25, 2014