U.S. Passports


Legal Matters

Passport Information for Law Enforcement

Passport Records Requests

To the extent provided for under the Privacy Act and related Department of State regulations, a Federal, State or local (and in some cases foreign) law enforcement agency may obtain information from U.S. passport files by sending a signed written request on official agency letterhead, including the subject’s name, date of birth, place of birth, and other identifying information, and the reason for the request, which must include the following: (1) whether this request arises in the context of a prosecution or an investigation and identify the names of the defendants, or those under investigation, to the extent possible; (2) identification of  the crimes at issue, including statutory citations, if available; (3) an explanation of how the requested records are relevant to the pending investigation or prosecution.

Certified copies of records are available upon written request. Requests should be addressed to:

U.S. Department of State
Law Enforcement Liaison Division
44132 Mercure Circle
PO Box 1227
Sterling, VA 20166-1227

Phone: (202) 485-6550
Fax: (202) 485-6555


Passport Restrictive Actions and Information

Before any passport is issued, the passport applicant’s name is checked against a central name check system. A federal or state law enforcement investigative agency may request that a subject be placed in the passport name check system for notification before issuance even when there is no warrant or other court order. The written request should be sent on official letterhead to Passport’s Office of Legal Affairs (address below), and should include full biodata of the subject, the criminal statute under which the subject is being investigated, the reasons for the request and all relevant details, and the agency address and phone number of the officer to be contacted and his/her supervisor.

A federal or state law enforcement agency may request the denial of a passport on several regulatory grounds under 22 CFR 51.60. The principal law enforcement reasons for passport denial are a valid unsealed federal warrant of arrest, a federal or state criminal court order, a condition of parole or probation forbidding departure from the United States (or the jurisdiction of the court), or a request for extradition. Any such request needs to include a copy of the valid unsealed arrest warrant or criminal court order. Please also be advised that all passport applicants are run through various law enforcement and other databases. A request for a passport denial should be in writing on official letterhead (delivered or faxed to Legal Affairs at the address below), and should include full biodata of the subject, a copy of the arrest warrant/criminal court order and the name and the agency address and phone number of the officer to be contacted. The public may NOT request passport denial.

A federal or state law enforcement agency may also request the revocation a passport for the regulatory grounds under 22 CFR 51.60-65. When the Department revokes a U.S. passport, revocation information is shared through various databases accessible by law enforcement and various border agencies around the world to prevent persons from traveling on revoked passports. A request for a passport revocation must be in writing on official letterhead (delivered or faxed to Legal Affairs at the address below) and include the subject’s name, including aliases, date and place of birth, social security number, known previous passport numbers, last known address, any other biodata including of identity documents and photographs of the subject, copies of any criminal court orders or valid arrest warrants, and appropriate contact information of the requesting law enforcement officer and his/her supervisor. The public may NOT request passport revocation.

When a subject is apprehended and has a passport, the passport may be retained by the law enforcement agency for evidentiary purposes (e.g., to prevent flight).  If the defendant is found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment and/or probation under conditions prohibiting departure from the United States without authorization, the office should forward the defendant’s U.S. passport to Passport’s Office of Legal Affairs for appropriate disposition and provide Legal Affairs information concerning the date and terms of the sentencing order. However, when it is no longer needed for the law enforcement purpose and the person is still in custody or subject to a bond or parole, the passport must be returned to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Legal Affairs (address below).  

ATTN: Office of Legal Affairs
U.S. Department of State
4th Floor
1150 Passport Services PL
Dulles, VA 20189-1150
Phone:  202-485-6400
Fax:  202-485-6496

Please notify Passport Services when a subject is apprehended, when the warrant is quashed or when passport action is no longer needed. If a lookout is allowed to remain in the passport system after these events, it will result in inconvenience.

For more information on how to return a passport based on the above circumstance, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs by telephone at (202) 485-6400 or by fax at (202) 485-6496.

Reporting Lost and Stolen Passports

All reported lost/stolen passports are considered invalid and placed into a U.S. port of entry database. When a United States passport is part of property taken in the course of robbery or theft, and whenever a United States passport is returned to law enforcement, this information and/or the passport itself should be returned to:

U.S. Department of State
4th Floor
1150 Passport Services Pl
Dulles, VA  20189-1150
Fax: (202) 485-6555

Revised November 2013