Where to find old U.S. passport application forms?
June 5, 2014 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Current U.S. passport application forms for a new (first) passport D-11 bear the date of 09/2013. I assume there must be a repository of all the revisions to the forms going back, say, at least 30 years (probably more?). However, are those available online, or some other easy way of accessing (local library?), or does one have to contact the U.S. State Department?

Additionally, it would be helpful to know what documents were required to be submitted in the past (say, the 80's or 90's etc.) - today you need to provide proof of citizenship and a picture ID, photograph, fees etc., but how have the requirements changed in the past? Is there some place where this info is easily accessible (f.ex. online)?
posted by VikingSword to Law & Government (5 answers total)
You can see a few older versions on the OMB web page, which tracks how long forms take to fill out for the Paperwork Reduction Act:

1. Go to the OMB RegInfo.gov advanced search page.
2. Scroll down and put "DS-11" in the form number field and hit Search.
3. Click on the number in the "Number of Forms" column.
4. Click on the "Form Name" column to get the PDF.

The oldest ones are migrated from some other database, so they don't have PDF copies.

It doesn't seem like anyone else would have much reason to keep old copies online.
posted by smackfu at 1:51 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thank you, that's a great find, smackfu, though there are some limitations, as you indicate. One, not all have PDFs available. More importantly, it only goes back to about 2001 or so.

I'm rather more interested in forms from the 1980's and 1990's, but as you indicate, those may not be available online.

Basically, I wanted to know what information was gathered during a certain period of time - for example, in recent forms (going back to 2005 per your link), the forms asked for parental information - that could be very valuable for genealogical research etc.. So it would be nice to know when certain information was gathered, and f.ex. if parental info was not requested prior, to, say, 1950, then one knows not to waste time requesting that particular archived info for that period of time etc.

Anyhow, thank you again, smackfu, and maybe someone knows if such forms going back further (at least starting in the 80's and 90's) would be available online.
posted by VikingSword at 4:12 PM on June 5, 2014

I think that this page from the National Archives website might have the information that you are looking for. I think that you're out of luck if you want information from more recent 1980's and 1990's passports for genealogical research - those are almost certainly closed for privacy reasons. But I'm not sure when the cut-off date would be.
posted by backwards compatible at 4:59 PM on June 5, 2014

If you hit any walls, it might be worth checking with a GovDocs librarian at a Federal Depository library to see if they have any leads.
posted by mostly vowels at 7:28 PM on June 5, 2014

You might want to consider filing a FOIA request with the Department of State. Information on how to do that should is here. They should be able to provide you with old copies of forms. You would likely phrase your request similar to how you have it here: would like all the passport forms going back 30 years or more. If the initial response is that this is going to cost you research money, trying refining the search--e.g. "would like passport application forms from 1969, 1979, 1989, and 1999." That should get you good results.
posted by whitewall at 9:38 AM on June 6, 2014

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