Why would I be asked for supplemental identification when applying for a US passport? How long will it take to process?
January 31, 2004 12:59 PM   Subscribe

When applying for a US passport, has anyone been asked to send supplemental identification (driver's license, social security card, union member card, beautician's license, etc.)? Why? If I send my supplemental identification now, is there any hope that I will get my passport in less than four weeks from now?
posted by rschram to Law & Government (11 answers total)
When I applied for my passport 4 years ago all they wanted was the form and my pictures. I wasn't asked for any supplemental info, although I also wasn't under any time constraint.

Will the State Department even consider getting one to you in under 4 weeks?
posted by bshort at 1:10 PM on January 31, 2004

I thought you had to apply for a passport in person, which is where you show your picture ID. My understanding is that you can only renew in the mail.
If you need help expediting your passport, call your local Congressperson. They can get it EXTREMELY quickly, especially if you can show proof that you're traveling out of the US in that timeframe. My brother was able to get a passport in 2 days through his Congressperson.
I found this on google (first page that came up).

I also found this which explains the rush jobs (14 days).
posted by j at 1:18 PM on January 31, 2004

oops, I meant this.
posted by j at 1:20 PM on January 31, 2004

I applied after the New Year with my birth certificate and state ID and didn't ask for expedited processing because I had plenty of time before leaving in early March. Now, around the time I expected to get my passport (it usually takes 6 weeks, and it's the off season), I am asked to send copies of identification to the State Department.

I wanted to know what's going to happen to my application now, and how long it would take. I suppose I could find out on Monday, but I though you all might know. I'm kind of panicked about this, because I really have to get this passport now to get my entry permit in time to leave on March 2.
posted by rschram at 1:22 PM on January 31, 2004

maybe it's a new rule? (patriot act-related???)
posted by amberglow at 2:37 PM on January 31, 2004

I just got a new passport late last fall, and all I had to show was the usual stuff, and I got it in about 2 weeks. However, I had an old expired passport, so this wasn't the first time I was getting one; perhaps that made a difference. I think if you are being asked to produce more documentation at this point it is worth a polite phone call at least to find out what's going on and when you are likely to get your passport now.
posted by JanetLand at 7:58 PM on January 31, 2004

When I got mine a couple years ago I had the same issue. I sent them a bunch of stuff just to be sure. I assumed that because I've moved so many times in my life and have, at times, had very little in the way of a paper trail, that I set off some double check alert. Anyway, they were very quick about it. I sent off my various IDs and I got my passport a little more than a week later. I'd definitely call and check if you're worried. I had no problems getting answers.
posted by Nothing at 11:21 PM on January 31, 2004

I just got one for the first time. I went to the Post Office. They made a copy of my photo ID, and took my original birth certificate, and submitted all of that to the State Department. They mailed the passport and the birth certificate back to me within about 4 weeks.

You said when you applied, you did it with a birth certificate. Did they keep that, or did they give it back to you? Did they make a copy of your ID? I wouldn't be surprised if it's just a lost document or some kind of mix-up. Or maybe you share a name with somebody who is on some list somewhere. Or maybe they just found out you have a MeFi user account. That must be enough to get you on some list somewhere.
posted by willnot at 1:47 AM on February 1, 2004

You said when you applied, you did it with a birth certificate. Did they keep that, or did they give it back to you? Did they make a copy of your ID?

They copied down my ID number for my state ID card (I don't drive) and gave me back my birth record.

We have a saying at my alma mater, "Reed College. Putting red flags in people's FBI files since 1911."
posted by rschram at 2:00 PM on February 1, 2004

I got two answers today. First person said that you need to relinquish your birth certificate or other proof of citizenship when applying for your first passport. Second person, and I'm more inclined to believe this, said that often times people whose IDs have a typo, are too recently issued, or about to expire, get flagged for supplemental identity verification. Mine has a typo. Second person says I'll have my passport in less than two weeks. I may write a nice note to my congressperson about my recent other troubles with visas and passports, and see what comes. Thanks for everyone's advice.
posted by rschram at 7:40 PM on February 2, 2004

For what it's worth, when we went a couple of years ago here in Dallas:

1. You did have to apply in person. I think that's the only way the USSD allows it, unless you are mailing in an old passport to be renewed

2. They demanded our birth certificates and TWO other forms of "photo ID." This seemed stupid, because what photo ID do most people have aside from their Driver's License? I got by on my DL and an expired school ID, but my wife only had her birth certificate and DL with her. The civil servant tool kept saying she could use "a credit card with a photo" - but how many people actually have those? We finally convinced her to accept my wife's birth certificate, Driver's License, and her debit card - which was the only other "semi-official" thing she carries with her name on it. The tool hemmed and hawed and worried us by saying stuff like "well we can try it, but I don't know if they'll accept it." Well we ended up getting out passports within a few weeks, so I guess it was OK.
posted by sixdifferentways at 2:43 PM on February 3, 2004

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