Department of State Changes Passport Rules Based on New Legislation

The U.S. Department of State has issued a final regulation that provides changes and updates to passport rules based on recent legislation.

The new enactments that affect passport rules are the International Megan’s Law (IML), which provides for advance notification of traveling sex offenders to prevent the exploitation of children and other sex crimes, and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The Department of State’s new regulation incorporates requirements for the denial and revocation of passports of certain sex offenders under the IML, individuals with a serious tax delinquency as defined by the FAST Act, and certain applicants who fail to submit a valid Social Security number with their passport application.

The Department of State said that the new regulation was being published as a final rule without a notice and comment period because it implements Congressional mandates within the IML and the FAST Act, and public comment would be impractical, unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. For the same reasons, the rule became effective as of the date of publication, which was September 2, 2016.