Process for Denial, Revocation or Limitation of a U.S. Passport

Many times a sex offender‘s passport is surrendered-or their international travel is restricted-as part of bond or sentencing in their case.  However, that sex offender will still be able to obtain another passport, unless law enforcement takes additional steps.  The SMART Office has developed a Fact Sheet to explain the procedures that Law Enforcement must follow to revoke or limit the passport of a U.S. Citizen.

Fact Sheet:

Process for Denial, Revocation or Limitation of a U.S. Passport

Many times a sex offender’s passport is surrendered—or their international travel is restricted—as part of bond or sentencing in their case. However, that sex offender will still be able to obtain another passport, unless law enforcement takes additional steps.

The principal law enforcement reasons for passport denial are (1) a federal or state arrest warrant for a felony; or (2) a court order, condition of parole or condition of probation that forbids departure from the United States.

A request for denial or revocation of a passport should be made to the Office of Legal Affairs within the U.S. State Department. The request must be made in writing on letterhead with the subject’s name, including aliases, date and place of birth, social security number, known previous passport numbers and their dates of issuance, last known address, and copies of any court orders or warrants. The mailing address is: Department of State, Passport Services, Office of Legal Affairs, 2100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20037.

For Important Additional Information,
Contact the Passport Services Office of Legal Affairs at
(202) 663-2662

Grounds for Denial and Restriction of Passports for Sex Offenders

The State Department is only authorized to deny or restrict a passport in certain circum-stances. The governing provisions for these purposes can be found at 22 C.F.R. §51.60, et. seq.

The State Department may refuse to issue a passport, and may revoke or limit a passport previ-ously issued, in any case in which the applicant for a passport is:

(1) The subject of an outstanding Federal warrant of arrest for a felony;

(2) The subject of an outstanding state or local warrant of arrest for a felony; or

(3) Subject to a criminal court order, condition of probation, or condition of parole, any of which forbids departure from the United States (this would include any order or condi-tion prohibiting the applicant from leaving the jurisdiction of prosecution or supervision).

There are a number of other grounds for the denial of a passport application, but these are the ones most likely to be relevant to state and local law enforcement.

To request that a future passport application or request for a passport renewal be denied, or that a passport previously issued be revoked or limited, law enforcement must take the following actions:

(1) Make the request in writing, on department letterhead;

(2) The request must be specific and contain the following information:

a. The subject’s name, including aliases;

b. Date and place of birth;

c. Social Security Number;

d. Known previous passport numbers and their dates of issuance;

e. Last known address; and

f. Copies of any relevant court orders or warrants

Mail all of the above information to:
Department of State
Passport Services
Office of Legal Affairs
2100 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20037

For additional information, please contact the Passport Services Office of Legal Affairs at (202) 663-2663.

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