DOS has updated and reorganized its passport regulations. These revisions, which amend numerous sections of Part 51 of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, are not intended to break with current policy on passport issuance. Rather, they are intended to make the regulations more user-friendly, to better reflect current practice, and to excise out-of-date provisions. These changes will become effective as of February 1, 2008.

Notably, the revisions extend the two-parent consent and personal appearance requirements to minors under the age of 16. They also codify the roles of Passport Agents and Passport Acceptance Agents and clarify their responsibilities and qualifications (including the requirement that they be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals). Additionally, the rules enhance U.S. law enforcement cooperation by permitting DOS to deny passports to applicants subject to an outstanding state, national, or foreign felony arrest warrant. Finally, the rules clarify the requirements for applicants who have changed names.

The final passport rule does not, however, include all the revisions that DOS intends to make to Part 51 of the federal regulations. In particular, Subpart F (“Procedures for Review of Certain Denials and Revocations”) remains under review.