Many Americans could find it almost impossible to get a passport under new rules proposed by the Obama State Department.
The new five-page application would be particularly onerous for people who were not born in a U.S. hospital. It demands to know intimate details such as who was present at the birth and any religious ceremonies such as Baptism or Circumcision, Consumer Traveler reports
Other questions require the applicant’s mother’s address not only at the time of birth, but one year before and one year after as well. The form also asks for the name and address of her employer at the time and the dates she worked there, and even the dates she received “pre-natal or post-natal medical care.”
Applicants will also need to list every employer and supervisor they have ever had, all schools they attended and all addresses since birth.
“The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd,” says the website.
Not all passport-seekers will have to furnish the information, but the State Department is not saying who will. And even if an applicant doesn’t know all the answers, “failure to provide the information requested may result in processing delays or the denial of your U.S. passport application,” small print on the form warns.
It adds: “The primary purpose for soliciting this information is to establish citizenship, identity, and entitlement to issuance of a U.S. Passport,” adding the information “may be made available as a routine use to other government agencies and private contractors.”
Passports are now needed to travel to virtually any country, including Canada and Mexico.
The State Department gave a 60-day period for public comments on the new form. That runs out on Monday.
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