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paperwork In February, the State Department recommended the implementation of a new passport application form, DS-5513, that makes our current form look like a field trip permission slip — and today is the last day to cast your vote against it. Here’s a sample of what Uncle Sam might ask future passport applicants to reveal:

- Did your mother receive pre-natal or post-natal medical care? If so, list the name of her doctor and the dates of her appointments.

- Please describe the circumstances of your birth including the names (as well as address and phone number, if available) of persons present or in attendance at your birth.

- Please list all of your residences inside and outside of the United States starting with your birth until the present.

- Was there any religious or institutional recording of your birth or event occurring around the time of birth? (Example: baptism, circumcision, confirmation or other religious ceremony. Please provide details including the name, location of the institution, and date.)

But wait, there’s more! The form requires applicants to list residences of all nuclear family members living and deceased, plus fun facts like the name of your supervisor at every place at which you’ve ever been employed, and the address of every school that’s had the pleasure of calling you a pupil.

We get it. Someone in the State Department thinks our current passport application, good ol’ DS-11, isn’t quite as thorough as it should be. But this proposed form belies any sense of moderation. Asking applicants to list the name of their kindergarten alma mater and provide the details of their own circumcision is disturbingly Orwellian. And, on a more practical note, filling out this form would take forever.

Writes PapersPlease.org, “The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form.” Did someone at the State Department actually fill out this form in 45 minutes? I’m impressed. Those bureaucrats must be an efficient bunch. I honestly would need to hire a private investigator to ascertain the phone number of the nurse who helped my mom give birth or dig up the full name of the manager at the supermarket where I bagged groceries for a summer when I was 14 years old. (His name tag read “Bob,” and that’s all I can remember.)

U.S. citizens have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time today, April 25, to submit feedback on form DS-5513. To speak your mind, e-mail GarciaAA@state.gov or submit a comment online at regulations.gov. You can read already submitted comments on regulations.gov as well. I’ve checked, and the majority of comments appear to be fully against the implementation of such a complicated passport application form. Words like “anti-American,” “invasive” and “ridiculous” are copious in the comments. What’s your take?

– written by Caroline Costello

8 Responses to “The Passport Application Form from Hell: Coming Soon?”

  1. cindy says:

    They must be on the other side of their brains

  2. Shadra Bruce says:

    The details that have been left out of this blog are that this would ONLY apply to people who don’t have a birth certificate. If you have a birth certificate or adequate proof of citizenship, you get to skip the questions. What I’m concerned about is that this seems more of a reactionary issue because of the whole “birther” movement than an actual issue of national security. The actual form is here: http://www.papersplease.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/ds5513-proposed.pdf.

    I wonder when we will have to carry our birth certificates in order to prove our right to walk the streets, express our opinions, and have a feeling of freedom.

    It’s a sad state of affairs …

    • Hi Shadra,

      Thanks for your comment! We did look at that draft of the application form, and while a birth certificate might exempt you from some questions, such as the pre-natal ones, it appears that all applicants would potentially have to fill out the extensive sections on employment history and past addresses.

      We appreciate your feedback!

  3. zue says:

    so what if you were adopted and the State Dept. has your records sealed? ha

  4. John Galt says:

    Obviously, this is revenge from a government that is upset that anyone could even possibly think that the President himself wouldn’t be able to complete this questionnaire.

    Welcome to the police state!

  5. Jon says:

    A Certificate of Live Birth (which the President has produced) is legal certification of citizenship (no matter what a few crazy OCD people say). So this form has no more effect on our President than anything else.

    Perhaps the Birthers all get on a boat, sail 10 miles offshore, and declare their own nation and government. I’m sure King Crazy Trump would pay to charter. Then, a quick declaration of clear and present danger from the President, a couple of torpedoes, and we’ve dealt with the birther movement.

  6. FreddyJ says:

    You have one thing drastically wrong in your write up, you said… “on a more practical note, filling out this form would take forever.”

    I wholeheartedly disagree. I think this is rightfully in the realm of impossible for many people! Thanks for making me aware of the nonsense our Gov is up to. I just hope they don’t have plans for more of this garbage, but I’m afraid they do.

  7. mkj says:

    Passport is too sensitive document thats why this much verification gose. ;)

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