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Consumer Traveler reports that The US Department of State is proposing a series of new forms needed to in order to receive a passport, including a Biographical questionnaire. The questionnaire asks some difficult – even bizarre – questions of the applicant, and Glenn thinks that the difficulty in filling it out accurately should raise some suspicions.
What are some of the relevant questions being asked of respondents? Were you circumcised? What was your mother’s residence at the time of your birth? Was there any kind of religious ceremony surrounding your birth? What are the names, addressees, and phone numbers, of any witnesses to your birth.
The Blaze reports that the form is intended for those who apply for a passport but are unable to produce a birth certificate.
When explaining this story to his producers this morning, Glenn could not even fathom why such forms would be needed in order to acquire a passport?
“If I work at Burger King when I was 16 years old, I would have to remember the Burger King, I would have to remember who my supervisor was, and I would have to give his phone number,” Glenn said.
“You are also supposed to give the lifetime employment history, including employer and supervisors' names, addresses and telephone numbers, personal details of all siblings, your mother's address one year prior to your birth, any religious ceremony around the time of the birth and variety of other information. Failure to provide the information requested may result in the denial of your U.S. passport application,” Glenn said.
“The State Department is saying that the average person can fill this out in 45 minutes. There is no way the average person can fill this out.”
“ We don't know who will be required to fill out this questionnaire because no criteria has been made for the determining of who will be subjected to these additional new written questions.”
“I don't have any idea why they would do this.”
Glenn put forth a few theories, that either this was a method of keeping people in the country or a way of making citizens undocumented.
“As crazy as this may sound, try this explanation on for size: Who are they trying to trap here? Well, if you can't provide this documentation, if you can't provide who is it you're -- well, then we can't prove that you're a citizen. We can't prove that you should have a passport. If you have undocumented people here in America and you think that's wrong, why not make all Americans undocumented?” Glenn asked.
The radio guys wondered why the State Department was making it more difficult to leave the country than they were making it difficult to enter the country.
A State Department Official told Glenn's producers, "The Biographical Questionnaire for a U.S. Passport, form DS-5513, is a supplemental form that an applicant may be asked to complete when information supplied on the application for a U.S. passport is insufficient to support passport issuance."
"Where the information provided in an application is insufficient, rather than deny the application automatically, we ask for additional information to help an applicant prove his or her identity or citizenship."
While not being able to answer a question would not preclude an applicant from being issued a passport, the official said, "Passport adjudicators will consider the information derived from the form in its entirety to confirm identity and citizenship, the two elements required by law for U.S. passport issuance."
The goal of the new questionnaire is to stop people from obtaining passports through fraudulent means, as a passport is "gold standard among identity documents".