[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 200 (Tuesday, October 17, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 60928-60932]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-17237]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Parts 22 and 51

RIN 1400-AC22
[Public Notice 5558]


Card Format Passport; Changes to Passport Fee Schedule

AGENCY: State Department.

ACTION: Proposed Rule.

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SUMMARY: Section 7209 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism 
Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), Public Law 108-458, 118 Stat. 3638 
(Dec. 17, 2004), provides that U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens 
may enter the U.S. only with passports or such alternative documents as 
the Secretary of Homeland Security may designate as satisfactorily 
establishing identity and citizenship. The statute requires that the 
Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of 
State, develop and implement a plan to require virtually all travelers 
entering the U.S. to present a passport, other document, or combination 
of documents, that are ``deemed by the Secretary of Homeland Security 
to be sufficient to denote identity and citizenship. Section 7209 
expressly limits the waiver of documentation requirements for U.S. 
citizens under section 215 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
(INA)\1\ and eliminates the waiver of documentation requirements for 
categories of

[[Page 60929]]

individuals for whom documentation requirements have previously been 
waived (citizens of Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda) under section 212 
(d)(4) (B) of the INA.\2\ U.S. citizens and nonimmigrant aliens from 
Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda will be required to comply with the new 
document requirements of section 7209.\3\ The legislation also requires 
that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State 
seek to facilitate the frequent travel of those living in border 
communities. This proposed rule addresses the travel facilitation 
requirement of this legislation. The administration's proposal to 
address the remainder of the legislative requirements as set forth in 
section 7209, called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), 
is being addressed in separate rulemakings.
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    \1\ 8 U.S.C. 1185 (b).
    \2\ 8 U.S.C.1182 (d)(4)(B).
    \3\ Section 7209 does not apply to Lawful Permanent Residents, 
who will continue to be able to enter the U.S. upon presentation of 
a valid Form I-551, Alien Registration Card, or other valid evidence 
of permanent resident status. Section 211 (b) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 
1181(b). It also does not apply to alien members of U.S. Armed 
Forces traveling under official orders. Section 284 of INA, 8 U.S.C. 
1354. Additionally, section 7209 does not change current 
requirements for nonimmigrant aliens from anywhere other than 
Canada, Mexico, or Bermuda. See section 212 (d)(4)(B) of the INA, 8 
U.S.C. 1182 (d)(4)(B) and 8 CFR 212.1.
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    The passport card is intended as a lower cost means of establishing 
identity and nationality for American citizens in two limited 
situations--for citizens crossing U.S. land borders and traveling by 
sea between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda. The 
passport card is not designed to be a globally interoperable travel 
document as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization 
(ICAO). Designing a card format passport for wide use, including by air 
travelers, would inadvertently undercut the broad based international 
effort to strengthen civil aviation security and travel document 
specifications to address the post 9/11 threat environment. Moreover, 
in its recent consideration of the FY 2007 Appropriations Act for the 
Department of Homeland Security, the Congress, while allowing for the 
use of the passport card by citizens traveling by sea between the U.S., 
Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, did not make parallel changes 
regarding international air travel.

DATES: The Department of State will accept comments from the public up 
to December 18, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by any of the following 
methods:
     Mail (paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions): Comments by 
mail are to be addressed to the Office of Passport Policy, Planning and 
Advisory Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of 
State, 2100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037.
     Internet: Comments by Internet are to be sent to http://
www.regulations.gov/index.cfm. This notice can also be viewed from this 
Internet address.
     Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name 
and docket number. All comments will be posted without change to http:/
/www.regulations.gov, including any personal information sent with each 
comment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Consuelo Pachon, Office of Passport 
Policy, Planning and Advisory Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, 
2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Suite 3000, Washington, DC, telephone 
number 202-663-2431.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. passport is the premier document 
for international travel by U.S. citizens and nationals because of its 
security features, professional adjudication, name checking 
conventions, and interoperability with global machine-readable 
passports and Electronic Passport (ePassport) standards. Pursuant to 22 
U.S.C. 211(a), the Secretary of State is charged with granting and 
issuing U.S. passports. Consular officers of the Department of State 
utilize information in the passport books when evaluating applications 
for replacement passports and determining eligibility for overseas 
citizens services. DHS and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also 
utilize this information in determining citizenship and identity at 
ports of entry.
    Many U.S. citizens are expected to apply for U.S. passports to 
fulfill the document requirement of the WHTI program under Section 7209 
of IRTPA. Passport Services is committed to meeting the increased 
demand. Passport Services has seen an increase in passport demand from 
a base level of seven million passports in 2003 to an expected total of 
12-12.5 million in fiscal year 2006. Demand for passports is forecast 
to continue to increase to 16 million or more in FY-2007 and 
thereafter. However, the Department of State recognizes that there are 
circumstances where, due to reasons of both cost and ease of use, the 
traditional book-style U.S. passport may not be the optimal solution 
for international travelers along the northern and southern land 
borders of the U.S., or international sea travel between the U.S., 
Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Therefore, the Department 
of State, in consultation with the DHS, is proposing an alternative 
format passport specifically designed for international land and sea 
travel between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

The Card Format Passport

    The term ``passport'' means any travel document issued by the 
competent authority of a sovereign nation showing the bearer's identity 
and nationality that is deemed valid for the entry of the bearer into a 
foreign country. 22 U.S.C. 211(a) provides that the Secretary of State 
has the authority to issue passports for the U.S.
    Executive Order No. 11295 of August 5, 1966, 31 FR 10603, provides 
that the Secretary of State is designated and empowered to exercise the 
authority of the President to designate and prescribe rules governing 
the granting, issuing, and verifying of passports. 22 U.S.C. 2705 
provides that a valid passport, if valid for the maximum period 
permitted by law, has the same force and effect as proof of citizenship 
as a certificate of naturalization or certificate of citizenship. Under 
this proposed rule, passport cards, like passport books, would be 
issued for a ten-year validity period for U.S. citizens sixteen years 
old and older, and for a five-year validity period for U.S. citizens 
less than 16 years of age. The Department of State proposes to utilize 
the same application procedures and adjudication standards for the 
passport book and card and to permit U.S. citizens to hold both a 
passport book and card simultaneously. In addition, if a passport 
applicant holds a valid passport book, the applicant may apply for a 
passport card as a ``renewal'' and pay the lower renewal fee rate.
    Because 22 U.S.C. 211(a) does not prescribe limitations on the 
format of a passport, the Secretary of State proposes to issue a card 
format for the passport, herein after referred to as the ``passport 
card,'' for international land and sea travel between the U.S., Canada, 
Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The passport card will show the 
bearer's origin, identity, and nationality and will be subject to 
existing passport statutes. As with the passport book, the passport 
card will be issued only to those owing

[[Page 60930]]

allegiance to the U.S.\4\ and will require a written application and 
oath for first time applicants.\5\ There is precedence for limited use 
passports. For example, The Department of State issues passports only 
for one time use to allow the traveler to return to the U.S.
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    \4\ 22 U.S.C. 212.
    \5\ 22 U.S.C. 213.
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    The passport card is designed specifically to address the needs and 
travel patterns of those who live in land border communities and 
frequently cross the border in their day-to-day activities. The 
technical architecture of the passport card is designed to address the 
operational needs of pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the land 
border environment, and international sea travel as discussed herein, 
but not the operational needs of inspection at airports. Moreover, the 
passport card is intended not only to enhance security efforts for 
international land and sea travel between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the 
Caribbean, and Bermuda, but is also intended to assist DHS in 
expediting the movement of legitimate travel within the Western 
Hemisphere.
    In particular, the land border presents complex operational 
challenges, in that a tremendous amount of traffic must be processed in 
a short amount of time. There are often several passengers in a 
vehicle, and multiple vehicles arriving at one time at each land border 
port-of-entry. Many of the people encountered crossing at the land 
border ports of entry are frequent crossers. However, CBP does not 
receive advance information on these land border travelers. For these 
reasons, the Department of State, in consultation with DHS, agreed to 
develop a technology-based solution.
    The passport card is designed and authorized for international land 
and sea travel between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and 
Bermuda and will not be a globally interoperable document. Therefore, 
the ICAO standards and recommendations for globally interoperable 
passports would not apply to passport cards. The passport card will be 
a highly secure document with many features consistent with ICAO 9303 
Part 3 definitions of TD-1 specifications. It will use a full facial 
image printed on the card as the biometric identifier in conformity 
with ICAO standards for ePassport images and utilize the international 
standard for Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) encryption.
    The data printed on the face of the passport card will be the same 
as that currently shown on the data page of the U.S. passport--bearer's 
facial image, full name, date and place of birth, passport card number, 
dates of validity and issuing authority. The reverse side of the 
passport card will carry a machine-readable zone and notation that the 
card is valid only for international land and sea travel between the 
U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. In addition, each 
passport card will utilize Radio Frequency (RF) technology to store and 
transmit only a unique reference number that will serve as a link to 
information safeguarded in a secure database managed by CBP. This 
reference number will be assigned by Department of State at the time 
the passport card is issued and no personal or biographic information 
will be stored or transmitted using Radio Frequency (RF) technology. 
Presenting the passport card will allow the linked information to be 
retrieved from the secure DHS database to allow the CBP officer to 
compare the citizen presenting him or herself for entry into the U.S. 
with the original issuance record to ensure that it is the same person. 
This database could include additional information, for example, 
information about the bearer's membership in one of CBP's international 
trusted traveler programs, NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST.

Technology Considered for the Passport Card

    The Department of State, in consultation with the DHS, has sought 
both to ensure the privacy of U.S. citizens' personal information and 
to facilitate the travel of U.S. citizens in connection with the 
operational requirements for security and facilitation of travel at 
especially at land border ports of entry. After reviewing a number of 
options to provide the CBP officer with appropriate personal 
information to facilitate the processing of travelers, we believe that 
the most promising technology is Radio Frequency (RF) technology. This 
technology utilizes a passive chip deriving its power from the reader 
that communicates with it. We focused on RF vicinity read (GEN 2) 
technology and RF proximity read technology.

RF Vicinity Read (GEN-2) Technology

    RF vicinity read technology conforms to International Standards 
Organization (ISO) 18000 6-C specifications. Vicinity read technology 
would allow the passport card data to be read at a distance of up to 20 
feet from the reader. The vicinity read chip would contain only a 
unique reference number that will serve as a link to information 
safeguarded in a secure database managed by CBP. In addition to having 
commercial applications, vicinity-read technology is currently being 
used in a number of DHS programs. Operationally, it has similarities to 
CBP land border international trusted traveler programs of NEXUS, 
SENTRI, and FAST, and DHS's pilot electronic I-94 program currently in 
place at several land border crossings in that it will only store and 
transmit a unique reference number and no personal or biographic 
information. Vicinity read technology is similar to that used in 
highway toll systems throughout the U.S. From an operational sense, 
this technology would allow passengers approaching a land crossing in 
vehicles to present the passport card to the reader easily from within 
the vehicle and these readers could process information from up to 
eight cards at one time.
    In addition, the use of vicinity technology would provide 
information to border security personnel further in advance of a 
traveler's arrival at an inspection booth, facilitate a faster 
processing of individuals, and provide more opportunities to leverage 
existing technologies, including programs such as CBP's Trusted 
Traveler programs NEXUS, FAST, and SENTRI and use of the electronic I-
94.

RF Proximity Read Technology

    RF proximity read technology conforms to International Standards 
Organization (ISO) 14443 specifications. In addition to having 
commercial applications, RF proximity read technology is currently 
being used in the production of the U.S. ePassport, as well as 
ePassports of those nations participating in the Visa Waiver Program. 
The ISO 14443 specification requires the proximity chip to be read 
within approximately four inches of the reader. Similar to the vicinity 
RF read technology described above, the RF proximity read chip would 
contain only a unique reference number to be used as a pointer to a 
secure database managed by CBP. From an operational sense, this 
technology would require passengers approaching a land crossing in 
vehicles to present the passport card in close proximity to the reader 
outside the vehicle and these readers could process information from a 
small number of cards at a time.

The Passport Card Technology Selection

    DHS selected RF vicinity read technology for its border management 
system. To ensure compatibility and interoperability with the DHS 
border management system, and to secure significant travel facilitation 
advantages, the Department of State proposes to produce the passport 
card utilizing RF vicinity read technology. The selection of vicinity 
read technology for the

[[Page 60931]]

passport card was made in an effort to ensure a seamless operational 
environment with DHS, and provides the infrastructure support to 
strengthen our national security at U.S. land borders. The Department 
of State proposes to produce the card and deliver them with a thin 
protective sleeve, which is designed to protect the card from 
unauthorized access. The card could be stored in the sleeve and removed 
only when needed.
    The Department of State solicits comments on the selection of RF 
vicinity read technology for the passport card.

Obtaining the Passport Card

    Both the passport card and the traditional passport book will be 
issued on the basis of the same documentary requirements: Application 
forms (DS-11 and DS-82), and adjudication standards for establishing 
citizenship and identity. Building on existing infrastructure, the 
Department of State will acquire the capability to produce the passport 
card, while concurrently increasing capacity to produce traditional 
passport books.
    The U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and other designated local 
government entities, partner with the Department of State in serving as 
acceptance agencies for passport applications. Currently there are over 
7,500 designated post offices and other passport acceptance facilities 
nation-wide. Since the passport book and card will be processed using 
the same infrastructure and same procedures prior to production of the 
travel document itself, applicants will be able to submit applications 
for passport cards through the network of passport acceptance agents. 
The anticipated turn-around time for processing would be the same for 
both the passport book and card. Citizens outside the U.S. will be able 
to apply for the passport card at U.S. embassies or consulates abroad; 
however, all passport cards will be produced in the U.S.
    U.S. citizens will be able to hold both a passport card and a 
traditional passport book concurrently. In addition, applications for a 
passport book and card can be processed at the same time, using the 
same form, photograph and supporting documentation. Further, where the 
application is made for both the passport book and card, only one 
execution fee will be assessed. Adult applicants with valid passports 
may apply for passport cards as renewals, using form DS-82 (Passport 
Applications by Mail), which do not require personal appearance or 
execution of the passport application form. Details regarding 
application procedures will be made available at the time the revised 
passport applications are available. Like other full validity 
passports, one can apply for the passport card at embassies and 
consulates abroad. Passport cards applied for abroad will be delivered 
in the same manner as passport books are delivered abroad. Passport 
cards will not be issued abroad.
    The fee for the passport book and passport card is determined based 
on a cost of service analysis, consistent with OMB Circular A-25, User 
Charges, to recover the costs of the services when a specific 
beneficiary can be identified. In March 2006, Consular Affairs 
contracted with an independent third party to review the last cost of 
service study for passports (CY 2004), in light of WHTI, and the 
increase in workload to enable the Department of State to determine 
several fees including:
     The cost for the new card-format passport, and
     Whether the cost of the passport book could be reduced.

Application Fee for the Passport Card

    Based on the recommendation of the independent third party, an 
application fee of $20.00 is proposed for passport cards issued to 
adults (age 16 and up), valid for ten years. A fee of $10.00 is 
proposed for passport cards issued to minors (under age 16), valid for 
five years. The basis of the passport card application fees is the 
direct costs of producing passport cards, the card stock, technology, 
adjudicating the application, printing the biographic information on 
the card, and priority mail return of the card. Applicants will also be 
required to pay the execution and expedite fees, if applicable. The 
execution fee for persons seeking to apply for a passport card and 
passport book will be $25.

Execution Fee

    Certain applicants are required to execute the application DS-11 in 
the presence of a passport acceptance agent, passport specialist, or 
consular officer overseas. Therefore, the Department of State 
separately reviewed the cost factors for the execution of passport 
applications. By far, the largest number of first time passport 
applications are made by those who appear in person at local USPS or 
government offices, most often county clerks or clerks of the court. 
The fee is retained by these designated passport acceptance facilities 
to cover their costs of providing this service.
    First time adult passport applicants and all minors under age 16 
are required to apply in person. Adults applying for replacement 
passports that have been lost, stolen or mutilated are also required to 
appear in person, as are those holding expired passports issued more 
than 15 years previously, or when the bearer was a minor.
    The execution fee was set at $30.00 for each application during the 
last cost of service study. Based on an internal review of our cost of 
service, and information from the USPS, the Department of State is 
proposing to reduce the execution fee to $25.00. All fees will be 
subject to periodic review in the course of the Bureau of Consular 
Affairs comprehensive cost of service studies to account for 
operational changes, technological advances and economies of scale.

Application for Both Passport Book and Card

    As noted above, a U.S. citizen will be able to apply for both a 
passport book and passport card in the same application. The execution 
fee will be assessed only once, although a separate application fee 
will be assessed for each type of passport.

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    In accordance with provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act 
governing rules promulgated by federal agencies that affect the public 
(5 U.S.C. 552), the Department of State is publishing this proposed 
rule and inviting public comment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of State, in accordance with the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and, by 
approving it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    This rule does not involve a mandate that will result in the 
expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, 
or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year and it 
will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, 
no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996. This rule will not 
result in an annual effect on the economy of $100

[[Page 60932]]

million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant 
adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based companies to compete with 
foreign-based companies in domestic and import markets.

Executive Order 12866

    The Department of State has reviewed this proposed rule to ensure 
its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth 
in Executive Order 12866. The Department does not consider the proposed 
rule to be an economically significant regulatory action within the 
scope of section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order since it is not likely 
to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or to 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities. However, the proposed rule does have important policy 
implications. Accordingly, it has been provided to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

Executive Order 13132

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 
of Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant 
the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 
35.

List of Subjects

22 CFR Part 22

    Passports and visas.

22 CFR Part 51

    Administrative practice and procedure, Drug traffic control, 
Passports and visas, reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR 
Parts 22 and 51 are proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 22--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1153 note, 1351; 10 U.S.C. 2602(c); 22 
U.S.C. 214, 2504(a), 4201, 4206, 4215, 4219; 31 U.S.C. 9701; Public 
Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 et seq.; Public Law 108-447; E.O. 10718, 
22 FR 4632, 3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp., p. 382; E.O. 11295, 31 FR 10603, 
3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 570.

    2. Revise Sec.  22.1 to read as follows:


Sec.  22.1  Schedule of fees.

    The following table sets forth the changes to the U.S. Department 
of State's Schedule of Fees for Consular Services:

                 Schedule of Fees for Consular Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Item No.                               Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Passport and Citizenship Services
1. Passport Execution: Required for first-time applicants            $25
 and others who must apply in person [01--Passport
 Execution]................................................
 
                              * * * * * * *
9. Passport Card Application Services for:
    (a) Applicants age 16 or over (including renewals)               $20
     [Adult Passport Card].................................
    (b) Applicants under age 16 [Minor Passport Card]......          $10
    (Item no. 10 vacant.)..................................  ...........
 
                              * * * * * * *
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PART 51--PASSPORTS

    3. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 22 U.S.C. 211a, 213, 2651a, 2671(d)(3), 2714 and 
3926; 31 U.S.C. 9701; E.O. 11295, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 570; 
sec. 236, Public Law 106-113, 113 stat. 1501A-430; 18 U.S.C. 1621 
(a)(2).

    4. Amend Sec.  51.3 by adding a new paragraph (d) as follows:


Sec.  51.3  Types of passports.

* * * * *
    (d) Passport card. A passport card is valid for departure from and 
entry to the U.S. through land and sea ports of entry between the U.S. 
and Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean and Bermuda. It is not a globally 
interoperable international travel document.
    5. The heading of Sec.  51.4 (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  51.4  Validity of passports.

* * * * *
    (b) Period of validity of a regular passport and a card format 
passport. * * *
* * * * *
    6. The introductory paragraph of Sec.  51. 61 and the first 
sentence of Sec.  51.61(a) are revised to read as follows:


Sec.  51.61  Passport fees.

    Fees, including execution fees, shall be collected for the 
following passport services in the amounts prescribed in the Schedule 
of Fees for Consular Services (22 CFR 22.1)
    (a) A fee for each passport application filed, for both book and 
card format passports, which fee shall vary depending on the age of the 
applicant. * * *
* * * * *

    Dated: October 6, 2006.
Wanda Nesbitt,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Department 
of State.
 [FR Doc. E6-17237 Filed 10-16-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P