TN 4 (04-10)
RM 10210.550 General Information about Department of State (DOS) U.S. Passports
SSA accepts the following passports issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
A. Machine readable passport (MRP)
The Department of State (DOS) began issuing Machine Readable Passports (MRP) domestically in February 1981. Since May 1989, all domestically issued passports are machine readable. MRPs have a machine readable zone (a combination of letters, numbers and chevrons (<<<)) at the bottom of the personal information page usually accompanied by the photograph of the bearer.
For information on reviewing MRPs, see RM 10210.555A.
B. U.S. passport card
The Department of State (DOS) began issuing the U.S. Passport Card on July 14, 2008, in response to the needs of border resident communities for a less expensive and more portable alternative to the traditional passport book. The passport card attests to the U.S. citizenship, identity of the bearer and is adjudicated to the same standards as the U.S. passport book. However, the card can only be used for land and sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. For information on reviewing U.S. passport cards, see RM 10210.555B.
C. U.S. electronic passport (e-passport)
The Department of State (DOS) began issuing the U.S. Electronic Passport (e-passport) on August 14, 2006. The e-passport is a regular passport that has a computer chip embedded in the rear cover. The chip stores the same data viewed on the photo page of the passport and a digital photograph. Since August 2007, the U.S. only issues e-passports. Passports without chips will still be valid for the full extent of their validity period. For information on reviewing e-passports, see RM 10210.555C.
D. Non-machine readable U.S. passport (NMRP)
The Department of State (DOS) stopped issuing non-machine readable passports domestically in 1985. Some DOS Foreign Service posts may still issue NMRPs. For information on reviewing NMRPs, see RM 10210.555D.