TN 4 (04-10)

RM 10210.555 Reviewing U.S. Passports

When you examine U.S. Passports follow RM 10210.210 and the following:

  • The signature; the Department of State (DOS) requires that all passports be signed to be valid. If a child is too young to sign in the space provided for the signature, the mother or father must print the child's name and sign their own name. In parenthesis by the parent's name, write the word (mother) or (father) so DOS know who signed for the child.

  • The cover; examine the cover for evenness of the edges and the alignment of interior pages.

  • Stitched bindings; enlarged stitching holes, loose threads, or uneven stitching; and stapled bindings, for firm attachment and uniform type and size of staples.

  • Pages; pages should be uniform in size, color, background design, printing, watermark, and lettering.

  • Printed photographs; should have clean attachments with no cut line, excessive glue, or double laminate. Check the alignment of any overlapping dry seal or ink impression.

  • A digital photograph imbedded in the page rather than attached.

  • Misspellings or printed characters with a different type design.

  • Continue the review by following:

Topic

Reference

Reviewing Machine-Readable U.S. Passports (MRP)

RM 10210.555A

Reviewing U.S. passport cards

RM 10210.555B

Reviewing U.S. e-passports

RM 10210.555C

Reviewing Non-Machine-Readable U.S. Passports (NMRP)

RM 10210.555D

A. Reviewing Machine-Readable U.S. Passports (MRP)

Consider the following information in conjunction with RM 10210.210 when you review SSN Evidence.

A Machine Readable Passport (MRP) is a travel document where the name, passport number, nationality, date of birth, sex, passport expiration date and personal identity number on the identity page are encoded in an optical recognition (OCR) format in a machine readable zone (MRZ). The MRZ is two 44 character lines located along the bottom outer edge of the identity page.

A MRP number is 9 digits in length.

A valid MRP will have:

  1. a. 

    Rounded photograph corners.

  2. b. 

    No evidence of tampering on the laminate, such as stretches, tears, distortion or discoloration (indicates attempted photo removal).

  3. c. 

    Consistent coloration on the Great Seal design overlay on the photograph/data page (inconsistent coloration indicates photo substitution).

  4. d. 

    A Blue passport cover. EXCEPTION: The cover of the version issued domestically during the period April 1993 through March 1994 may be green. It contains a kinefoil over a portion of the bearer's photograph. The kinefoil produces profiles of Ben Franklin and the letters “USA”, depending upon the viewing angle. There is no great seal overlapping the photo.

If the document's authenticity is questionable and there is no other readily available evidence of U.S. citizenship and/or age and identity, verify the MRP per RM 10213.005.

B. Reviewing U.S. Passport Cards

Consider the following information in conjunction with RM 10210.210 when you review SSN Evidence.

The wallet-size card must have an effective date of July 14, 2008 or later. The card has the same period of validity as a passport book: 10 years for an adult, 5 years for children age 15 and younger.

The card is laser engraved and contains state-of-the-art security features. The card contains both eye readable and machine readable information. The front of the card shows the bearer's photograph and identifying information, issue and expiration dates, and the passport card number (the letter “C” plus 8 numerals). The card back artwork, showing “PASSsystem” (in color shifting ink) repeats the card number and contains a machine readable zone.

If the document's authenticity is questionable and there is no other readily available evidence of U.S. citizenship and/or age and identity, verify the passport card per RM 10213.005.

C. Reviewing U.S. e-Passport

Consider the following information in conjunction with RM 10210.210 when you review SSN Evidence.

The U.S. Electronic Passport (e-passport) is the same as a regular passport with the addition of a small contactless integrated circuit (computer chip) embedded in the back cover. The chip securely stores the same data visually displayed on the photo page of the passport, and additionally includes a digital photograph.

Since August 2007, the U.S. has only been issuing e-passports. However, passports without chips will still be valid until they meet their expiration dates.

If the document's authenticity is questionable and there is no other readily available evidence of U.S. citizenship and/or age and identity, verify the e-Passport per RM 10213.005.

D. Reviewing Non-Machine-Readable U.S. Passports (NMRP)

Consider the following information in conjunction with RM 10210.210 when you review SSN Evidence.

Non-machine readable passports (NMRP) have a blue cover, gold impressed lettering and display the Great Seal of the U.S. The 6 or 7 digit passport number preceded by a letter is located across the top of the passport and perforated from the front cover through page 6.

Most passports contain 24 pages (less commonly 48). Pages 2 and 3 contain the data and photograph of the bearer, respectively. The Great Seal of the U.S. is impressed on the photograph. Other characteristics of a valid NMRP include:

  1. a. 

    A prefix letter consistent with the place of issuance as shown on the Photo Page and/or the typed year of issue on the description page.

  2. b. 

    The front and back of the impression seal overlapping the photograph line up.

  3. c. 

    The three lines of the legend, impressed along the right side of the photograph, partially on the photograph and partially on the page, are parallel.

  4. d. 

    The legend is printed in red and blue inks.

  5. e. 

    Legends added in the U.S. indicate the agency where the passport was issued. Those affixed abroad do not.

If the document's authenticity is questionable and there is no other readily available evidence of U.S. citizenship and/or age and identity, verify the passport per RM 10213.005.

E. Reference

See Administrative Confidential Memorandum for additional descriptions of U.S. Passports.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110210555
RM 10210.555 - Reviewing U.S. Passports - 05/11/2016
Batch run: 05/11/2016
Rev:05/11/2016