A new Biographical Questionnaire has been proposed by the State Department for some passport applicants and it’s completely confounding. Form DS-5513 (catchy, right?) requests such information as the address of your mother’s residence one year before your birth, the names, addresses and phone numbers of the people in attendance at your birth and the name and location of the place where you were circumcised (if you were circumcised, obviously).
Consumer Traveler reports the State Department estimates that the questionnaire will take about 45 minutes to fill out, but that is silly. Look at this thing, a team of researchers is needed to complete it. The circumstances on who will have to take this Kafkaesque form are cloudy as well:
It seems likely that only some, not all, applicants will be required to fill out the new questionnaire, but no criteria have been made public for determining who will be subjected to these additional new written interrogatories. So if the passport examiner wants to deny your application, all they will have to do is give you the impossible new form to complete.
If you have an issue with this application, the State Department is open to hearing about it. Go here and click “Submit a Comment.” You don’t even have to tell them where you were circumcised!
State Dept. wants to make it harder to get a passport [Consumer Traveler via BoingBoing]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 25, 2011