Executive Order No. 2519A

Rules of January 1917, Governing the Granting and Issuing of Passports in the United States

1. [Same as rule 1 of January 12, 1915.1]

2. [Same as rule 2 of December 17, 1915.2]

3. [Same as rule 2 of January 12, 1915.1]

4. [Same as rule 3 of January 12, 1915.1]

5. Applications.—(a) Affidavit of applicant.—A person who is entitled to receive a passport, if within the United States, must submit a written application, in duplicate, in the form of an affidavit, to the Secretary of State. If he is going to a belligerent country he should submit his application in triplicate. The application should be made by the person to whom the passport is to be issued and signed by him, as it is not proper for one person to apply for another.

The affidavit must be made before a clerk of a Federal court or of a State court authorized by the act of Congress of June 29, 1906, to naturalize aliens, within the jurisdiction of which the applicant or his witness resides, and the seal of the court must be affixed; but in any place where there is a Federal court the affidavit must be made before a clerk of such court, unless there is in such place an agent of the Department of State, in which case the Secretary may, in his discretion, require the application to be made before such agent. It is always preferable that the application be made at or near the place where the applicant resides. Where the application is not made in such place, the applicant must give the name and address of a reputable professional or business man having his office or place of business in the place where the applicant resides, so that the clerk of court, or the Department’s agent, or the Department itself, may make the necessary inquiries of such person. Where it is [Page 574]necessary to make such inquiries by telegraph, the applicant will be required to bear the expense thereof. Clerks of courts and the Department’s passport agent in New York City will be expected to observe the above rules with particular care.

The applicant must state from what point he intends to leave the United States, and the date of his intended departure, and also, if by a port of the United States, by what ship he intends to sail. The clerk of court or agent of the Department of State before whom the application is made must mail it directly to the Department of State.

Each application must be in the hands of the Department of State or its agent at least five days before the applicant’s departure from the United States.

If the applicant signs by mark, two attesting witnesses to his signature are required. The applicant is required to state the date and place of his birth, his occupation, the place of his permanent residence, and within what length of time he will return to the United States with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship. He is also required to state the names of the foreign countries which he expects to visit and the objects of his visits thereto. The latter statement should be brief and general in form, thus: “Commercial business.”

The applicant must take the oath of allegiance to the United States.

The application must be accompanied by a description of the person applying, and should state the following particulars, viz: Age, _ _ _ _; stature, _ _ _ _ feet, _ _ _ _ inches (English measure); forehead, _ _ _ _; eyes, _ _ _ _; nose, _ _ _ _; mouth, _ _ _ _; chin, _ _ _ _; hair, _ _ _ _ _ _; complexion, _ _ _ _; face, _ _ _ _ _ _; special identifying marks, if any (scars, birthmarks, etc.), _ _ _ _ _.

(b) Letters from commercial concerns, etc.—A person who applies for a passport in order that he may go abroad on commercial business must support his application with a letter from the head of the firm in the interest of which he intends to go abroad. Such letter must state not only the names of the foreign countries which the applicant expects to visit and the object of his visits thereto, but, in addition, whether or not the applicant is a salaried employee of the firm concerned and, if so, how long he has been known to the firm and for what period of time he has been in their employ. If the applicant is going abroad on a commission and not a salary basis, that fact also should be specifically stated. If the applicant for a passport is himself the head of the concern for which he is going abroad, he must submit a letter from another officer of the concern or a letter from the head of some other reputable concern who has [Page 575]had business transactions with the applicant and has knowledge of the business in which the applicant is engaged and the object and necessity of his proposed trip abroad.

The applicant who is going abroad for any purpose other than commercial business must satisfy the Department of State that it is imperative that he go, and he should submit satisfactory documentary evidence substantiating his statement concerning the imperativeness of his proposed trip.

In view of the necessity of exercising the greatest possible care to prevent the fraudulent procurement of passports, the Department of State will be obliged to hold firms responsible for letters which they issue to applicants for passports.

(c) Photographs.—The application must also be accompanied by triplicate photographs of the applicant, on thin paper, unmounted, and not larger in size than 3 by 3 inches. If the applicant is going to a belligerent country, he must submit four copies of his photograph. One must be attached to the back of each application by the clerk of court or the Department’s agent before whom the application is made, with an impression of such officer’s seal so placed as to cover part of the photograph but not the features, and the other sent loose, to be attached to the passport by the Department. The loose photograph must be signed by the applicant across its face, so as not to obscure the features, and the signature thereon must correspond to the applicant’s signature affixed to the application. Photographs on cardboard or postcards will not be accepted.

(d) Witness.—The application must be supported by an affidavit of at least one credible witness, who has known the applicant at least two years, stating that the applicant is the person he represents himself to be and that the facts stated in the application are true to the best of the witness’ knowledge and belief. This affidavit must be made before the clerk of court or the Department’s agent before whom the application is executed, and the witness must accompany the applicant when he makes his application. The witness must be an American citizen, established in a recognized profession or business and having his office or place of business within the jurisdiction of the court or the Department’s agent (e. g., a clergyman, lawyer, physician, banker, broker, real-estate dealer, or merchant). The witness, in signing the application, should state the nature of his profession or business and his professional or business address. The applicant or his witness must be known to the clerk of court or the Department’s agent before whom the application is executed or must be able to satisfy such officer as to his identity and the bona fides of the application. No lawyer or other person will be accepted as witness to a passport application if he has received or expects to receive a fee for his services in connection therewith.

[Page 576]

6–7. [Same as rules 6–7 of April 17, 1916.1]

8–11. [Same as rules 7–10 of January 12, 1915.2]

12–13. [Same as rules 12–13 of April 17, 1916.1]

14–15. [Same as rules 12–13 of January 12, 1915.2]

16. Surrender of old passports.—An applicant for a new passport who holds an expired or unexpired passport or passports should submit the latter to the clerk of court or agent of the Department of State before whom he executes his application for a new passport. In such case the clerk of court or agent of the Department of State will cancel the old passport by cutting out a piece of the seal thereon and stamping, or writing in indelible ink, the word “Canceled” across the face of the passport, which may then be returned to the applicant. After canceling an old passport the official who takes the application should make a notation on the margin thereof, giving the number and date of issuance of the passport canceled.

17–19. [Same as rules 14–16 of January 12, 1915.2]

Woodrow Wilson

The White House, January 24, 1917.