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  • News: DOS Final Rule on Official Passports

    [Federal Register Volume 81, Number 26 (Tuesday, February 9, 2016)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 6757-6758]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2016-02576]
    22 CFR Part 51
    [Public Notice: 9360]
    RIN 1400-AD83
    Passports: Official Passports for Officials or Employees of 
    State, Local, Tribal or Territorial Governments Traveling Abroad and 
    Carrying Out Official Duties in Support of the U.S. Government
    AGENCY: Department of State.
    ACTION: Final rule.
    SUMMARY: The Department of State finalizes its amendment of the 
    passport rules for issuance of an official passport to an official or 
    employee of a state,
    [[Page 6758]]
    local, tribal, or territorial government traveling abroad to carry out 
    official duties in support of the U.S. government.
    DATES: Effective February 9, 2016.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alice Kottmyer, Attorney-Adviser, 
    kottmyeram@state.gov, 202-647-2318.
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule was published as an interim rule 
    on May 15, 2015 (80 FR 27856), with a 60-day period for public 
    comments. No public comments were received.
        As explained in the interim final rule, 22 CFR 51.3(b) provides 
    that an ``official passport'' may be issued to: An official or employee 
    of the U.S. government traveling abroad to carry out official duties; 
    spouses and family members of such persons; and, when authorized by the 
    Department of State, U.S. government contractors traveling abroad to 
    carry out official duties on behalf of the U.S. government.
        Increasingly, the federal government utilizes officials or 
    employees of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in 
    support of federal activities, both domestically and overseas, such as 
    the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force. When 
    required to travel internationally in support of such federal 
    activities, these individuals are not currently eligible for official 
    passports. Issuance of an official passport to such individuals 
    signifies to foreign governments that they are carrying out official 
    duties in support of the U.S. government. The activities undertaken by 
    these officials are often of pressing national security, law 
    enforcement, or humanitarian importance and occur with little advance 
    notice. It is in the U.S. government's interest to provide these 
    individuals the travel documents necessary to allow them to travel in a 
    timely manner.
        Under 22 U.S.C. 211a et seq., the Secretary of State has the 
    authority to make rules for the granting and issuance of passports. The 
    Department is amending section 51.3(b) of 22 CFR to authorize issuing 
    official passports to an official or employee of a state, local, 
    tribal, or territorial government traveling abroad to carry out 
    official duties in support of the U.S. government.
    Regulatory Findings
        The Regulatory Findings included in the interim final rule are 
    incorporated herein.
    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 51
        Accordingly, the interim rule amending 22 CFR part 51 which was 
    published at 80 FR 27857 on May 15, 2015, is adopted as a final rule 
    without change.
    Patrick F. Kennedy,
    Under Secretary for Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-02576 Filed 2-8-16; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 4710-13-P
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