State Department Press Release Reveals “Unique Identifier” for Passports

The U.S. State Department issued a press release on Friday, October 27, that revealed both the wording and placement of a “unique identifier” to be added to the passports of some, but not all, registrants.    According to that press release, the language “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(1)” will be printed on the inside back cover of new passports issued to those convicted of a sex offense involving a minor and currently required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction.

“It appears that the State Department press release may be in violation of federal law which requires agencies to issue regulations before making decisions such as the language and placement of a unique identifier on a registrant’s passport,” stated Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “Additional research is required before a determination can be made about whether and how to legally challenge the State Department’s press release.”

The issue of a “unique identifier” for passports was initiated in the International Megan’s Law (IML), passed by Congress and signed by the President in February 2016.  The IML requires the Secretary of State to add a “unique identifier” to newly issued passports for some, but not all, registrants.  In addition, the IML allows, but does not require, the Secretary of State to revoke existing passports that do not contain a “unique identifier”.

The IML was challenged in federal district court in California in February 2016.  In that case, the judge denied the request of seven plaintiffs to issue a Preliminary Injunction which could have stopped implementation of the IML.  The seven plaintiffs included husbands of women who live in countries where they were denied entry, businessmen and the son of a man who lives in Iraq and would be killed if identified in that country as a registrant.  The judge later granted the federal government’s motion to dismiss the case.

The Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq., requires agencies to issue regulations prior to implementing a new law.  Normally, this process requires the issuance of proposed regulations followed by a public comment period and then issuance of a final regulation.  Under extraordinary circumstances, an agency is allowed to issue a final regulation without first issuing a proposed rule and considering public comments.  The State Department claimed extraordinary circumstances and issued a final regulation on September 2, 2016.  The agency’s regulation, however, did not address the issue of a “unique identifier” for passports but instead focused upon the notification provisions of the IML.  After the State Department issued its IML regulation, ACSOL submitted a formal petition to that regulation on September 8, 2016.

“The ACSOL board of directors will conduct a meeting on November 4 to discuss this important matter,” stated Bellucci.  “The board will announce the results of its meeting no later than November 6.”

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This morning I heard a news snippet on the radio about the Scarlet Letter. The State Department was quoted as saying it doesn’t prevent anyone from leaving the country, and does not invalidate one’s passport. Therein lies the sneaky, duplicitous truth about IML and the designator. The Government throws up its hands and says, “we’re not stopping anyone from leaving, we’re just stating facts and letting other sovereigns decide their courses of action.” We all know that’s rubbish.

This concept made me think about the wording of both the designator and Green Notices in the framework of CT DPS. Not only is there no “dangerousness not determined” waiver attached to either of these items, but the Green Notice specifically *states* dangerousness, despite no proof of such.

Green Notices sent by USG would seem to violate what SCOTUS used to excuse CT DPS. That the Government is saying such to foreign, versus domestic, entities shouldn’t matter, especially since they are doing so before I’ve left US soil–meaning my Constitutional rights are not at all diminished by being out of country. Perhaps attacking Green Notices isn’t to be done at the point of refusal by sovereigns, but at point of issue by USG. One could go through all the IML steps, ping Interpol for one’s records, then not travel.

IMO, the designator is more visible, but somewhat less prejudicial than the Green Notice, and it still does not address the dangeroussness of the traveler. What makes the designator problematic is that its effects and results don’t kick in until already at a foreign border control point. The only way I could see to combat that would be to apply for a visa from an embassy or consulate while still on US soil, and await the refusal. By so doing, one is able to separate the person from the passport (and save some time and money on the wasted travel–and would isolate the designator from the Green Notice, thus avoiding obfuscation of the issue.

Great News! I support this and Static 99!! Let’s protect our children!!!

If I remember correctly I think USA stated he is a former law enforcement. Sure seems to have that mentality…SAD….Sexual battery, reduced, or expunged..Still worse than a lot of so called child offenders who never forced anyone to do anything against their will.

There is so much redundancy of information crossing borders. The notation on the back page, for that purpose, is pretty symbolic. The problem is that it also communicates our status to anyone else we present our passport to, such as hotels or banks (necessary when banking outside of the U.S.). The RFID may or may not contain offender status. It’s certainly in their power to do so, but it’s hardly necessary. As I’ve noted before, I see multiple avenues towards giving border agents our status: 21 day advance notice disseminated on a per-trip basis by the U.S. Angel Watch, continuous criminal record information on INTERPOL provided to them by the U.S. and which is available to 190 countries at border crossings, the passenger name record (PNR) which alerts the U.S. when a Registrant has booked a flight and which it will then forward to destination countries, any third-party databases which countries might have access to (and this could well be the federal sex offender website), and now the passport, itself.

We’re so dangerous that they need all of this redundancy, apparently.

Very sad! I think Mike R just hit it on the nail!
I.e.: ..Still worse than a lot of so called child offenders who never forced anyone to do anything against their will.


Basically, this codification for the Yellow Star was the trigger that essentially invalidates the state’s original victory because at the time of the case, no passport markings were currently present. Now that they have been codified, the case should be brought up, preferably with an accelerated schedule because of the basis of the original decision.

Will a new $175 cost be assessed on the revocation/reissue of passports? That’s another consideration and fact that can be thrown into the punitive mix.

Does this apply to everyone that has to register? Or anyone on the National Sex Offender Registry?

I have never been listed on Megan’s website and my only conviction was a sexual battery misdemeanor.

Was planning on traveling to Europe in the next year but this could put a dent in my plans.

What sense does it make for registered citizens to go through the notification process and the unique identifier for travel, only to find out later when they arrive at a foreign destination that they can’t be allowed in, sent back and given extra scrutiny and has to explain to CBP at US Customs inspection about being sent back and their past conviction, while officials in the media are saying that registrants are not being prevented from traveling? These officials are in denial that nothing bad is going to happen and ignoring the problem.

KCAL Channel 9 LA reported at 930pm today that the state department is RECALLING passports of all RSO’s (good luck ! they send me a letter asking for mine back… its going into the TRASH !!)

USA, your sooo right!

Whose trying to use my moniker? I never agree with USA, he has never been constructive but has always seen everything as it affects him. Love how everyone just ignores his B.S. I am trying but it isn’t easy when there is so much ammo….

Please don’t feed the animals.

great response AJ…

“The distinction intolerable” Brown V BOE. If no liberty at stake who would complain?
J.P. Stevens.

I truly agree with USA! The new passport law rocks!

I have a question, what happens if you decided not to get the new passport with the unique identifier and not travel period, and will there be a new law in the future that passports are mandatory for traveling domestically as well as traveling internationally? Hopefully my question is understood.

Is it possible to have a protest against the IML and the unique identifier again like last year?

“The oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”

I believe that we must continue to travel even if with a marked passport until physically unable to travel any longer. I intend to travel until the government’s actions against me physically stops me from travelling abroad. Allowing myself to be psychologically prevented from travel would mean that I succumb to the predisposed state that the government has intended with this unconstitutional policy. Until relief comes, as unfortunate as it might be, some of us will likely suffer harm.

I have been deported /blacklisted three times now and it is a brutal process. I was blacklisted in my wife’s country for over a year. The blacklist order was overcome after my wife and I legally challenged it in her country. We prevailed when the facts of my case and my purpose for travelling to my wife’s country were actually looked at by the immigration court. We were denied several times before they actually looked at the evidence submitted. It was absolutely necessary to get back up, stand up for the truth and stand for myself. These challenges have been my own acts of civil disobedience against the US government.

It is utterly appalling that our government can, without any due process, broadcast to other foreign countries that we are a threat to its citizens and that we are likely to commit a future crime when indeed this is not true. Our government, without any factual data, can link us to child sex tourism abroad when we know this to be an outright false association.

I feel strongly that we will prevail against the government in time. The truth – being facts and data – are on our side. Also on our side is the changing tide as witnessed by some recent positive court decisions and many positive media articles.

I have concerns as I live overseas. They have my address here but I was told prior that the government would not mail anything outside of the US. So the only way to know if my passport is one of those affected is to constantly contact the US embassy here and as stated prior by another person this action(revoking my passport) could in turn make me an illegal alien and subject to arrest even though I have a visa and working permit here.

If that isn’t limiting travel other than straight up revoking my freedom I don’t know what is.

This is a very slippery slope. If the people let the government get away with this the US should kiss any freedoms it has goodbye. I learned growing up that the constitution says if we find the government unjust to overthrow it. But now to even do that is illegal. The whole system of the current government is unconstitutional in a sense

OK Mike r, it is obvious you are crazy by your comment, so why don’t you stop using my moniker( in case you don’t know what that word means, “screen name” “Internet Identifier”)???Wow takes all kinds….

SOS …Same Old Sh.. There is no thinking involved with this new law, as with most of the sex offense laws. It is punishing someone for a crime that has not yet been committed. If someone is abusing a child then then lock them up, don’t punish someone for what they might do.
Actually I am surprised they didn’t apply this to people convicted of adult crimes as well.
At least they made this distinction. Usually any person that has been convinced of any type of sex crime is thrown into the same category.

There are so many laws/ordinances on the books that includes those convicted of harming an adult, with laws directed at those that harmed a child. The profile of these offenders are apples and oranges.