*The passport fees have recently changed. As of April 2nd, 2018, the passport acceptance fee has gone up from $25 to $35.
US citizens born to midwives near the US-Mexican border will get a chance to get new passports next month by applying at special mobile units set up by the Department of State. The mobile units are being set up as part of the settlement for a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of American citizens who were born at home to midwives near the border.
Because the government suspected some midwives of fraudulently issuing American birth certificates to children born in Mexico, many citizens who had lived their entire lives as US citizens were unable to get a passport.
Now, “certified class members” who have birth certificates signed by midwives, applied for a new passport between April 8, 2003 and Aug. 14, 2009 and had their applications “”filed without further action, “abandoned” or “closed” will be able to reapply for a new passport free of charge. In order to apply at one of the special sites, you will need to have the Department of State verify that you are indeed a certified class member. You can request to be certified as a member of the class here. Getting verified can take up to 4 weeks, but the Brownsville Herald is reporting that it is often much faster.
The mobile units will be set up in the following Texas cities from May 18th to May 23rd: Laredo, San Antonio, El Paso, McAllen, San Antonio, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Brownsville. For more details, please see the Department of State’s website (link above).
If you qualify as a member of the class, you can reapply without having to pay an application fee. If you apply at one of the sites listed above or at a Regional Passport Agency office, you will also be exempt from paying the $25 execution fee. However, if you resubmit your passport application at an acceptance facility (like your local post office), you will have to pay the $25.00 execution fee.
Getting a new passport generally takes about 6 weeks if you apply with regular processing and about 3 weeks if you apply using the government’s expedited service. Need it faster? RushMyPassport can submit your passport application directly to the Department of State, resulting in processing times as low as 24 hours.