October 26, 2009Washington, DC
On August 14, 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas approved the Settlement Agreement in Castelano, et al. v. Clinton, et al. This settlement may affect individuals whose births were registered by a midwife or birth attendant in Texas and who applied for a U.S. passport in the United States between April 8, 2003 and August 14, 2009, and did not receive a passport. The Agreement requires the Department of State to provide Class Members an opportunity to reapply under new procedures without paying the passport application fee. During November 2009, the Department will be accepting fee-free applications at special Castelano Class Member passport acceptance events in Brownsville, Harlingen, Eagle Pass, McAllen, Laredo, El Paso and Del Rio. The verification process and specific information regarding these special Castelano Class Member passport acceptance events can be found at www.travel.state.gov/passport.Class Members must be verified and receive a verification letter before filing a fee-free application at one of the special passport acceptance events. Fee-free applications will not be accepted unless they are accompanied by a letter from the Department of State confirming formal verification of class membership. To be identified as a class member, potential class members will need to provide their full name, date of birth, place of birth, current address, last four numbers of their social security number, approximate date of their application, and their mother’s full name to the State Department. There are two ways to submit this information: electronically by going to www.travel.state.gov/passport or in writing by mailing the information to: U.S. State Department/Charleston Passport Center, 1269 Holland Street, Building 643, Charleston, South Carolina 29405-2604If possible, mail registrations should include a copy of the letter from the passport agency advising that the earlier application was filed without further action or closed. The verification process can take up to four weeks, so verification requests should be submitted well ahead of the special Castelano Class member passport acceptance event.