* Busybody Alert: State Department wants to know all your former addresses and employers before handing out a passport.
The State Department is proposing a new "Biographical Questionnaire" for certain passport applicants. Exactly who, it's not specifying.
"The proposed new Form DS-5513," writes Edward Hasbrouck at the Consumer Traveler blog, "asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers' and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother's address one year prior to your birth; any 'religious ceremony' around the time of birth; and a variety of other information."
The Federal Register notice is here The questionnaire was not posted in the Federal Register, but State did give it up on request to the Identity Project. See it here
Evidently, if you were born in the United States, your birth was "recorded within one year of the date your birth occurred" and you were "born in a medical facility," you don't have to answer the questions about where your mother lived a year before you were born, or what "religious ceremony" took place around the time of your birth.
But everyone given this form would have to provide all previous addresses, all schools attended and all previous employers, including names of supervisors and telephone numbers. (What if you're in your 50s now and you can't remember who hired you as a soda jerk when you were 16? Or you can remember, but the business is long gone and the guy who hired you died in 1993? No passport for you?)
"The State Department estimated," writes Mr. Hasbrouck, "that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form."
And of course, everything you put on the form you do "under penalty of perjury."