November 16, 2017

Harris, Feinstein Request State Department Waive Passport Replacement Fees for Californians Impacted by Wildfires

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to waive passport replacement fees for Californians impacted by the devastating wildfires.

“We write on behalf of the Californians whose passports have been lost, damaged, or destroyed by the spate of wildfires that devastated our state in October,” the senators wrote. “We respectfully request that you issue clear guidance in order to waive passport replacement fees for all impacted Californians.”

The senators continued, “To lessen the burden on those seeking to rebuild their lives, we respectfully request that you exercise your discretion and issue clear guidance as specified under 22 CFR 51.52 (4) to waive all passport replacement fees for those Californians whose passports were lost, damaged, or destroyed by the fires. “

A copy of the letter is available here and below:

November 16, 2017

The Honorable Rex Wayne Tillerson
Secretary of State
2150 C Street, NW
Washington DC, 20159

Dear Secretary Tillerson:

We write on behalf of the Californians whose passports have been lost, damaged, or destroyed by the spate of wildfires that devastated our state in October. We respectfully request that you issue clear guidance in order to waive passport replacement fees for all impacted Californians.

In recent weeks, wildfires displaced 100,000 Californians, burned more than 245,000 acres of land, and destroyed 8,900 homes and structures. Now that the fires are contained, recovery efforts are underway and Californians must reconstruct their entire lives. This, as you can imagine, is emotionally taxing and logistically overwhelming.

We thank the Department for waiving File Search Fees and for expediting the reissuance of passports for our constituents who were traveling abroad soon after the fire. To lessen the burden on those seeking to rebuild their lives, we respectfully request that you exercise your discretion and issue clear guidance as specified under 22 CFR 51.52 (4) to waive all passport replacement fees for those Californians whose passports were lost, damaged, or destroyed by the fires. 

We appreciate your Department’s assistance to our constituents during this difficult time. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

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