As reported in a previous edition of the LOG, U.S. citizen seamen working on board a U.S.-flag vessel are eligible to receive a no-fee U.S. passport. The regular fee to obtain a passport is $110. This no-fee passport may only be used for travel related to your job as a merchant mariner on a U.S.-flag vessel. If you travel overseas for personal reasons, you will still need a regular passport.
A no-fee passport must be obtained from the Special Issuance Agency. You must submit a letter from your employer, certifying that you are working on board a U.S.-flag vessel; as well as a copy of your merchant mariner credential. These documents, along with the passport application, should be mailed to the following address: U.S. Department of State, Special Issuance Agency, 44132 Mercure Cir, PO Box 1185, Sterling, VA 20166-1185
You should allow five to six weeks to receive your passport, although your employer can request that the passport be expedited if necessary. If you have any questions, you may contact the Special Issuance Agency at 202-485-8200.
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