Federal authorities have partly canceled the “Passport Day in the USA” that was scheduled for Saturday, March 9, including at the Seattle Passport Agency in downtown Seattle. It was designed to make passport applications easier, especially for families since applications must be made in person for children under 16. No appointments would have been required at the Seattle Passport Agency (they’re usually necessary) and staff would have been on hand to help with applications.
Trip Atkins, of the federal Seattle Passport Agency, said the decision to cancel Passport Day at the federal agency in Seattle (and about two dozen other federal passport offices nationwide) was made Wednesday, but that city offices and neighborhood service centers that had scheduled March 9 openings in tandem with Passport Day could still continue. Passport applicants can check directly with those offices — get contact information for places throughout the Seattle area and Washington state that were scheduled to be part of Passport Day (although the web page was having difficulties Wednesday afternoon).
John Whitely, a State Department spokesman in Washington, D.C., confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Passport Day was canceled at federal offices. But he could not confirm if it was because of the sequestration threat, the harsh automatic spending cuts in federal agencies’ budgets that will take effect Friday if a deal isn’t reached in Congress.