Bennet Urges Department of State to Waive Fees for Reissuing Passports Lost In the Marshall Fire

Following Bennet’s Request Earlier This Month, USCIS Announced That It Would Waive Fees for Replacing Documents Lost in the Fire, Such As Visas and Green Cards

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet wrote a letter to Rachel Arndt, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services, requesting that the Department of State waive fees for reissuing passports that were lost in the Marshall Fire. 

“On December 30, 2021, the Marshall Fire devastated communities in the towns of Superior and Louisville and other parts of unincorporated Boulder County in Colorado, destroying or damaging nearly 1,300 homes and structures,” wrote Bennet. “As families recover from losing their physical belongings, including government issued identification, I ask you to waive the fees required to reissue passports that were lost during the Marshall Fire to aid victims in their recovery.”

Earlier this month, Bennet asked U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to waive fees for replacing important documents, such as visas and green cards. On January 10, USCIS announced that it would waive fees associated with reissuing documents.

On January 12, 2022, USCIS released an alert that fee waivers, and other services, would be made available to victims of the Marshall Fire. Fire victims who have lost passports, military discharge papers, Medicare or social security cards in the fire can also contact Bennet’s office for help obtaining replacements. 

A full list of up-to-date resources available to victims of the Marshall Fire — including mental and behavioral health care resources, free telehealth care resources, insurance information, how to replace lost documents, updated IRS deadlines, information on applying for FEMA assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration assistance, and disaster unemployment assistance — is available HERE

The text of the letter is available HERE and below. 

Dear Deputy Assistant Secretary Arndt:

On December 30, 2021, the Marshall Fire devastated communities in the towns of Superior and Louisville and other parts of unincorporated Boulder County in Colorado, destroying or damaging nearly 1,300 homes and structures. As families recover from losing their physical belongings, including government issued identification, I ask you to waive the fees required to reissue passports that were lost during the Marshall Fire to aid victims in their recovery.

Ahead of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden’s visit to survey the damage on January 7, 2022, I asked U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to waive fees for replacing important documents, such as visas and green cards. USCIS assured me that it would waive fees, and quickly followed up with an application that could be utilized while the agency updated its policy. I ask that you follow USCIS’s lead and update your policy to waive costs associated with the replacement of passports lost or destroyed in the Marshall Fire. I also request that you provide me with an assurance of this waiver by Monday, January 24, 2022, to quickly support the victims.

Should you have any questions or if you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact Santiago Gonzalez in my office at Santiago_Gonzalez@bennet.senate.gov.

Sincerely,