Signing passport applications

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 47 , No. 9 , November 2005 , Pages 474 Letters

I am writing in response to Dr Ralph Jones’ letter published in the July/August issue of the BCMJ (2005;47[6]:282).

Two years ago the passport office in Richmond called and told me that the key word when signing a patient’s passport is “personally.” I asked what defines “personally” and was told that a 2-year doctor-patient relationship is not enough; you must know the applicant on a personal basis and be familiar with things such as his or her work, house and home, hobbies, etc. Also, by signing the passport application, you are liable for all the answers on it.

Since I do not know my patients personally, I no longer sign their passport applications. I now advise them to go to a notary public and pay a fee of $30.

—Simon Shiu, MD

. Signing passport applications. BCMJ, Vol. 47, No. 9, November, 2005, Page(s) 474 - Letters.

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