Representative Nita Lowey

Representing the 17th District of New York

Lowey Demands Answers from USPS on Loss of 20 Passport Applications in Tappan

May 30, 2018
Press Release

TAPPAN, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester) today demanded that the United States Postal Service (USPS) explain and remedy the causes of the loss of 20 passport applications in Tappan, responding to a complaint from a constituent that was subsequently confirmed by the Connecticut Passport Agency and the Postal Service.

“The loss of these passport applications points to further failures from the Postal Service, which over the past year have threatened the livelihoods and financial security of thousands of Hudson Valley residents by mishandling sensitive mail,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “The inability or unwillingness of the Postal Service to acknowledge the scope of its problems and to implement meaningful changes is unacceptable, and further erodes customer confidence in mail delivery. It’s time the Postal Service is held accountable.”

A Rockland County resident informed Congresswoman Lowey’s office that the Connecticut Passport Agency in Stamford, CT, told him that his daughter’s passport application was among 20 applications lost in the mail following an April 20 passport event at the Tappan Post Office.

After the matter was brought to the attention of Lowey’s office, the congresswoman’s staff contacted the Connecticut Passport Agency and federal postal officials to inquire into the causes of the lost applications and plans for assisting affected individuals.

The Connecticut Passport Agency confirmed to Lowey’s office that it never received the applications and informed the office that it is making emergency appointments for every case, immediately issuing passports, and reimbursing applicants. Constituents who may have been affected should contact their local postmaster or Congresswoman Lowey’s office for assistance to ensure their passport applications are processed.  

“We apologize to those 20 customers who entrusted their passport applications to our care,” said U.S. Postal Service – Westchester District Manager, Richard R. Conte. “Last year the U.S. Postal Service handled 6.5 million applications and this isolated incident is not an example of the service we wish to provide. Ongoing, extraordinary efforts are being made to identify the cause and locate the missing passport applications which were contained in 3 of 13 packages mailed on this date as a result of this customer program. We remain committed to resolving this service anomaly.”

Congresswoman Lowey has been in frequent contact with USPS to resolve issues facing residents and to put pressure on the Postal Service to address its ongoing failures, most recently joining fellow New York congressional delegation members in sending a letter to United States Postmaster General Megan Brennan calling for the Postal Service to address theft of mail across the Hudson Valley.