7 FAM 040 

Smart Traveler Enrollment OF U.S. CITIZENS

(CT:CON-834;   08-24-2018)
(Office of Origin:  CA/OCS)


(CT:CON-344;   11-09-2010)

a. U.S. citizens may enroll in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Enrollment is highly recommended; it is voluntary, however, not mandatory.

b. We encourage enrollment so that we may contact U.S. citizens in an evacuation or other emergency, to support the Department's efforts to protect U.S. nationals abroad.

c.  Release of information obtained in this collection is subject to and restricted by the provisions of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a).  See 7 FAM 060 regarding the Privacy Act and American Citizens Services work.

d. U.S. non-citizen nationals may also use STEP.


(CT:CON-407;   06-29-2012)

The authority for the Department of State to enroll citizens is derived from:

(1)  22 U.S.C. 2715 Procedures Regarding Major Disasters And Incidents Abroad Affecting United States Citizens, which provides:

22 U.S.C. 2715

(a) Authority:  In the case of a major disaster or incident abroad which affects the health and safety of citizens of the United States residing or traveling abroad, the Secretary of State shall provide prompt and thorough notification of all appropriate information concerning such disaster or incident and its effect on United States citizens to the next-of-kin of such individuals.

(2)  22 U.S.C. 4802 Responsibility of Secretary of State, Subsection (b) Overseas Evacuations, which provides:

22 U.S.C. 4802

“(b) Overseas Evacuations

“The Secretary of State shall develop and implement policies and programs to provide for the safe and efficient evacuation of United States Government personnel, dependents, and private United States citizens when their lives are endangered.  Such policies shall include measures to identify high risk areas where evacuation may be necessary and, where appropriate, providing staff to United States Government missions abroad to assist in those evacuations.  In carrying out these responsibilities, the Secretary shall—

“(2) develop a mechanism whereby United States citizens can voluntarily request to be placed on a list in order to be contacted in the event of an evacuation, or which, in the event of an evacuation, can maintain information on the location of United States citizens in high risk areas submitted by their relatives; and

“(4) develop a plan for coordinating communications between embassy staff, Department of State personnel, and families of United States citizens abroad regarding the whereabouts of those citizens.”

(3)  22 CFR 50.3 which provides:

22 CFR 50.3

“(a) A person abroad who claims U.S. nationality, or a representative on his behalf, may apply at a consular post for registration … to make his residence in the particular consular area a matter of record.”


(CT:CON-344;   11-09-2010)

a. Enrollment in STEP is not a confirmation of U.S. citizenship.  Whether the individual enrolls using the Internet-based Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (see 7 FAM 044) or registers by fax, phone or e-mail, or in person (see 7 FAM 045), the purpose of that enrollment is to assist in emergency evacuation planning and to enable U.S. embassies and consulates and the Department of State to contact registrants abroad in the event of other emergencies.  STEP, as a self-enrollment program, is not proof of citizenship and makes no distinction between U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizen residents.

b. The Form DS-11 and Form DS-82 passport applications are no longer used for registration of U.S. citizenship.  Anyone wishing to establish a claim to U.S. citizenship or U.S. non-citizen national status must pursue that through separate channels such as by applying for a U.S. passport at any passport issuing office, for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States (Application Form DS-2029) at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, or for a certificate of citizenship from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.  22 CFR 50.3 Application for Registration and 22 CFR 50.9 Card of Identity are being amended.

c.  Consult 7 FAM 1100 Appendix H, Miscellaneous Citizenship and Nationality Related Certificates and Other Documents, for guidance about certificates and cards of registration previously which are no longer issued.


(CT:CON-834;   08-24-2018)

a. Consular Affairs' Internet-based Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (formerly called the Internet Based Registration System (IBRS)) is available to the public, and has replaced all post-maintained American citizen registration Web sites.

b. What is STEP?  STEP is a central Internet site linked to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet Registration site where U.S. citizens residing or traveling abroad can enroll themselves on-line using an OMB-approved electronic Form DS-4024 that includes an optional Privacy Act waiver. The system includes the creation of country-specific and post-specific email lists that registrants can join to receive, via email, updates to Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and Travel Advisories specific to the countries they choose.  Registration records of travelers will be available to the relevant overseas posts American Citizens Services Registration service.  See 7 FAM 070 for guidance about American Liaison Networks.

c.  The STEP site will allow both short- and long-term travelers abroad to provide their itinerary, residence, and emergency contact information. Organizations such as travel agencies or firms with employees overseas may also enter information on their clients or staff.  This will help consular officers contact U.S. citizens in their country to relay emergency messages.  Posts will be able to print out reports in the Consular Consolidated Data Base (CCD) such as STEP statistics, STEP registrant contact lists, and STEP e-mail lists from which they can send mass e-mails.

d. What else does STEP have to offer?  ACS and STEP are secure systems that actively share information.  Consular staff no longer maintain post-developed Citizen Liaison Volunteer automated systems.  The interchange of information between STEP and ACS allows consular staff to respond more effectively and rapidly to requests for assistance, to efficiently provide information to populations of American travelers and residents abroad, and to customize data and reports to posts’ and CA's specific needs.

e. How secure is American citizen data on STEP?  While the STEP Internet site uses secure encryption to safeguard privacy and therefore any unauthorized interception by third parties via the Internet is unlikely, the Department of State is not liable for any such interception.  This is stated in the STEP site itself.  We have taken great care to ensure that the STEP system is secure and that private citizens' data stored in our consular database cannot be accessed by unauthorized users.  To provide both security and privacy, all data transmissions on the Internet with public users are encrypted using secure Internet protocols.  The components of STEP that are used by U.S. citizens via the Internet are completely separated from the components of STEP used by State Department personnel via the State Department Intranet. A series of firewalls are utilized to ensure that no access can originate from the Internet to any of the Intranet components. Personal information provided by the public is stored behind the firewalls on internal State Department-controlled servers.

f.  For guidance about the continued use of American Liaison Networks see 7 FAM 070.


(CT:CON-344;   11-09-2010)

a. The Department (CA/OCS) understands that not everyone has access to the Internet, and that there are individuals who will contact U.S. embassies and consulates abroad to register by e-mail, phone, fax, or in person so that they may be contacted in the event of an emergency.

b. Accordingly, we developed a paper version of Form DS-4024, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which posts can use to assist these individuals.  This form is available on the Department of State Bureau of Administration Forms Intranet page and on the Department of State Internet forms page.

c.  The data must then be keyed into the STEP system by post.  Posts with personal computers in their lobbies may allow citizens to self-register on STEP directly.


(CT:CON-279;   01-27-2009)

a. The practice of registering U.S. citizens abroad is first mentioned in consular regulation 172 of 1880.

See the CAWeb Intranet Registration of Nationals feature for a copy of consular regulation 172 of 1880.

b. April 8, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt issued an Executive Order amending paragraph 172 of consular regulations.

See the CAWeb Intranet Registration of Nationals for a copy of the Executive Order of April 8, 1907 and consular instruction of April 19, 1907 Registration of American Citizens.

c.  On September 28, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued Executive Order 2461 amending consular regulations 172 on registration.

See the CAWeb Intranet Registration of Nationals feature for a copy of Executive Order 2461 and General Instruction No. 483 Consular Registration of American Citizens.

d. On July 11, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8820 regarding registration of nationals.

See the CAWeb Intranet Registration of Nationals feature for a copy of Executive Order 8820.

e. On August 5, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11295, 31 Federal Register 14521 November 11, 1966) superseding Executive Order 8820.

f.  In 1968, State Airgram CA-7688 provided the first instruction to U.S. embassies and consulates abroad regarding preparation of the Emergency and Evacuation Estimated Number of Potential Evacuees report known as the F-77 Report of Potential Evacuees.  See 12 FAH 1 H-295.

See CAWeb Intranet, Guidance and Reference, Historical Index Registration.

7 FAM 047 through 049  UNASSIGNED