U.S Code last checked for updates: May 27, 2024
§ 653.
Federal Parent Locator Service
(a)
Establishment; purpose
(1)
The Secretary shall establish and conduct a Federal Parent Locator Service, under the direction of the designee of the Secretary referred to in section 652(a) of this title, which shall be used for the purposes specified in paragraphs (2) and (3).
(2)
For the purpose of establishing parentage or establishing, setting the amount of, modifying, or enforcing child support obligations, the Federal Parent Locator Service shall obtain and transmit to any authorized person specified in subsection (c)—
(A)
information on, or facilitating the discovery of, the location of any individual—
(i)
who is under an obligation to pay child support;
(ii)
against whom such an obligation is sought;
(iii)
to whom such an obligation is owed; or
(iv)
who has or may have parental rights with respect to a child,
including the individual’s social security number (or numbers), most recent address, and the name, address, and employer identification number of the individual’s employer;
(B)
information on the individual’s wages (or other income) from, and benefits of, employment (including rights to or enrollment in group health care coverage); and
(C)
information on the type, status, location, and amount of any assets of, or debts owed by or to, any such individual.
(3)
For the purpose of enforcing any Federal or State law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child, or making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination, as defined in section 663(d)(1) of this title, the Federal Parent Locator Service shall be used to obtain and transmit the information specified in section 663(c) of this title to the authorized persons specified in section 663(d)(2) of this title.
(b)
Disclosure of information to authorized persons
(1)
Upon request, filed in accordance with subsection (d), of any authorized person, as defined in subsection (c) for the information described in subsection (a)(2), or of any authorized person, as defined in section 663(d)(2) of this title for the information described in section 663(c) of this title, the Secretary shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, provide through the Federal Parent Locator Service such information to such person, if such information—
(A)
is contained in any files or records maintained by the Secretary or by the Department of Health and Human Services; or
(B)
is not contained in such files or records, but can be obtained by the Secretary, under the authority conferred by subsection (e), from any other department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or of any State,
and is not prohibited from disclosure under paragraph (2).
(2)
No information shall be disclosed to any person if the disclosure of such information would contravene the national policy or security interests of the United States or the confidentiality of census data. The Secretary shall give priority to requests made by any authorized person described in subsection (c)(1). No information shall be disclosed to any person if the State has notified the Secretary that the State has reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse and the disclosure of such information could be harmful to the custodial parent or the child of such parent, provided that—
(A)
in response to a request from an authorized person (as defined in subsection (c) of this section and section 663(d)(2) of this title), the Secretary shall advise the authorized person that the Secretary has been notified that there is reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse and that information can only be disclosed to a court or an agent of a court pursuant to subparagraph (B); and
(B)
information may be disclosed to a court or an agent of a court described in subsection (c)(2) of this section or section 663(d)(2)(B) of this title, if—
(i)
upon receipt of information from the Secretary, the court determines whether disclosure to any other person of that information could be harmful to the parent or the child; and
(ii)
if the court determines that disclosure of such information to any other person could be harmful, the court and its agents shall not make any such disclosure.
(3)
Information received or transmitted pursuant to this section shall be subject to the safeguard provisions contained in section 654(26) of this title.
(c)
“Authorized person” defined
As used in subsection (a), the term “authorized person” means—
(1)
any agent or attorney of any State or Indian tribe or tribal organization (as defined in subsections (e) and (l) of section 5304 of title 25), having in effect a plan approved under this part, who has the duty or authority under such plans to seek to recover any amounts owed as child and spousal support (including, when authorized under the State plan, any official of a political subdivision);
(2)
the court which has authority to issue an order or to serve as the initiating court in an action to seek an order against a noncustodial parent for the support and maintenance of a child, or any agent of such court;
(3)
the resident parent, legal guardian, attorney, or agent of a child (other than a child receiving assistance under a State program funded under part A) (as determined by regulations prescribed by the Secretary) without regard to the existence of a court order against a noncustodial parent who has a duty to support and maintain any such child;
(4)
a State agency that is administering a program operated under a State plan under subpart 1 of part B, or a State plan approved under subpart 2 of part B or under part E; and
(5)
an entity designated as a Central Authority for child support enforcement in a foreign reciprocating country or a foreign treaty country for purposes specified in section 659a(c)(2) of this title.
(d)
Form and manner of request for information
(e)
Compliance with request; search of files and records by head of any department, etc., of United States; transmittal of information to Secretary; reimbursement for cost of search; fees
(1)
Whenever the Secretary receives a request submitted under subsection (b) which he is reasonably satisfied meets the criteria established by subsections (a), (b), and (c), he shall promptly undertake to provide the information requested from the files and records maintained by any of the departments, agencies, or instrumentalities of the United States or of any State.
(2)
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever the individual who is the head of any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States receives a request from the Secretary for information authorized to be provided by the Secretary under this section, such individual shall promptly cause a search to be made of the files and records maintained by such department, agency, or instrumentality with a view to determining whether the information requested is contained in any such files or records. If such search discloses the information requested, such individual shall immediately transmit such information to the Secretary, except that if any information is obtained the disclosure of which would contravene national policy or security interests of the United States or the confidentiality of census data, such information shall not be transmitted and such individual shall immediately notify the Secretary. If such search fails to disclose the information requested, such individual shall immediately so notify the Secretary. The costs incurred by any such department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or of any State in providing such information to the Secretary shall be reimbursed by him in an amount which the Secretary determines to be reasonable payment for the information exchange (which amount shall not include payment for the costs of obtaining, compiling, or maintaining the information). Whenever such services are furnished to an individual specified in subsection (c)(3), a fee shall be charged such individual. The fee so charged shall be used to reimburse the Secretary or his delegate for the expense of providing such services.
(3)
The Secretary of Labor shall enter into an agreement with the Secretary to provide prompt access for the Secretary (in accordance with this subsection) to the wage and unemployment compensation claims information and data maintained by or for the Department of Labor or State employment security agencies.
(f)
Arrangements and cooperation with State and tribal agencies
(g)
Reimbursement for reports by State agencies
(h)
Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders
(1)
In general
(2)
Case and order information
(3)
Administration of Federal tax laws
(i)
National Directory of New Hires
(1)
In general
(2)
Data entry and deletion requirements
(A)
In general
(B)
12-month limit on access to wage and unemployment compensation information
(C)
Retention of data for research purposes
(3)
Administration of Federal tax laws
(4)
List of multistate employers
(j)
Information comparisons and other disclosures
(1)
Verification by Social Security Administration
(A)
In general
(B)
Verification by SSA
The Social Security Administration shall verify the accuracy of, correct, or supply to the extent possible, and report to the Secretary, the following information supplied by the Secretary pursuant to subparagraph (A):
(i)
The name, social security number, and birth date of each such individual.
(ii)
The employer identification number of each such employer.
(2)
Information comparisons
For the purpose of locating individuals in a paternity establishment case or a case involving the establishment, modification, or enforcement of a support order, the Secretary shall—
(A)
compare information in the National Directory of New Hires against information in the support case abstracts in the Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders not less often than every 2 business days; and
(B)
within 2 business days after such a comparison reveals a match with respect to an individual, report the information to the State agency responsible for the case.
(3)
Information comparisons and disclosures of information in all registries for subchapter IV program purposes
To the extent and with the frequency that the Secretary determines to be effective in assisting States to carry out their responsibilities under programs operated under this part, part B, or part E and programs funded under part A, the Secretary shall—
(A)
compare the information in each component of the Federal Parent Locator Service maintained under this section against the information in each other such component (other than the comparison required by paragraph (2)), and report instances in which such a comparison reveals a match with respect to an individual to State agencies operating such programs; and
(B)
disclose information in such components to such State agencies.
(4)
Provision of new hire information to the Social Security Administration
(5)
Research
(6)
Information comparisons and disclosure for enforcement of obligations on Higher Education Act loans and grants
(A)
Furnishing of information by the Secretary of Education
The Secretary of Education shall furnish to the Secretary, on a quarterly basis or at such less frequent intervals as may be determined by the Secretary of Education, information in the custody of the Secretary of Education for comparison with information in the National Directory of New Hires, in order to obtain the information in such directory with respect to individuals who—
(i)
are borrowers of loans made under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.] that are in default; or
(ii)
owe an obligation to refund an overpayment of a grant awarded under such title.
(B)
Requirement to seek minimum information necessary
(C)
Duties of the Secretary
(i)
Information comparison; disclosure to the Secretary of Education
(ii)
Condition on disclosure
(D)
Use of information by the Secretary of Education
The Secretary of Education may use information resulting from a data match pursuant to this paragraph only—
(i)
for the purpose of collection of the debt described in subparagraph (A) owed by an individual whose annualized wage level (determined by taking into consideration information from the National Directory of New Hires) exceeds $16,000; and
(ii)
after removal of personal identifiers, to conduct analyses of student loan defaults.
(E)
Disclosure of information by the Secretary of Education
(i)
Disclosures permitted
The Secretary of Education may disclose information resulting from a data match pursuant to this paragraph only to—
(I)
a guaranty agency holding a loan made under part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1071 et seq.] on which the individual is obligated;
(II)
a contractor or agent of the guaranty agency described in subclause (I);
(III)
a contractor or agent of the Secretary; and
(IV)
the Attorney General.
(ii)
Purpose of disclosure
(iii)
Restriction on redisclosure
(F)
Reimbursement of HHS costs
(7)
Information comparisons for housing assistance programs
(A)
Furnishing of information by HUD
Subject to subparagraph (G), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall furnish to the Secretary, on such periodic basis as determined by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in consultation with the Secretary, information in the custody of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for comparison with information in the National Directory of New Hires, in order to obtain information in such Directory with respect to individuals who are participating in any program under—
(i)
the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.);
(iii)
section 1715l(d)(3), 1715l(d)(5), or 1715z–1 of title 12;
(B)
Requirement to seek minimum information
(C)
Duties of the Secretary
(i)
Information disclosure
(ii)
Condition on disclosure
(D)
Use of information by HUD
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may use information resulting from a data match pursuant to this paragraph only—
(i)
for the purpose of verifying the employment and income of individuals described in subparagraph (A); and
(ii)
after removal of personal identifiers, to conduct analyses of the employment and income reporting of individuals described in subparagraph (A).
(E)
Disclosure of information by HUD
(i)
Purpose of disclosure
(ii)
Disclosures permitted
(iii)
Conditions on disclosure
Disclosures under this paragraph shall be—
(I)
made in accordance with data security and control policies established by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and approved by the Secretary;
(II)
subject to audit in a manner satisfactory to the Secretary; and
(III)
subject to the sanctions under subsection (l)(2).
(iv)
Additional disclosures
(I)
Determination by Secretaries
(II)
Permitted persons or entities
(v)
Restrictions on redisclosure
(F)
Reimbursement of HHS costs
(G)
Consent
(8)
Information comparisons and disclosure to assist in administration of unemployment compensation programs
(A)
In general
(B)
Condition on disclosure by the Secretary
(C)
Use and disclosure of information by State agencies
(i)
In general
(ii)
Information security
(iii)
Penalty for misuse of information
(D)
Procedural requirements
(E)
Reimbursement of costs
(9)
Information comparisons and disclosure to assist in Federal debt collection
(A)
Furnishing of information by the Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury shall furnish to the Secretary, on such periodic basis as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary, information in the custody of the Secretary of the Treasury for comparison with information in the National Directory of New Hires, in order to obtain information in such Directory with respect to persons—
(i)
who owe delinquent nontax debt to the United States; and
(ii)
whose debt has been referred to the Secretary of the Treasury in accordance with section 3711(g) of title 31.
(B)
Requirement to seek minimum information
(C)
Duties of the Secretary
(i)
Information disclosure
(ii)
Condition on disclosure
(D)
Use of information by the Secretary of the Treasury
(E)
Disclosure of information by the Secretary of the Treasury
(i)
Purpose of disclosure
(ii)
Disclosures permitted
(iii)
Conditions on disclosure
Disclosures under this subparagraph shall be—
(I)
made in accordance with data security and control policies established by the Secretary of the Treasury and approved by the Secretary;
(II)
subject to audit in a manner satisfactory to the Secretary; and
(III)
subject to the sanctions under subsection (l)(2).
(iv)
Additional disclosures
(I)
Determination by Secretaries
(II)
Permitted persons or entities
(v)
Restrictions on redisclosure
(F)
Reimbursement of HHS costs
(10)
Information comparisons and disclosure to assist in administration of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits
(A)
In general
(B)
Condition on disclosure by the Secretary
(C)
Use and disclosure of information by State agencies
(i)
In general
(ii)
Information security
(iii)
Penalty for misuse of information
(D)
Procedural requirements
(E)
Reimbursement of costs
(11)
Information comparisons and disclosures to assist in administration of certain veterans benefits
(A)
Furnishing of information by Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall furnish to the Secretary, on such periodic basis as determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in consultation with the Secretary, information in the custody of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for comparison with information in the National Directory of New Hires, in order to obtain information in such Directory with respect to individuals who are applying for or receiving—
(i)
needs-based pension benefits provided under chapter 15 of title 38 or under any other law administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs;
(ii)
parents’ dependency and indemnity compensation provided under section 1315 of title 38;
(iii)
health care services furnished under subsections (a)(2)(G), (a)(3), or (b) of section 1710 of title 38; or
(iv)
compensation paid under chapter 11 of title 38 at the 100 percent rate based solely on unemployability and without regard to the fact that the disability or disabilities are not rated as 100 percent disabling under the rating schedule.
(B)
Requirement to seek minimum information
(C)
Duties of the Secretary
(i)
Information disclosure
(ii)
Condition on disclosure
(D)
Use of information by Secretary of Veterans Affairs
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may use information resulting from a data match pursuant to this paragraph only—
(i)
for the purposes specified in subparagraph (B); and
(ii)
after removal of personal identifiers, to conduct analyses of the employment and income reporting of individuals described in subparagraph (A).
(E)
Reimbursement of HHS costs
(F)
Consent
(G)
Expiration of authority
The authority under this paragraph shall be in effect as follows:
(i)
During the period beginning on December 26, 2007, and ending on November 18, 2011.
(ii)
During the period beginning on September 30, 2013, and ending 180 days after that date.
(k)
Fees
(1)
For SSA verification
(2)
For information from State directories of new hires
(3)
For information furnished to State and Federal agencies
(l)
Restriction on disclosure and use
(1)
In general
(2)
Penalty for misuse of information in the National Directory of New Hires
(m)
Information integrity and security
The Secretary shall establish and implement safeguards with respect to the entities established under this section designed to—
(1)
ensure the accuracy and completeness of information in the Federal Parent Locator Service; and
(2)
restrict access to confidential information in the Federal Parent Locator Service to authorized persons, and restrict use of such information to authorized purposes.
(n)
Federal Government reporting
(o)
Use of set-aside funds
(p)
“Support order” defined
(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title IV, § 453, as added Pub. L. 93–647, § 101(a), Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2353; amended Pub. L. 97–35, title XXIII, § 2332(c), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 862; Pub. L. 98–369, div. B, title VI, § 2663(c)(13), (j)(2)(B)(ix), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 1166, 1170; Pub. L. 98–378, §§ 17, 19(a), Aug. 16, 1984, 98 Stat. 1321, 1322; Pub. L. 100–485, title I, § 124(a), Oct. 13, 1988, 102 Stat. 2353; Pub. L. 104–193, title I, § 108(c)(10), title III, §§ 316(a)–(f), 345(b), 366, 395(d)(1)(C), (2)(A), Aug. 22, 1996, 110 Stat. 2166, 2214–2216, 2237, 2250, 2259; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, § 101(e) [title II, § 215], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–233, 3009–255; Pub. L. 105–33, title V, §§ 5534(a), 5535, 5541(b), 5543, 5553, 5556(c), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 627, 629–631, 636, 637; Pub. L. 105–34, title X, § 1090(a)(2), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 961; Pub. L. 105–89, title I, § 105, Nov. 19, 1997, 111 Stat. 2120; Pub. L. 105–200, title IV, §§ 402(a), (b), 410(d), July 16, 1998, 112 Stat. 668, 669, 673; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, § 1000(a)(5) [title III, § 303(a), (b)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–304, 1501A–306; Pub. L. 108–199, div. G, title II, § 217(a), Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 394; Pub. L. 108–295, § 3, Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1091; Pub. L. 108–447, div. H, title VI, § 643, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3283; Pub. L. 109–171, title VII, §§ 7305, 7306(b), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 145, 146; Pub. L. 109–250, § 2, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 652; Pub. L. 110–157, title III, § 301(a), Dec. 26, 2007, 121 Stat. 1833; Pub. L. 110–234, title IV, § 4002(b)(1)(A), (B), (2)(V), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1095–1097; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title IV, § 4002(b)(1)(A), (B), (2)(V), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1857, 1858; Pub. L. 110–351, title I, § 105, Oct. 7, 2008, 122 Stat. 3957; Pub. L. 112–37, § 17(b), Oct. 5, 2011, 125 Stat. 398; Pub. L. 113–37, § 3(a), Sept. 30, 2013, 127 Stat. 525; Pub. L. 113–79, title IV, § 4030(p), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 815; Pub. L. 113–183, title III, §§ 301(a)(2), (b), 302(a), (c), Sept. 29, 2014, 128 Stat. 1943, 1945, 1946.)
cite as: 42 USC 653