Proof of Citizenship:
In order to obtain a passport book or card, applicants are required to submit proof of citizenship. If the applicant is only renewing a passport, then the old passport book will suffice as the necessary proof. New applicants will need to submit documents that are accepted as evidence of U.S. citizenship. It is important to make certain that the documents submitted meet all of the State Department’s requirements, which have become more stringent since 9/11.
The most common document that acts as primary proof of United States citizenship is a certified, long form birth certificate. It must have a county, state or state seal that is raised, multicolored or embossed. Birth certificates must list the full name of at least one parent. The registrar’s signature must be present, as well as the date that they registered the certificate. This date must be within one year of birth, which may be an issue for applicants that are adopted, as they typically have delayed birth certificates.
Delayed certificates will only be accepted if there is a list of documents that were used to complete it. In addition, it must be signed by the doctor or midwife that attended the birth or show an affidavit signed by both parents. Protections have been put in place to protect children from international kidnapping and trafficking. A minor under the age of 14 must have both of his or her parents listed on the submitted birth certificate. Those born overseas to at least one U.S. citizen parent can submit a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth.
If it is not possible to provide the required birth certificate, then an applicant must submit several forms of secondary evidence. A social security card is not considered adequate proof of citizenship. A person with a delayed birth certificate can submit it along with two or more early public records, such as a baptismal certificate, hospital birth certificate, census records, school records, records of health care received shortly after birth, and family Bible records. For those seeking Census records, a name and address search can be performed by completing an application for search of census records and submitting a small fee to the Census Bureau.
People that do not have a birth certificate of any kind must have their state issue a Letter of No Record listing full name, date of birth, years searched and a statement that no certificate was found. Anyone without an acceptable birth certificate can also submit a notarized birth affidavit (Form DS-10) in person when applying for a passport. It is a statement made by a person that knows details of the applicant’s birth.
If you are not born in the United States you and you are now a U.S. Citizen you will be issued a Naturalization Certificate.