Proof of Citizenship
The following will be accepted as United States Proof of Citizenship:
- Original Birth Certificate (if born in the United States);
- or Old (undamaged) passport;
- or Original Certificate of Citizenship or FS-240, DS-1350 ( if born outside the US );
- or Original Certificate of Naturalization issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Office.
Note: A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth.
A Delayed Birth Certificate filed more than one year after your birth may be acceptable if it:
- Listed the documentation used to create it and
- Signed by the attending physician or midwife, or, lists an affidavit signed by the parents, or shows early public records.
If you changed your legal name by way of marriage or otherwise you will need to provide evidence of the name change: a certified copy of either
– A marriage certificate, or
– A name change court decree.
If you do not have a previous U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate, you will need:
- Letter of “No Record” issued by the State with your name, date of birth, which years were searched for a birth record and that there is no birth certificate on file for you and
- As many of the following as possible:
- baptismal certificate
- hospital birth certificate
- census record
- early school record
- family bible record
- doctor’s record of post-natal care
Note: These documents must be early public records showing the date and place of birth, preferably created within the first five years of your life. You may also submit an Affidavit of Birth, form DS-10, from an older blood relative (i.e. parent, aunt, uncle, sibling) who has personal knowledge of your birth. It must be notarized or have the seal and signature of the acceptance agent.
If you were born abroad and do not have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Birth on file, you will need:
- If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to one U.S. citizen parent:
- Issued by the State with your name, date of birth, which years were searched for a birth record and that there is no birth certificate on file for you.
- Foreign birth certificate;
- Proof of citizenship of your U.S. citizen parent;
- An affidavit of your U.S. citizen parent showing all periods and places of residence or physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth.
- If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to both U.S. citizen parents:
- Your foreign birth certificate;
- Parent’s marriage certificate;
- Proof of citizenship of your U.S. parents and an affidavit of your U.S. citizen parents showing all periods and places of residence of physical presence in the United States and abroad before your birth.
Requirements for a proof of US citizenship for adopted children:
- At least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen, either by birth or naturalization.
- The child is under the age of 18.
- The child must be residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent after having been lawfully admitted into this country as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence.
- If the child has been adopted, the adoption must be final
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. You can also request an expedited long form birth certificate here.
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.
The following lists are represented to assist you in finding proper forms for proof of citizenship that are required to apply and receive your United States Passport. If you have any citizenship document questions, feel free to contact us or the U.S. State Department
- Applicant must provide one original document (not a copy) from the following:
- Original U.S. Birth Certificate (to obtain, click here)
- Certified copy of U.S. Birth Certificate (to obtain, click here
- Original Naturalization Certificate- Old U.S. Passport
- NOTE: As of 2010, the US DEPT OF STATE requires all US Birth certificates to have both parents listed.If you cannot locate your birth certificate, you can download the file search form and pay the US Department of State $150 in lieu of submitting your birth certificate or you can order your birth certificate from Vital Check and it takes 3-5 business days.
IMPORTANT: DOCUMENTS THAT ARE MUTILATED ALTERED, OR DAMAGED WILL BE REJECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. PLEASE WRITE A DAMAGE STATEMENT.