Is Your Birth Certificate Enough?

Getting a US Passport is serious business and you must be sure you can prove you are an American. These days anyone from anywhere can be or claim to be an American. At one time just your presence in the country was nearly proof enough. Today you MUST have your papers in order because without them you could be deported. Even if you were born and have lived in America all your life without the proper papers deportation is possible.

In this article we will discuss and list what papers you need and papers that are worthless which many people believe is their birth certificate but in fact is not. You will see an example of a “short abstract birth certificate” an example of “acceptable birth certificate for a US Passport”.

Now to answer the question. Is your birth certificate enough? The answer is yes, in most cases. Your birth certificate should have the following elements in order to get your US Passport. If your birth certificate is missing any one of these elements you could have real problems. I will list all the elements in the order of importance.

  • Birth certificate should show a doctor’s signature, a midwife’s signature, the parent’s signature or the signature of a witness who was present at your birth.
  • The name of the hospital you were born at or taken to after your birth at home, in the car or where ever you happened to be born but later seen by a doctor at a hospital.
  • A raised registrar’s embossed, impressed or multicolored seal. Some older birth certificates may not have all of these elements on certificates from the 1970’s or earlier.
  • The paper itself should have a print pattern or emboss style that is sometimes raised again on some older certificates this may not be present.
  • Birth certificate should have been issued within one year of your birth.

The birth certificate below is an example of a birth certificate with major problems. The missing information is that there is no doctor’s signature or any signature of any witness nor is there the name of a hospital. You could have problems getting a US Passport with this birth certificate. This is an example of what the State Department referrers to as a “short abstract version of a birth certificate.” This is a re-issued birth certificate which is not a problem because people lose their birth certificates all the time but this one is missing vital information.

To be truthful people get US Passports everyday with short abstract version’s of their birth certificates that are missing a reference to their original birth “source documents” but the State Department can and does ask for source documents when there are questions or suspicions. You really can’t prove your citizenship without the signature of a witness and a written hospital report of your birth. Obama will not have to provide source documents of his birth but odds are you will be required to produce them if asked.

Why take a chance on this when anyone’s birth certificate can easily have this information placed on your birth certificate with a simple request. This data is required to be kept on file by every hospital in the United States. There is no reason for it not to be on every birth certificate.

Look at the pictures of these birth certificates closely and avoid the problems this certificate would bring you. If yours is missing these elements get it corrected and re-issued to avoid a major hassle.



Click images for close up view.

The next pictures are of a valid birth certificate that has all of the necessary elements of a birth certificate that will not cause you any problems. It too is a Hawaiian birth certificate issued during the same time period.



Click images for close up view.

Notice that both of these Hawaiian birth certificates were re-issued. This happens people lose their birth certificates all the time. But the first one does not have a witness or hospital that can validate that individual’s place of birth. That one will cause you problems if you want a U. S. passport. Make sure your birth certificate has all the required information.




People often engage in fraud in their attempts to gain a U. S. Passport. These frauds are often discovered by small errors that are made with US Passports of this era. Obama’s father would not have been referred to as “African” in 1961 but would have been identified as “negro” the letter “n” of negro would likely have been in small caps and not capitalized.

Obama the child himself may have been identified as “mulatto child: Barack Hussian Obamo II” and if he had been born out of wedlock may have been further identified as: “Illegitimate” or “Bastard” depending on the state he was born in.

Also there is a huge difference between a “Certification of Live Birth” and a “Certificate of Live Birth”. A “Certification of Live Birth” is a testament to the fact that you were born of a “woman”, certainly most of us can prove this fact by our mere presence. A “Certificate of Live Birth” is a testament of proof to the fact of “where” you were born.

There is no legitimate reason to issue a birth certificate without this vital information other than it cannot be submitted because it does not exist or there is something to hide.


  1. Dear Anita,

    There is no excuse for the misspellings. All I can say is that I am new to using Word Press and apparently their spell check does not perform as well as Word or I am not using it correctly. Thank you for the corrections.

    However, I must take exception with your observation concerning the “validity of my argument” my poor spelling can not change facts nor does it compromise what has for many years been standard requirements for obtaining a passport. The State Department sets those standards and all the poor spelling in world cannot change that fact.

    Anita, look at your own birth certificate and I am fairly certain you will find your mother’s or father’s signature on it as well as a doctor’s and the name of the hospital in which your birth occurred.

    Mr. Obama “President Elect” is hiding something. This could all be solved in an instant simply by showing the source documents of his birth. As to my misspelling of his name that should not have occurred but non-American names do have their issues with spell check and my own spelling (lack of) abilities.

    I served 12 years in the public school gulag and 4 years of hard political indoctrination and I still have problems with spelling had I been home schooled I would not have this crippling handicap.

    Comment by James Coats — November 24, 2008 @ 04:50

  2. Excellent article. I believe that Obama has caused a Constitutional Crisis and hopefully he will be found out. I agree he is hiding something! He traveled on an Indonesian passport–even more recently–what does this mean? Wouldn’t he of had to of been an Indonesian citizen? I know that Indonesia does not recognize dual citizenship. If he truly was a natural born citizen he wouldn’t be spending $800,000 to cover it up, when $15.00 would produce it. Yes, I do realize that you do not have to be born in Hawaii to have a birth certificate on record and I do know that none of the hospital records show Obama’s mother ever being in a hospital in Hawaii! Thank you again for the wonderful article!

    Comment by Linda — December 2, 2008 @ 06:12

  3. More info

    Comment by Bug — December 2, 2008 @ 16:10

  4. Not all babies are born in hospitals. Our daughter was born at a planned home birth. She has never been in a hospital in her life. She did not need to be taken to a hospital after birth because she was completely healthy, and her birth was completely normal. Hospitals are full of sick people, and taking a healthy child there only risks catching diseases. But I am a US citizen, and our daughter was born on US soil, so she is unquestionably a US citizen.

    Comment by Eric Kessler — December 2, 2008 @ 17:28

  5. “This is a re-issued birth certificate which is not a problem because people lose their birth certificates all the time but this one is missing vital information. You might still get a passport with this birth but the odds are you won’t because you really can’t prove your citizenship without the signature of a witness and a written hospital report of your birth.”

    This is complete nonsense. My original birth certificate was lost so I used a reissued one to get my passport. The birth certificate was reissued to be by the state health department and it does not have a doctor, nurse, or witness signature or any kind (I just checked). And you know, what? I had no problems getting my passport.

    Comment by youreanidiot — December 2, 2008 @ 18:51

  6. Well…

    Yes, I see what you are saying but there’s a flaw in your reasoning. I am sitting here with both the “correct abstract of the original record” and “the correct reproduction of the original record” of my birth, from Texas in this case. Just because you have the abstract doesn’t mean the original doesn’t exist. In fact it probably means it does. Texas, in my case, sends me just the document I need for what I am doing and besides who knows what the rules were whem OBama got his first passport.

    I got a facsimile of my birth certificate (now lost) 30 years ago but today I doubt the original still exists in paper form. The same holds true in Hawaii. Obama can’t “show” the source documents because they are digital files in the posession of the Hawaiian government. And certainly not because you say he must.

    As for the Afican thing…well, the abstract was printed long after negro disappeared from common use. Nor do I see where “mulatto” appears (or race of baby for that matter). Even in Texas they didn’t bother to print the obvious.

    You sound like a resonable person and reason tells us if preponderance of evidence points in one direction it is the corrct direction.

    Best to you,

    Comment by Ed Deems — December 2, 2008 @ 22:18

  7. these idiots who clam to be concern that mr obama is not a legal resident of america are bigots, and foolish to believe that they can over throw this country with the lie’s that they are trying to spread, good luck sucker./

    Comment by jerry coleman — December 3, 2008 @ 06:55

  8. Mr. Coats, thank you for posting your sister Edith’s Certificate of Live Birth from 1962. I hope your posting it with her mother’s maiden name does not result in her identity being stolen.

    This is an excellent source document to illustrate what is required instead of the dubious Certification of Live Birth for Barack Obama II presented by Daily Kos and FactCheck.

    Comment by MinutemanCDC_SC — December 3, 2008 @ 12:36

  9. i have processed over 15,000 passport applications through the U.S Postal Service in my 30 plus years on the job;and have never seen or heard of an applicant having a problem with with that type of birth certificate. Doctors signature and hospital name are not a requirement on a ” certified birth certificate” for proof of citizenship.

    Comment by dan — December 3, 2008 @ 17:37

  10. Lame that you are censoring the comments on here instead of responding to legitimate questions about your idiotic thought processes

    Comment by shocked — December 6, 2008 @ 06:00

  11. The reissue of Obama’s birth certificate is correct. Before 1966 many states east of the rockies and south of the Mason-Dixon line made the distinction between bastard or illegitimate, particularly if the child were born in a Catholic or other religious hospital. Also, only Southern states prior to 1971 listed Americans of African descent as Negro; between 1943 and 1971, the listing did have a capitol ‘N’. Otherwise, any African national who had children stateside did have their race listed as either African or the country of national origin. The mulatto classification was never used in Hawaii, or in any other state after the 1890 census, as the word fell out of favor with the Census Bureau and in common parlayance.

    Comment by Ellen — March 7, 2014 @ 00:54

  12. Thank you for posting this. Not that I agree with everything, but it clarifies a lot. I too was born in HI and when I tried to get another copy of my birth certificate, what they sent me looks just like Obama’s. I thought I had been scammed until I saw this. I still have my original birth certificate, but it’s old and falling apart and I cant comfortably send it in the mail. I made an appointment with the Passport agency.

    I hope they will see me because the website explicitly states appointments are for travel emergencies, but still.

    Comment by Marq — April 30, 2014 @ 18:52

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