What you need to Submit for Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted with Form DS-11. All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.

Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
 Naturalization Certificate
 Certificate of Citizenship

*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. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

Present Identification  

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, acceptable identification must be presented at the time of application.

Primary Identification (One of the following):

 Previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport
 Naturalization Certificate
 Valid Driver’s License
 Current Government ID (city, state or federal)
 Current Military ID (military and dependents)

NOTE: If you do not have primary identification, please see Secondary Identification below.

Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

If you cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you must submit secondary evidence of U.S. citizenship. Determine what form of secondary evidence is most appropriate for your situation based on the descriptions below. Each application is handled on a case-by-case basis. The scenarios below are intended as general guidance.

Early Public Records

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you may submit a combination of early public records as evidence of your U.S. citizenship. Early public records must be submitted together with a birth record or Letter of No Record (see below). Early public records should show your name, date of birth, place of birth, and preferably be created within the first five years of your life. Examples of early public records are:

  • Baptismal certificate
  • Hospital birth certificate
  • Census record
  • Early school record
  • Family bible record
  • Doctor’s record of post-natal care

Early Public Records are not acceptable when presented alone

Delayed Birth Certificate

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship because your U.S. Birth Certificate was not filed within the first year of your birth, you may submit a Delayed U.S. Birth Certificate. A Delayed U.S. Birth Certificate filed more than one year after your birth may be acceptable if:

 It lists the documentation used to create it (preferably early public records) and
 It is signed by the birth attendant or lists an affidavit signed by the parents

If your Delayed U.S. Birth Certificate does not include these items, it should be submitted together with Early Public Records (see above).

Letter of No Record

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship because you do not have a previous U.S. passport or a certified U.S. birth certificate of any kind, you must present a state-issued Letter of No Record showing:

Your name
 Your date of birth
 The years for which a birth record was searched
 Acknowledgement that no birth certificate was found on file

A Letter of No Record must be submitted together with Early Public Records (see above).

From DS-10 Birth Affidavit

If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you may submit Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit as additional evidence of your U.S. citizenship. You may be requested to submit Early Public Records when submitting Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit. The birth affidavit:

Must be notarized
Must be submitted in person with Form DS-11
Must be submitted together with early public records
Must be completed by an affiant who has personal knowledge of birth in the U.S.
Must state briefly how the affiant’s knowledge was acquired
Should be completed by an older blood relative

NOTE: If no older blood relative is available, the affiant may be the attending physician or any other person who has personal knowledge of the birth

Foreign Birth Documents + Parent(s) Citizenship Evidence

If you claim citizenship through birth abroad to U.S. citizen parent(s), but cannot submit a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, you must submit all of the following:

Your foreign birth certificate
Evidence of citizenship of your U.S. citizen parent
Parents’ marriage certificate
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

NOTES:

Unacceptable Documents

The following will not be accepted as evidence of U.S. citizenship:

  • Voter registration card
  • Army discharge paper
  • Social Security Card

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