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I need information about forms of identification for passport

by Nora
(Bakersville, North Carolina, USA)

Question: I applied for my passport at the post office and used the wrong birth certificate copy without realizing it. I have received a letter asking to fill out forms with background questions which I did and also five forms of id.


I have the correct copy of birth certificate, social security card, driver's license, and marriage certificate.

Will that be acceptable? The letter says these are acceptable forms of identification but this site lists that social security cards are not acceptable forms of identification

Also, does the process start over again, or do they just wait for the correct documents to arrive? I was planning on traveling in three months and I want to make sure that they have everything they need this time so hopefully it will be back in time to leave as I planned.

Would they list anything else that needed to be corrected in the letter that was sent or should I call and ask? Are you more likely to have an application denied because you used the wrong copy of a birth certificate even if you're now correcting it?

Answer: Social Security cards are not acceptable as a primary identification document but can be used as a secondary form of ID together with other records. When primary evidence such as an original or certified birth certificate is not available, an applicant can present a combination of documents that can be used to verify personal identity. In this case, a Social Security card can be submitted as one of the forms of secondary ID. Again, these documents are not acceptable as secondary identification when presented alone.

Since you are submitting the correct birth certificate along with other forms of ID, they should be accepted. Routine processing of passport applications takes 4-6 weeks so there should be no problem in getting your passport before your trip.

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Can I obtain a passport with only my birth certificate and a legal witness to my identity?

by Margie
(Atlanta, Ga USA)

Question: I have lost all my ID. Just obtained my birth certificate and would like to get a passport for a cruise pending in 2011. I am a 64 y.o. white female born in Calif. living in Georgia.

Answer: According to the Department of State, you can. You can submit the passport application and present the birth certificate at a local passport office or regional passport agency.

The person who serves as a witness to your identity must meet the following requirements.

* Be present at the time of application
* Have known you for at least 2 years
* Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
* Have valid ID
* Fill out Form DS-71: Affidavit of Identifying Witness in the presence of a Passport Agent

Form DS-71 can only be obtained at your local Acceptance Facility or a Passport Agency.

Note, a passport card is acceptable for land and sea travel. If you will not be flying out of the country, you may opt for the passport card. The application fee is only $30 compared to $110 for the passport book.

For a complete list of requirements and application instructions, click the link below.

Apply for New Passport

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Can I use a photocopy of Naturalization Certificate as identity for my passport application?

by Saralak
(Jacksonville, FL, USA)

Question: I changed my name as part of my naturalization. Therefore, I do not have any I.D. card that shows my new name. I'm applying the U.S. passport soon. Please advise whether or not I can use a photocopy of Naturalization Certificate as identity for my passport application?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: You must submit both the original and a photocopy of the Naturalization Certificate as evidence of U.S. citizenship and proof of identification when applying for a passport.

You are encourage to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a traceable delivery method. Additionally, in order to protect the contents of your mailing from the elements throughout the delivery process, you are encourage to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a secure means of packaging, such as a Tyvek envelope.

If you are concerned about being without your Naturalization Certificate for the 4-6 weeks it takes to process the application, you can request expedited services. There is an additional $60 fee for this service. Using a two-way overnight delivery method will also accelerate the process.

For complete instructions, click the link below.

Get a U.S. Passport

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How do I prove identity without a photo ID?

by David
(Miami)

Question: My 83 yo mother needs a passport. Today the acceptance agent at the post office told me that a photo ID is required. However, the State Dept website and a phone call to the State Dept. said that I can prove ID using a combination of secondary ID sources and a sworn affidavit of identity from me as to the identity of my mother.

I have for my mother 1) an original birth certificate, 2) a Social Security card, 3) a bank card, 4) a library card, and 5) a group health insurance card. Are these sufficient to prove my mother's identity?

Answer: The items you listed should be sufficient as secondary evidence of identity. Though you may not need it now, you may consider getting your mother a photo ID. You can find out more about this process by clicking the link below.

Florida ID Cards

Note, Form DS-71: Affidavit of Identifying Witness must be filled out in the presence of the passport agent.

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Why would the passport agency need 5 more pieces of identification more than 20 years old?

by Kelly
(San Diego, California, United States)

Question: I'm 33 years old and this will be my first passport. I got the pictures taken at the post office and provided all the IDs and original birth certificate and now they say they need 5 more documents more than 20 years old. I have moved quite a bit and don't have much in the way of 20 year old memorabilia. Is there an easier way? Send what I have? Phone conversation? Anything but furnishing stuff from before I was 13 years old?

Answer: If the U.S. Department of State Passport Services contacted you and is requiring the submission of further documentation, then you need to supply the documents they requested.

There are several reasons that a birth certificate may not be accepted as evidence of U.S. citizenship. Acceptable certificates must have been filed within one year after birth and must have the registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar's signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office. Also, many short form birth certificates are not acceptable.

For a list of documents that you can submit, click the link below.

Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

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