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Secondary Proof of Citizenship

Certificate of Birth RecordTravelers who cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship must submit secondary evidence of U.S. citizenship. The list of secondary evidence below will help you decide which is most appropriate for your situation. Passport applications are handled on a case-by-case basis. The options below serve only 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 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:

red check It lists the documentation used to create it (preferably early public records) and

red check 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:

red checkYour name

red check Your date of birth

red check The years for which a birth record was searched

red check Acknowledgement that no birth certificate was found on file

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

Form 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:

red checkMust be submitted in person with Form DS-11

red checkMust be submitted together with early public records

red checkMust be completed by an affiant who has personal knowledge of birth in the U.S.

red checkMust state briefly how the affiant's knowledge was acquired

red checkShould 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:

red checkYour foreign birth certificate

red checkEvidence of citizenship of your U.S. citizen parent

red checkParents' marriage certificate

red checkAn 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

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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