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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.

I need information about forms of identification for passport

Need a passport

Question: I applied for my passport but I’m afraid it’s gonna get declined. Because I was only able to provide my state ID, SSN, and birth certificate. Will I still be able to get approved?

Answer: It looks like you provided sufficient documents for the application. Should you need to submit more, passport services will reach out to you with instructions on how to send them.

Info of previous spouse not available

Question: The US passport application requests info of my most recent spouse (I am divorced). I do not have that info (his date of birth, etc) what do I do?

Answer: You may provide approximations (month, year for birth date). Try to remember as much as you can. Also, the information may be available in your old marriage certificate or divorce decree.

Out-of-state student

Question: My son is age 18, living temporarily in Michigan. His driver's license was issued in Ohio. He has a passport card but needs to upgrade to a passport book. The card was issued right around his 16th birthday.

Does he need to apply in person or by mail? If in person, will they accept his Ohio license at a Michigan (post office) passport office?

Does he fill out the DS-11 or DS-82?

Answer: The answer depends on what you mean by "right around".

If it was issued BEFORE his 16th birthday, he needs to submit a new application in person and complete Form DS-11. His Ohio license will be accepted in Michigan if he presents secondary photo ID with it.

If it was issued AFTER his 16th birthday, he may submit the card for a renewal to get the passport book. In addition to the renewal requirements, we recommend including a signed request for the card to be returned as valid.

Need a passport

Question: I have a PA State ID (not a driver's license), SSN and birth certificate. Will that be enough for a passport?

Answer: You need the following to obtain a new passport:

1. Form DS-11 (completed but unsigned)
2. Evidence of U.S. citizenship
3. Proof of identity
4. Photocopy of ID/s
5. One passport photo
6. Payment for fees

You can use your birth certificate as evidence of U.S. citizenship. If you cannot present primary proof of identity, you can submit a combination of secondary IDs. Your state ID and social security card should suffice but we recommend sending a copy of at least one more.

Trying to receive my passport card

Question: I have a North Carolina driver's license and social security cards but I do not have my birth certificate. Can I still receive my passport identification card? And where can I obtain it from? I live in the Burlington area of North Carolina.

Answer: Your driver's license will serve as your proof of identity. However, you also need to submit evidence of U.S. citizenship, which in your case is your birth certificate. If you cannot submit your birth certificate, you may submit secondary proof of citizenship.

Since you are applying for your first passport, you need to submit all your requirements in person at a nearby acceptance facility. There are quite a few North Carolina passport offices.

Passport card and ID enough

Question: Can I use my passport card and state ID to get my passport?

Answer: A passport card is acceptable as evidence of U.S. citizenship and a state-issued ID can be submitted as proof of identity.

Return to Supporting Documents for Passports FAQ.

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.

For a complete list of requirements and application instructions, visit How to Apply for a New Passport?

Return to Supporting Documents for Passports FAQ.

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

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

5 year old documents

Question: If using a yearbook photo as a document, copies are needed of the name and photo, also the date. The cover being the only place that is, it wouldn't be on the same page as name and photo. Is the a standard for using a yearbook photo as identification?

Answer: You need to scan both the page where your name and photo appears and the cover of the year book or page where the date attended is printed.

Return to Supporting Documents for Passports FAQ.

How do I prove identity without a photo ID?

by David

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.

Return to Supporting Documents for Passports FAQ.

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


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

Help 1st time applicant and worried
by: Jenid

Question: I am asked for 5 more identity items. I have 3 years marriage certificate and 2 expired drivers licenses and an expired spouse military ID. Will these work?

Answer: The following can be submitted as secondary proofs of identity:

-State-issued non-driver ID
-Out-of-state driver's license
-Social Security card
-Learner's or temporary driver's permit
-Voter registration card
-Employee ID
-Student ID
-Selective Service (draft) card
-Medicare or other health card
-Expired driver's license
-Membership card in a local social organization or club
-Rental contracts
-Mortgage documents
-Auto registrations
-Traffic tickets & violations
-An Identifying Witness (someone who can swear to your identity) that is present at the time of your application.

The identifying witness must

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


Question: I just got an email stating that I need to send it 5 documents of mine 5 years or older but I leave this Sunday for Costa Rica. I do have an appointment in Chicago for this Friday I’m planning on going to. Will I still be accepted? Can I still get my passport this Friday if I take all the documents I need to take?

Answer: If your documents are sufficient, you will be issued a passport in 72 hours or less.


Question: I just received an email that says I need to send in 5 documents of mine 5 years or older, but I submitted a renewal why would I need to show this over a renewal? Thanks!

Answer: Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 to clarify why you need to submit identification documents.

Additional documents

Question: If I just got an email asking to provide additional documents is there any way that after I send in the information my passport would still be expedited through?

Answer: If you paid for expedited service, your application should still be processed as such but you need to factor in the time it took to for the documents to arrive. Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

Not sufficient for passport purposes!?
by: AnonKK

Question: Hello, I'm having trouble with getting my passport shipped. I got a letter in the mail saying that what I sent in the mail as proof of identification wasn't considered valid for a passport and that i have to send 5 photocopies of personal documents with my name and photo or name/signature and issue date of longer than five years but I don't have anything going back that far besides my SS card. I have other forms of ID such as

SS card
medicare/health insurance card
driver's permit (I don't have my license)

That's all I have, would that be enough to get my passport? Would getting the REAL ID work as a 'government issue ID'?

Answer: The documents you mentioned plus the Real ID and one other document will work. It may be a voter's ID, company ID, and any other document bearing the name you entered in the application form. Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.


Question: I am 20 years old so I don’t really have documents old enough that go 5 years back. I do have my high school transcripts, my income tax for 2018/2017, my college transcript, a health card, and my temporary social card. Should these be enough?

Answer: Any and all verifiable document bearing your name and birth date MAY be acceptable. Please contact customer service at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

We need answers and quick ones!

Question: I applied for a passport renewal and they asked to send 5 or more personal documents proving my identity that are 5 years or older. Why do I have to send more documents of identity if I sent in my expired passport, that is less than 15 years old? I have called in various occasions and they say they’ll call back, how long does it take to call a person back?

Answer: Turnaround time for call back vary. Five more documents are generally not required for renewals since the applicant's identity has already been established. We recommend leaving a formal complaint instead for better resolution to your issue.

What if I have booked a flight?

Question: Hello, I recently applied for the passport but I received a letter for additional identification purposes. What other ways could I prove my identity besides the listed ones on the letter? Could I use my car registration, insurance card, health card, bank debit, social security, house rental contract, high school diploma, high school yearbook? I had recently booked a flight thinking i wasn't going to have any problems, Would i be able to expedite this service?

Answer: All the documents you mentioned are acceptable as secondary proof of identity. Please submit as many as you can. If you are traveling in 2 weeks or less, you may expedite at the closest regional passport agency. You need to present your airline tickets as proof of immediate international travel in order to be entertained.

Expedited Passport?
by: Nancy

Question: Will this affect my expedited passport? If I send in the five pieces of identification the day after I received the email requesting them, will my passport still arrive in 2-3 weeks?

Answer: Hi, Nancy. Processing will resume as soon as the additional requirements are received. Your passport should still arrive within 3 weeks. You may check the status of your application here: http://uspsg.net/status/

Will passport still be expedited?

Question: Applied for passport 02/01/2018 paid all the fees to ensure everything would be ready before travel date (03/01/2018) . It’s 02/12/2018 and I’m just receiving the email saying I need to submit 5 more pieces of info. Will this process take longer than planned and now I could miss my trip because the passport won’t be ready? I submitted my State ID and original birth certificate. Why wasn’t that enough?

Answer: A state-issued non-driver ID is considered a secondary proof of identity. When submitting a secondary ID, you should include other forms of ID such as your SS card, voter's registration or company ID. This is most likely the reason why you were asked to provide five more proofs of identity.

You need to comply with the additional requirements soon. Once passport services receives your IDs, processing will resume and your passport should still arrive within the 2 to 3 weeks guaranteed by expedited service. Please call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

More information
by: Michelle

Question: I receive a letter that says that I need to submit a early public record to them but isn’t a birth certificate enough to proof that?

Answer: Hi, Michelle. If passport services requested such document, your birth certificate is most likely inadmissible as evidence of U.S. citizenship.

Early public records include but are not limited to the following:

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

Return to Supporting Documents for Passports FAQ.

Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.


More Passport & Travel Information

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Using a Registered Courier Service
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Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
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2. What exactly does a passport expediter do?
3. Are passport expediting services legitimate?
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Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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