Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

Why is the passport agency asking me for more documents?

by Kimberly
(Los Angeles)

Question: I’m going to write down what the letter says.

“Thank you for your recent passport application. We need help in providing the necessary evidence of United States citizenship or nationality. The evidence you submitted is not acceptable for passport purposes for the reason(s) stated below.

The birth was recorded more than one year after the birth occurred. The certificate does not show what evidence was used to create the record or the evidence is insufficient for passport purposes.”

If I send them at least 3 documents, will I be able to still get my passport? I’m planning to send them my baptism certificate, copy of my immunization record (I just have a copy – Is that fine?) and the birth affidavit.

I’m not able to contact my biological parents because they abandoned my sister and I when we were little.

Well, I hope these documents help me because I really need my passport. If they do accept it do you know how long more I am going to wait?

Answer: If you cannot provide primary proof of citizenship such as a previously-issued passport or a certified birth certificate, you must submit secondary evidence.

A Delayed Birth Certificate (filed more than one year after birth) is only acceptable if it 1) lists the documentation used to create it (preferably early public records) and 2) and is signed by the birth attendant or lists an affidavit signed by the parents.

Since the birth certificate you submitted does not meet these requirements, you must submit other evidence.

One option is to submit a combination of early public records as evidence of your U.S. citizenship. Early public records must be submitted together with a 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. A Letter of No Record must be submitted together with Early Public Records.

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
* Acknowledgment that no birth certificate was found on file

Another option is to submit Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit as additional evidence of your U.S. citizenship. You must also 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.

Evidence for citizenship must be original documents or certified copies. Photocopies are not accepted. The documents will be returned to you.

It is recommended that you 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 encouraged to mail your passport application and any personal documents using a secure means of packaging, such as a Tyvek envelope.

Regular processing takes 4-6 weeks. It can take longer in some cases.

Comments for Why is the passport agency asking me for more documents?

Wanting more documentation
by: Anonymous

Question: I received a letter saying my birth certificate does not sufficiently support your date and place of birth in the United States because a parent or family member is listed as the birth attendant. Please submit a combination of the following documents.

-Pre-Natal or postnatal medical records
-Evidence of your parents' presence in the United States at the time of your birth, such as rent, tax, employment, medical or welfare records.
-Certified birth certificates of older siblings born in the United States and/or
-Any documents established near the date and place of your mother's presence in the US at the time of your birth.

I’m very confused bc I have a copy of my birth certificate & nowhere on there does it say that my parents were birth attendants.
It clearly states they are my parents. I was born in Tyler, TX in 1970 & have lived in the United States my entire life. Could this letter be a mistake? My parents are now both deceased so I know I can’t get their tax records or proof of where they lived in March of 1970.

Answer: It could be a mistake, yes. Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 to clarify.

Relationship between you and parent(s) not established
by: Anonymous

Question: I received a letter regarding my child's passport with an incorrect last name for him. The letter states "The relationship between you and the parent(s) has not been established.

Please submit evidence of a legal name change. My child's name has NOT changed and the letter is addressed to a last name that I am not familiar with. I looked over the submitted application and it reflects the correct and only last name of my child. I also submitted a previous passport with the application.

Answer: It could have been an error. Please contact the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 to clarify this issue.

secondary evidence
by: Anonymous

Question: I applied for the passport but was denied because I submitted a delayed birth certificate and they are asking for secondary evidence which I dont have.

I was born at home in the US in 1985 but right after I was born, my parents went to mexico and they registered me in Mexico in 1986. So since theres a Mexican birth certificate, they think I was born in Mexico and denied my passport.

A lawyer wants to submit an application for me regarding citizenship thru my father who was living in the US for at least 10 years prior to my birth. I already got his FOIA documents establishing he lived in the US for that period of time but if I apply to get citizenship thru my father, would USCIS question me how my parents got a delayed birth certificate from the US government?

Answer: Yes, questions regarding your delayed registration may come up. Please contact the USCIS for more information regarding citizenship.

Problem with authorized office
by: Laura

Question: I applied through an authorized office on 06/01, but 8 weeks later I received a letter stating that my application was not accepted and executed by an authorized passport application acceptance agent, and asked me to re-submit the application, which I did, they received it on 07/30.

Yesterday I found out that I have to travel on 09/11 for work. Should I receive my passport on time since I paid expedited with the original application? Will my application be taken as if it had been sent from the beginning or it will be as if it were a new application with a processing time of 12 weeks?

Answer: The Department of State's expedited service commitment is to process your passport application within 20 business days from the date they receive your application at a passport agency or center. Since it was received it on 7/30, processing should be done by 08/27. If you also paid for 1-2 day delivery, you should receive the passport shortly after.

Check Application Status
Birth Certificate
by: Anonymous

Question: I sent my papers May 17 but got a letter two weeks ago saying that if I don't have Certificate of Citizenship to submit my original birth certificate. I sent them a copy that they gave me when I traveled to my country and that wasnt enough, so luckily I did have the original birth certificate with the seal and QR code and signature. They got the documents about last week June 30.

My question is, in your best guess how long will it take for them to continue the process ? or how will I even know if they got the additional documents? I did call but all they can offer me is what it says online, which it only says In Process.

I'm planning to go out of the country next month, but I haven't bought the plane ticket because of this. And also is there another way to leave the country? I have my foreign passport but I had to give them my green card. I applied using secondary citizenship proof.

Answer: We also cannot take a guess on how much longer processing will take. Since additional documents were required, you should expect delays.

As a U.S. citizen, you are required to leave and re-enter the United States on a valid U.S. passport. You are free to use your foreign passport while you are overseas.

Return to Supporting Documents for Passports FAQ.

Click for fast expedited courier service

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering extremely limited in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 72 hours. Those with qualified life-or-death emergencies are prioritized.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 business days).

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 AM to 5PM, call ET 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, 202-647-4000

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Getting a Passport Expedited at a Post Office
Requesting express service at post offices and other facilities that accept application forms from U.S. citizens.

Applying at a Regional Passport Agency
Where processing centers are located. How to schedule an appointment. What documents to take with you.

Using a Registered Courier Service
How to pick a legitimate courier service company to assist in getting your passport quickly.

Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
Guide to help you decide if standard or fast track processing is the best option for your situation.

10 Benefits of Expediters
What are the advantages of employing the services a qualified expediter?

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Passport Renewal Videos
Watch step-by-step instructional passport videos of how to renew a passport in 3 steps.

Make Your Own Passport Photos
Use the online Passport Photo Wizard tool to make your own passport photos in minutes. Save money and time.

Travel Warnings
The latest alerts to help you prepare for a safe and secure trip abroad.

Travel Documents
List of the most important travel documents and information about how and where to get them.

Travel Safety
Discover practical advice on how to keep safe during international trips.

23 International Travel Tips to Save Money on Transportation, Lodging & More
Cool ways to make your money stretch farther on travel expenses so that you can go more often and stay longer.

Expedite Your Passport Now!