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New Birth Certificate Requirements for Passport Applications

If you’re applying for a passport, you should be aware that the Department of State just revised its guidelines concerning which birth certificates it will accept as proof of citizenship.

As of April 1st, 2011, all birth certificates submitted with passport applications must include your parent or parents’ names. So, before you send in your paperwork, take your birth certificate and double-check to make sure that your parents’ names are on the document.

Even if the birth certificate you’re holding has your parents’ names on it, though, the State Department has other requirements for birth certificates that could trip you up.  Here’s how to make sure your application passes muster:

  • Use an original or certified copy of your birth certificate.  It should have a raised, embossed, engraved or multicolored seal on the top.
  • Whether it was designed to look cute or designed to look “official,” a birth certificate issued by the hospital where you were born is NOT considered proof of citizenship.
  • The birth certificate  must have your name, the date you were born, the place you were born and a registrar’s signature on it to be considered valid.
  • Check the date that the birth certificate was filed with the registrar’s office. If it was filed late, more than one year after you were born, you won’t be issued a passport unless you can back it up with  secondary evidence of US citizenship.

If the certificate you have doesn’t meet the Department  of State’s requirements, you can use the CDC’s website to find out where to go to get a new certified copy, or you can order a copy through Vitalchek.

Applying for a passport can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you apply with RushMyPassport, your case manager will make sure you know exactly what you need, helping to prevent common errors that could delay the processing of your application.

Even better, we’ll personally deliver your application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours.

Don’t wait – submit your passport application today!

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3 Responses to “New Birth Certificate Requirements for Passport Applications”

  1. Lizeth Martinez

    I have heard there has been many problems with those that were born by
    midwife in the state of Texas.
    I was born my midwife in 1979 will I have problems obtaining a US
    Passport?

  2. Alison Kroulek

    Hi Lizeth,

    There have been some problems, yes, primarily for people born to midwives close to the border with Mexico. However, in 2009 the government settled a lawsuit and agreed to a new set of procedures. Basically, if your application seems “questionable” they have to send it to a panel to be reviewed BUT they are not allowed to deny your passport application based solely on the fact that you were delivered by a midwife, even if the midwife is on their list of midwives known to have registered fraudulent births. You can read about the new procedures here: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/midwives-100165-passport-new.html

    The best advice I can give you is to apply as early as possible. If the Department of State has questions or wants additional information your application may be delayed. Good luck! :)

  3. lexi

    My husband has a ‘certificate of birth’ from Pennsylvania (he was born in 1970) that does not list his parents names. When he has applied for a new certified copy in the past, they have always sent him the exact same thing. How do we get one with his parents names?

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