If you’re applying for a rush passport, it’s important to send in the correct documents the first time you apply.  If you don’t include everything the government needs to process your passport application, your passport could be delayed. To make sure your passport application goes through the first time, here’s a quick tutorial on what the government will accept as proof of citizenship.

When do you need to include proof of citizenship?

You must include proof of citizenship in your rush passport application if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • You are getting a passport for the first time
  • Your original passport was lost or damaged
  • Your original passport was issued more than 15 years ago and/or you were under 16 when it was issued.
  • Your name has changed and you don’t have the legal documents to prove it.

If you are renewing your passport by mail and none of the conditions listed above apply to you, all you have to do is send your old passport in with your passport application.

What does the government accept as proof of citizenship?

The government accepts several different documents as proof of citizenship:

  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • A naturalization certificate
  • A Certificate of Citizenship
  • An undamaged US Passport
  • A certified birth certificate. Before you apply for a rush passport using a birth certificate, look at your document and make sure all the following are true:
    • The seal is raised, embossed, impressed or multi-colored.
    • It has been signed by the registrar.
    • The birth certificate shows the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office. This date must be within one year of the date you were born.
    • If your birth certificate doesn’t meet all of the above qualifications, you can order a certified copy from the office of vital records where you were born.

When you apply for a rush passport, consider using an expediting service like RushMyPassport.com. If you do, you’ll have help from trained passport specialists to ensure that the passport application process goes smoothly and that you have your passport in hand when you need it!