Jimmy Woodson had no idea it could take so long to get passport services.  According to the South Bend Tribune, the Niles, Indiana man applied for a new passport 6 months ago, at the same time as his wife and 11-year-old son. They got their passports a few weeks later, but Mr. Woodson is still waiting.

The problem? He was born in Nacogdoches, Texas in 1951. Instead of going to the hospital to give birth, his mother chose to have him at home with the help of a midwife. Unfortunately for Mr. Woodson, his mother thought the midwife had also taken care of filing the birth certificate. She didn’t. Mr. Woodson’s mother didn’t find out that the birth certificate wasn’t filed until 6 years later.  She filed for a birth certificate for her son at that time, but any birth certificate filed more than a year after the birth of a child raises red flags at the State Department.

In the South Bend Tribune article, Mr. Woodson described how frustrating the process of applying for passport services has been for him:

“They refused me, because the birth certificate my mother applied for was six years late,” he said. “They sent me two affidavits to be filled out by relatives, so I did that. Then they sent me two more affidavits. They said the information wasn’t acceptable.”

Currently, Mr. Woodson’s Congressional Representative is attempting to resolve the issue for him.

Mr. Woodson’s experience illustrates why it is important to apply for your passport well in advance of a planned vacation.  If your birth certificate was filed late, you can increase your chances of having your application processed on the first try by also submitting early public records, such as census records, baptismal records, records of post-natal care,  or a family Bible record. See the Department of State’s web site for more information about secondary proof of citizenship.

However, if you are relying on secondary proof of citizenship, be aware that the State Department considers each of these applications on a case-by-case basis.

A private expediting company like RushMyPassport.com can help make the process of applying for passport services easier and less intimidating. Although we can’t make the Department of State issue a passport if they’ve determined they need more documentation, we can help you avoid common mistakes that can hold up your application.

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