If you’re applying for a passport, you should be aware that the Department of State 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.

Birth Certificate Requirements for Passports

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 are the US State Department birth certificate requirements for passports:

  • Use an original or certified copy of your birth certificate. It should have a raised, embossed, engraved or multicolored seal on the top.
  • A birth certificate issued by the hospital where you were born is NOT considered proof of citizenship, regardless of whether it was designed to look cute or designed to look “official,”
  • 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.

How to Apply for a Passport

There are a few ways to get your passport. The routine passport process takes 6-8 weeks and can be handled at your local post office or county clerk. For travelers that need their passport faster, expediting options are available. RushMyPassport offers expediting options that range from 2 weeks to as fast as 24 hours. 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 so you’ll have your passport in time for your trip.

Don’t wait – submit your passport application today!