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Apply For Passports – New Birth Certificate Requirements You Need To Know

Do you need to apply for a passport for the first time? Starting in April 2011, the US Department of State officially changed the requirements for certified birth certificates.

The new rule states the full names of both parents have to be on your certificate. Regardless of your age, this new change is required to prove you are a US citizen. You will have to order a replacement in the event your birth certificate does not meet this new requirement. If you need to know where to write to get a replacement, has a list of contacts for every state.

There are also a few more guidelines that have to be followed in order to get a first time passport. Your certified birth certificate must also have your full name or the full name of your child if you are applying on behalf of your child.

Both the date of birth and place of birth have to be there as well. There needs to be an embossed or raised official seal from the state authority that issued the certificate. The signature of the registrar who prepared the document also has to be present.

The certificate of birth needs to have the date it was filed in the office of the registrar. It is possible to present to present secondary evidence instead of a certificate. However, the Passport agency will only allow this if you can prove that it’s not possible to get a new certified copy that meets all the requirements. It’s important to know that social security cards, voter registration cards and military discharge papers do not count as secondary evidence.

The following is a list of documents that can serve as secondary evidence if you are unable to get a certified birth certificate replacement.

Option 1: If you were born abroad but your parents were US citizens at the time, submit a consular report of birth abroad. If you are unable to obtain the report then submit a foreign birth certificate, your parents’ marriage certificate and proof of their US citizenship. Your parents will also have to submit a letter detailing their addresses before your birth.

Option 2: A delayed birth certificate can be used as secondary evidence if it meets the new requirements. A delayed certificate means that it was filed with the registrar after one year had already passed.

Option 3: You can also present a combination of early public records such as your hospital birth certificate, a census record, elementary school records, medical records and baptismal certificate. You do not need to have all of these, just a few will be enough proof. If you do not have any type of previous certified certificate then you also have to submit a Letter of No Record.

Option 4: A DS-10 form can also be used which is an affidavit. It should be completed by a relative who has personal knowledge of your birth. It needs to be taken to a public notary and submitted along with the DS-11 passport application as well as early public records.