To get a passport, you must prove that you are a U.S. citizen. There are primary documents, as well as secondary documents you may use to determine your citizenship. You may submit them with the right form and only when they are required. Let us start by listing the primary documents.
Proof of Identification Primary Documents
Birth Certificate – every person born in the U.S. or on a U.S. territory has a birth certificate. A birth certificate will contain the person’s name, date and time of birth, place of birth. It will also show the mother’s name, place of birth and age. The same information is displaced for the father. The certificate will have a stamped seal and signature of the registrar that recorded the birth.
Certificate of Naturalization – this certificate is given to a person who becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States. You must submit the original copy, and it will be returned to you at a later date. In most cases, you receive your passport before the certificate.
Consular Report of Birth Abroad – U.S. citizens who give birth on U.S. territories, must produce a Consular Report of Birth Abroad when they cannot provide the original birth certificate. The document will be proof of citizenship.
Expired Passport – if you had a passport before and it expired, you can use your expired passport as proof of citizenship. Individuals who are renewing their passport can submit their expired passport along with the application.
Proof of Identification Secondary Documents
Secondary documents are acceptable mostly when the applicant may not have enough evidence of identity. These applicants are usually minors but can also be an adult. Most secondary documents must be notarized or original copies are accepted only. Unless the instructions clearly state photocopies are accepted, submit the original document. Mostly, when the application is for a minor, it is when secondary documents are required. However, some adult can submit secondary documents if they cannot produce a primary document.
State Issued ID – a state-issued ID can be a driver’s license, photo ID, military photo ID, or a resident card. Anyone of these IDs used must be valid. That means it cannot be suspended or expired. Another acceptable ID for a minor is a school ID with a photo. For an adult, a Welfare card, employment ID, voter’s ID, or professional license are also acceptable.
Social Security Card – a social security card will have the individual name which can then be compared with the other forms of identification.
Other Forms – many forms of secondary IDs are acceptable. Here is a list of them:
- Health insurance or Medicare car
- Flight Crew ID card
- Union membership card
- Diploma or school transcript
- School yearbook with name and photo
- Marriage certificate or divorce decree
- Baptismal certificate
- Copy of your mortgage, lease, or rental agreement
- Vehicle registration, title, or proof of car insurance
- Copies of utility bills for the past year
- Income tax records or W-2