Why do I need a copy of my birth certificate when applying for my US passport?

QUESTION:   Why do I need a copy of my birth certificate when applying for my US passport? I was born here and I have lived here all my life.

 

ANSWER:   Providing a birth certificate is very important when applying for a passport. The answer to your question is yes, a record of your birth is needed to allow you to obtain a passport.

In addition, you will have to possess other compensating documents that will confirm that you are truly a United States citizen. Following this paragraph is a list of documents that can help to validate your United States citizenship.

  • A letter from the Vital Statistics office in your State of birth containing the applicant’s name, along with what years their birth records were searched.
  • Any early public records that will help prove your birth within the United States.

On the contrary, if you were not born in the United States, and your parents did not document your birth with the United States Embassy or Consulate in the country you were born in, you might still be able to obtain a passport. The following will have to be provided:

  • A foreign birth certificate that contains the parent’s names.
  • Proof that your parents are United States citizens.
  • The marriage certificate of your parents.

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