The most important document you’ll submit to get your new US passport is your proof of citizenship. Without appropriate official documents to prove you are a US citizen, you won’t be issued a passport! Today we’ll look in depth at all the forms of proof of citizenship you can use when you apply for a passport.
Birth Certificate Showing Birth in the US
For most travelers, the easiest way to prove US citizenship is to submit a birth certificate showing birth in the US. Want to learn more? We wrote a whole article about birth certificate requirements and how you can obtain an official copy of your birth certificate.
Expired US Passport
Are you going through the new adult passport process because your last passport was issued more than 15 years ago? Good news — you don’t need to dig out your birth certificate. Your expired passport can be used as your proof of citizenship! Make sure you are still recognizable as the person in the passport photo on your old passport, though. If you’re now 30 years old and your last passport was issued when you were 5, that’s not going to work.
Naturalized citizens can submit the original US naturalization certificate or a certified copy. If you’ve lost your naturalization certificate or need to get a new copy, you can apply for a replacement using USCIS Form N-565. Replacement certificates cost $345… we recommend keeping yours in a safe place!
Certificate of Citizenship
Certificates of Citizenship are issued to people who were born overseas but acquired US citizenship through their parents. This includes people who were born to US citizen parents abroad, as well as those who were adopted internationally by US citizen parents. If you have a Certificate of Citizenship, you can submit your original certificate as proof of citizenship with your US passport application. Replacement certificates can also be obtained by filing Form N-565.
Consular Record of Birth Abroad
Another proof of citizenship for people who were born to US citizen parents in a foreign country is the Consular Record of Birth Abroad. The Consular Record of Birth Abroad is also known as the CRBA or Form FS-240. Your parents would have needed to register your birth at the US Embassy or Consulate in the location where you were born. If you still have your original Consular Record of Birth Abroad, great! If you need a replacement document, you can order one from the State Department for $50.
Certification of Report of Birth
Form DS-1350, the Certification of Report of Birth, is another proof of citizenship document that may be held by people born overseas to US citizen parents. The US State Department stopped issuing these certificates in 2010, but if you still have your original DS-1350, you can submit it with your passport application to prove your US citizenship.
If you have an unusual citizenship situation, call G3 to talk to a Passport Specialist about what proof of citizenship you can use to get a passport!