Primary and secondary proof of US Citizenship

Proof of Citizenship

You must provide proof of citizenship for all US passport services. Most passport applicants are able to submit preferred evidence of United States citizenship for passport requests, such as a birth certificate showing birth in the United States or a previously-issued US passport. However, if you do not have one of the documents accepted as primary evidence of US citizenship, you may be able to prove your citizenship by showing documents from our list of secondary evidence of US citizenship.

Primary Evidence of US Citizenship

The following items are accepted as primary proof of US citizenship. You only need to submit one of these items.

  • Birth Certificate showing birth in the US – This must be an original or certified copy of the long-form certificate showing your parents names, issued by the municipality in which you were born. Hospital-issued birth certificates are not accepted. You can acquire a certified copy of your birth certificate from the Office of Vital Statistics in the location of your birth or through
  • Previous US Passport – Both valid and expired passports may be used. If your appearance has changed significantly since your passport was issued, you may need to submit a different form of proof of US citizenship.
  • US Naturalization Certificate – Original or certified copy.
  • Consular Record of Birth Abroad – If you were born overseas to a US parent, you can submit an original Consular Record of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350).
  • File Search – If you have previously been issued a passport, but it has been lost or stolen, you may request a file search at the Passport Agency. You will need to submit this form and an additional $150 fee.

Secondary Evidence of US Citizenship

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Don’t have any of the documents listed above? If you were born in the US but were never issued an official birth certificate, you can submit secondary proof of US citizenship.

  • Letter of No Record plus early public records – A Letter of No Record is a state-issued document stating your name, date of birth, and certifying that the records have been searched and no birth certificate was found on file for you. This must be submitted along with evidence of early public records from your first five years of life. Submit as many of the following as possible:

    • Hospital-issued birth certificate
    • Baptismal certificate, family bible record, or other early religious record
    • Doctor’s records of pediatric care
    • Early school records
  • Foreign Birth Certificate plus Evidence of Parent(s) US Citizenship – If you were born overseas to one or more US citizen parents, but you do not have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or a Certification of Report of Birth, you can submit all of the following documents to prove your US citizenship:

    • Your foreign birth certificate (along with a certified translation into English)
    • Primary evidence of citizenship for your US citizen parent(s)
    • Your parents’ marriage certificate
    • A written statement from your parents specifying their residential addresses in the US and abroad before and after your birth.


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