Proof of U.S. citizenship is necessary to apply for a U.S. passport, to file for social security benefits, and more recently, to apply for enhanced drivers’ licenses pursuant to the federal Real ID Act. The Real ID Act was passed to eliminate airline terrorism by requiring more documentation and proof of residency when issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards.
Starting October 1, 2020, everyone will be required to present either a REAL ID-compliant license/ID, Passport, or Passport card to access federal facilities, such as airports and boarding a commercial aircraft. A traveler will not be allowed through a security checkpoint if they are not able to present a valid form of identification, such as a passport, Real ID compliant license, or another Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler card.
Due to increasingly stringent requirements by the federal government on acceptable forms of state identification cards and driver’s licenses due to the Real ID Act, it is important for one to acquire evidence of citizenship and identity. If an individual does not have a valid form of identification, that person will have to face restrictions traveling or entering federal buildings. Therefore, it is necessary to acquire and organize all documentation necessary to obtain valid forms of identification from your state or federal government. The following documents serve as primary proof of U.S. citizenship:
- Birth Certificate
- S. Passport
- Naturalization Certificate
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
The following documents may be used to prove U.S. citizenship if no primary evidence is available. In the absence of a birth certificate, one can provide other public records that show the name, date of birth, and place of birth of the individual. Ideally, this record should have been created during the first five years of birth. Some examples include a hospital birth certificate, baptismal certificate, and a doctor’s record of post-natal care.
These records must be accompanied by a state-issued Letter of No Record, indicating that no record was found on file.
Form DS-10: Birth Affidavit is a legal statement that is an alternative proof of U.S. citizenship if a state issued U.S. birth certificate is not available. This form is a sworn statement by an individual with personal familiarity of the details of the birth. This form must also be notarized, be accompanied by the Letter of No Record, and be applied in person to a Passport Agent by the applicant.
Philadelphia Citizenship Lawyers at the Law Offices of Tahir Mella, P.C. Help Individuals Obtain Proof of Citizenship
If you lack appropriate documentation to prove your citizenship or need assistance in acquiring U.S. citizenship, a passport, or other documentation, contact the Philadelphia citizenship lawyers at the Law Offices of Tahir Mella, P.C. today. Contact us online or call us at 215-496-0690 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.