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Proof of U.S. Citizenship

Documents That Establish U.S. Citizenship

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USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Close up of woman's hand holding open passport
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Proof of U.S. citizenship must be established when dealing with all levels of U.S. government. Documents proving citizenship must be provided when applying for Social Security benefits and when applying for a U.S. passport.

Increasingly, states are requiring proof of citizenship when applying for “enhanced” drivers licenses as required by the federal Real ID Act.

Documents Serving as Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

In most cases, documents serving as “primary” proof or evidence of citizenship are required. Documents serving as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship are:

The Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth should be obtained by persons who were born abroad to U.S. citizens.

If you cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, you may be able to substitute secondary evidence of U.S. citizenship, as described by the U.S. Department of State.

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