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:
- Previously issued, undamaged US passport
- Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state of birth
- Consular Report of Birth (of U.S. citizen) Abroad or Certification of Birth
- Naturalization Certificate
- Certificate of Citizenship
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.