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Old Apr 12, 12, 6:39 am   #1
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"New Requirement for U.S. Birth Certificates" when used for US passport applications

On April 1, 2011 -- that was a year ago so not really "brand new" -- a "new" requirement went into place for those wanting to use a U.S. birth certificate as primary evidence of citizenship when applying for a US passport.

It's mentioned at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_5401.html and reads as follows:

Quote:
Updated April 28, 2011

New U.S. Birth Certificate Requirement

Beginning April 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of State will require the full names of the applicant’s parent(s) to be listed on all certified birth certificates to be considered as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship for all passport applicants, regardless of age. Certified birth certificates missing this information will not be acceptable as evidence of citizenship. This will not affect applications already in-process that have been submitted or accepted before the effective date.
No prior comments on FT about why this change went into place too, to what it may have lead, and to what it may lead?

Anyone recall when 22 CFR 51.44 went into effect?

That reads:

Quote:
§ 51.44 Proof of resumption or retention of U.S. citizenship.

An applicant who claims to have resumed or retained U.S. citizenship must submit with the application a certificate of naturalization or evidence that he or she took the steps necessary to resume or retain U.S. citizenship in accordance with the applicable provision of law.
Why should US citizens ever be required to take any steps to show the US federal government that they retain US citizenship?

Generally the burden of showing US citizenship was lost/surrendered/interrupted should be upon the US federal government and be a matter for the courts to determine rather than by an administrative body.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 7:19 am   #2
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post

No prior comments on FT about why this change went into place too, to what it may have lead, and to what it may lead?

Anyone recall when 22 CFR 51.44 went into effect?
It was discussed, I believe, in the threads about the new questionnaire for passports.


What’s the phone number of the first job you even had?

and

Proposal: Insanely Complex US Passport Application

The short form birth certificates have become pretty much useless unless you are signing up a kid for little league, I think many places have started requiring the full form now, with the parents names, etc.

Edited to add

Apparently the use of the terms short and long form is causing some confusion. By short form, I mean without the parents names, and by long form, with the parents name. Some areas call them wallet and full size, others call them other things. In no way was I implying that the size of the document mattered to the state department as long as all the required information was on it. If you happen to live in an area where the short form birth certificate has required information (both parents name, your full name, birth date, registrar signature, place of birth, appropriate seal) that should satisfy the state department requirements.

It's only for people applying for new passports (mostly, as renewing does not need to present a birth certificate), it's just a matter for most of them of just asking for the long form when they order their Birth Certificate.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 11:00 am   #3
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
It was discussed, I believe, in the threads about the new questionnaire for passports.


What’s the phone number of the first job you even had?

and

Proposal: Insanely Complex US Passport Application

The short form birth certificates have become pretty much useless unless you are signing up a kid for little league, I think many places have started requiring the full form now, with the parents names, etc.

It's only for people applying for new passports (mostly, as renewing does not need to present a birth certificate), it's just a matter for most of them of just asking for the long form when they order their Birth Certificate.
The issues that brought up those threads weren't premised on that which has brought up this one. I was well aware of those threads but don't recall any mention about this CFR that changed what US state-issued birth certificates have to have on them to be accepted as primary evidence of US citizenship at time of passport application.

This also does hit some US citizens applying for passport renewals.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 11:20 am   #4
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Post six of the first thread linked where it is clearly mentioned.

Quote:
Beginning April 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of State will require the full names of the applicant’s parent(s) to be listed on all certified birth certificates to be considered as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship for all passport applicants, regardless of age. Certified birth certificates missing this information will not be acceptable as evidence of citizenship. This will not affect applications already in-process that have been submitted or accepted before the effective date.

In addition to this requirement, certified copies of birth certificates must also include the following information to be considered acceptable primary evidence of U.S. citizenship:

Full name of the applicant
Date of birth
Place of birth
Raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal of issuing authority
Registrar’s signature
The date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office (must be within one year)
As I said, it's not a big deal and that's probably why nobody commented on it.

Please, explain why this is such a huge issue? For most people who need a birth certificate, they will need to get a long form one instead of a short form one. It's inconvenient but it's not the end of the world.

Edited to add

Apparently the use of the terms short and long form is causing some confusion. By short form, I mean without the parents names, and by long form, with the parents name. Some areas call them wallet and full size, others call them other things. In no way was I implying that the size of the document mattered to the state department as long as all the required information was on it. If you happen to live in an area where the short form birth certificate has required information (both parents name, your full name, birth date, registrar signature, place of birth, appropriate seal) that should satisfy the state department requirements.

The number of people who are applying for a passport and can not present a birth certificate with the required information is estimated to be a tiny faction of the people applying (75,000 out of the 14 million who apply every year), which is why they have the questionnaire for those few people.

Quote:
This also does hit some US citizens applying for passport renewals.
Why would that be? When you apply for a renewal your current passport serves as proof of citizenship. If there are people who need to present a birth certificate at time of renewal, that's also a miniscule amount of people.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 12:38 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
The short form birth certificates have become pretty much useless unless you are signing up a kid for little league, I think many places have started requiring the full form now, with the parents names, etc.
Many if not most "short form" birth certificates-- they are commonly called "birth certificate abstracts" as that's what they are-- contain all the information required. A quick google image search shows that both the NY and HI "short form" birth certificates contain all this information. I can personally vouch for Cook County and the State of Illinois-- abstracts from them have this information and always have. This 'new' rule provides no indication at all that State is no longer accepting certified birth abstracts that have all of the required information, or that they plan not to accept them in the future.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 1:55 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Post six of the first thread linked where it is clearly mentioned.
That thread was premised on something entirely different than this and the inclusion of this item there is barely even tangential (if even that) when it comes to the premise of that thread and the other one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli
As I said, it's not a big deal and that's probably why nobody commented on it.
I doubt most people have much if any clue about how the premise of this thread is distinct from that of those threads about questionnaires. A lot of things get missed when things get inappropriately muddied and muddled together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli
Please, explain why this is such a huge issue? For most people who need a birth certificate, they will need to get a long form one instead of a short form one. It's inconvenient but it's not the end of the world.
It's nothing to do with inconvenience or difficulty/impossibility to present a document -- it has to do with "why" the change and what the change has achieved and/or will achieve.

Whether it's a huge issue or not, that's in the eye of the beholder. Some would argue that any issue where the government increases the requirement for primary evidence of citizenship is a big issue while others would argue that so very few people relative to the population of passport applicants would be impacted that it's a non-issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli
The number of people who are applying for a passport and can not present a birth certificate with the required information is estimated to be a tiny faction of the people applying (75,000 out of the 14 million who apply every year), which is why they have the questionnaire for those few people.
I'm not sure why you even bring that up. As I was indicating above, this change is independent of the changes that led to the questionnaire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli
Why would that be? When you apply for a renewal your current passport serves as proof of citizenship. If there are people who need to present a birth certificate at time of renewal, that's also a miniscule amount of people.
A current passport doesn't necessarily get accepted as proof of citizenship even when identity of the person is confirmed -- that such is a rather rare exception in terms of frequency doesn't really change a thing nor does it explain matters about the change in requirement that is the premise of this thread.

[That only a very tiny sliver of a fraction of a percent of people are being told to present a birth certificate at time of renewal does nothing to highlight what motivated the change which is the premise of this thread (but which is not the premise of the other two threads).]

The government cares about parentage and family relationships for reasons that have nothing to do with what prompted the questionnaires that are the premise of the approaches highlighted in the two threads whose URLs you kindly included here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
Many if not most "short form" birth certificates-- they are commonly called "birth certificate abstracts" as that's what they are-- contain all the information required. A quick google image search shows that both the NY and HI "short form" birth certificates contain all this information. I can personally vouch for Cook County and the State of Illinois-- abstracts from them have this information and always have. This 'new' rule provides no indication at all that State is no longer accepting certified birth abstracts that have all of the required information, or that they plan not to accept them in the future.
That's very representative of the state of affairs. It also ought to help to prompt questions about what drove the change that is the premise of this thread and some other things related to that.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 5:21 pm   #7
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That's very representative of the state of affairs. It also ought to help to prompt questions about what drove the change that is the premise of this thread and some other things related to that.
I assumed it was just more of the 'suspicious midwife' thing-- not accepting at face value births not recorded within a year-- but then there's the requirement of parentage. Maybe they want to make sure that one "parent" didn't record births for a bunch of unrelated children? What do you think they want this information for?
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Old Apr 12, 12, 5:28 pm   #8
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I assumed it was just more of the 'suspicious midwife' thing-- not accepting at face value births not recorded within a year-- but then there's the requirement of parentage. Maybe they want to make sure that one "parent" didn't record births for a bunch of unrelated children? What do you think they want this information for?
Good question, but I went to school with a girl who listed 'unknown' for the father on her child's birth certificate. I wonder what that (now adult) child's experience will be when presenting that birth certificate.
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Old Apr 12, 12, 5:38 pm   #9
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Good question, but I went to school with a girl who listed 'unknown' for the father on her child's birth certificate. I wonder what that (now adult) child's experience will be when presenting that birth certificate.
Such birth certificates is not as uncommon as they should be, so I'm sure State has seen countless ones over the years and I doubt they raise any eyebrows.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 2:52 am   #10
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
Good question, but I went to school with a girl who listed 'unknown' for the father on her child's birth certificate. I wonder what that (now adult) child's experience will be when presenting that birth certificate.
Only require that there be at least one parent named on it.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 3:04 am   #11
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The federal government has kept far more complete records of the names and other details of diplomats and those with A series purpose type of visas who entered the US on such visas.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 8:49 am   #12
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
Good question, but I went to school with a girl who listed 'unknown' for the father on her child's birth certificate. I wonder what that (now adult) child's experience will be when presenting that birth certificate.

From a State Department Spokesperson at the time the requirement went into place

“The Department recognizes that some passport applicants will not have two parents registered on their birth certificates due to circumstances such as an unknown father or a single-parent adoption case. In these cases, a passport applicant may submit a certified copy of a birth certificate listing the complete name of the registering parent. Regarding two parents adopting a child, the parents may amend the birth certificate of their child to reflect both of their complete names. Though requirements differ slightly across the country, states generally make it easy to amend a birth certificate to list adoptive parents. In adoption cases, the Department will also accept the certified copy of the child’s original birth certificate as long as it is submitted with the certified copy of the adoption decree indicating the name of the child and his or her adoptive parents.”
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Old Apr 13, 12, 8:55 am   #13
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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
Many if not most "short form" birth certificates-- they are commonly called "birth certificate abstracts" as that's what they are-- contain all the information required. A quick google image search shows that both the NY and HI "short form" birth certificates contain all this information. I can personally vouch for Cook County and the State of Illinois-- abstracts from them have this information and always have. This 'new' rule provides no indication at all that State is no longer accepting certified birth abstracts that have all of the required information, or that they plan not to accept them in the future.
I apologize for the confusion. Where I was born, are called wallet size and full size. I will edit my post to reflect with and without the parents name, because listing each and every jurisdictions name for the form with and without such names is pretty silly.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 10:42 am   #14
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I apologize for the confusion. Where I was born, are called wallet size and full size. I will edit my post to reflect with and without the parents name, because listing each and every jurisdictions name for the form with and without such names is pretty silly.
Are there wallet-sized birth certificates with raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seals of the government-issuing authority? I've never been presented with any such thing -- at least no such thing that wouldn't have involved folding it up to fit in wallets I've bought. I've been presented with birth certificates with raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seals of the government-issuing authority that didn't include parents' names.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 2:44 pm   #15
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Are there wallet-sized birth certificates with raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seals of the government-issuing authority? I've never been presented with any such thing -- at least no such thing that wouldn't have involved folding it up to fit in wallets I've bought. I've been presented with birth certificates with raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seals of the government-issuing authority that didn't include parents' names.
Yes, there are states and towns and cities that issue wallet sized birth certificates (or whatever the preferred name is, the state department is apparently wrong when they refer to them as the short version of a birth certificate) that have raised seals on them that do not require folding to fit into a wallet, they are the same size as a license or credit card.
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