How can I prove citizenship if my birth certificate was never filed? 7 Answers as of January 27, 2011

I was born in the US and grew up here, which I believe makes me a citizen. However, I do not have a birth certificate, social security number, passport, license, or any other proof of citizenship or ID. How can I fix this?

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
You need to check with the applicable state on the procedures for late registered births. You will need to prove your birth here. Were you born in a hospital?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/27/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
If you were born in the us you should apply for a birth certificate. Go to the county where you were born and apply for birth cert.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/20/2011
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
Did you ask your parents about your place of birth? Were you born in a hospital or in a home? Were anyone present when you were born? A lot of American simply do not know where is their birth certificate, but usually there is one somewhere, like at the local civil registry. People born in hospital usually have the doctor to report the birth. On few occasions, the parents who have a kids at home fail to register the birth, so it is a complicated process to have a delayed birth need witnesses who were present at your birth, such as an older sister. Usually, the older you are, the more difficult it becomes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
Why don't you have birth certificate? You can fix this by finding copy of birth certificate.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/20/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
You have the burden of proving you are a U.S. Citizen. Proving you were born in the U.S. when your birth certificate was not registered is difficult. At the very least you will have to obtain hospital and doctor's records regarding your birth; proof that your mother was in the U.S. at the time you would have been born; affidavits from people who were aware you were born in the U.S. Once you have these documents you can try applying for a U.S. Passport with the U.S. Department of State, or filing an N-600 with the USCIS.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2011
    Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
    Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
    It would be very unusual for a person to be born in the United States and not have a birth certificate filed. I have heard of it, for instance among people who are deliberately concealing themselves.

    If a licensed doctor or midwife assisted at your birth, that person was required by law to report the birth to the health department. If there is an official record of your birth, you can get it if you know the state where you were born, the date, your birth name, and your mother's name. Here is a link for all the states:

    There are secondary ways to prove the facts of birth, for instance by affidavit of someone who had first-hand knowledge of your birth. If a child was baptized before age five, the baptismal certificate is proof of age, but you may have trouble proving the place of birth. Sometimes, a notation in a family Bible can prove the facts.

    The first people to ask are your parents. If that's not possible, then you need to see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/20/2011
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
    This is a fact intensive question that requires you to speak directly with an attorney who practices family law, general law, or immigration law. It will depend on where you were born. If you were born in a hospital and there is a hospital record then each state has a process for recording those births with the official registrant in that state. If this did not occur in a timely fashion than there must be a process to file late. If you were born on a reservation, or at home there may be a process, again depending upon the state that you were born in, to establish your birth through the testimony of individuals present at the time of your birth. This could probably be done through the probate and family court with jurisdiction over the place where you were born. In any event you will need legal assistance and this will be quite difficult for you to handle on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/20/2011
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