Sadly, their names are not their passports
June 1, 2015 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Question about document requirements for US passports for minors.

The US State Department's website about passports for minors is clear that you are just submitting a photocopy of the parental proof of identity (driver's license or passport), so that's fine. But this is what it says about the child proof of identity:

1. Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

You must submit one of the following certified documents as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship for your child (Photocopies and notarized copies are unacceptable):

Certified U.S. Birth Certificate

So, I'm *submitting* an original birth certificate...but am I getting the birth certificate back? Or do I need to reach out to my kids' birth states and get additional copies of their birth certificates, so I have one copy for me and one for the feds?
posted by Chrysostom to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You get it back in the mail. I forget if its in the same envelope as the passport or seperate
posted by TheAdamist at 8:00 AM on June 1, 2015

Yes, you get it. Probably sooner than the passport, which must be printed.

You get back everything you send, generally speaking. Even for expired passports, you get back the old one, with some holes punched in it, and that is ostensibly the government's property. Weird, huh?
posted by cmiller at 8:03 AM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes, the documents are returned to you by mail, usually separately. From the State Dept. FAQ:
Will I receive my passport and the citizenship documents I submitted with my application back in the same envelope?

Passport Book Only: You may receive your newly issued passport and your citizenship documents in two separate mailings. Please contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) if you do not receive a second mailing within 10 business days of receiving the first.
I doubt that the fact that the passport is for a minor would change this procedure.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:03 AM on June 1, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks all, was not looking forward to maybe ordering extra documents!
posted by Chrysostom at 8:24 AM on June 1, 2015

You get it back, but because it's a valuable document, you want to register the mail, and maybe insure it, since it's non-trivial (fees and time) to get a new official copy. You could probably investigate that cost now.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:25 AM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd request an official birth certificate from the county health department to send. That way, when it's sent back, you'll have a back up. (Probably not an issue for someone who is a kid right now, but my original birth certificate wasn't "official" because it didn't have a raised seal. So I had to get a new official one anyway.)
posted by vitabellosi at 8:25 AM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

You get it back, (separately from the passport) but be aware its going to come in a very plain envelope so look thru your mail carefully!
Mr Bumblebee kept grumbling about how he hadn't received his old passport and documentation back after receiving his new one. I told him he likely tossed it into his "junk mail" pile and he had. Another day or two he would have just shredded that pile without sorting thru it. Eep!
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:48 AM on June 1, 2015

When I applied for my passport in late 2000, I had to submit my original birth certificate. I received it by separate mailing about two weeks before I received my passport in the mail. It was in a very plain looking envelope (so was my passport when I got it).

I applied at my local Post Office. Handed my birth certificate and application to the same postal employee who took my picture. Presumably the postal staff took care of mailing it for me. I had to write a check to the State Department for $60 (oh how inexpensive that seems now!), and a separate check to the Postmaster of ${TownName} -- I forget the amount, but presumably that was for the picture and postage to mail in my application.

If I were to put in a renewal application, I would send it in via Priority Mail, Certified, with Delivery Confirmation. Registered Mail is overkill, in my opinion, but I understand why some people might want to do that.
posted by tckma at 9:00 AM on June 1, 2015

Re: Sunburnt's comment. I believe that the USPS will not allow you to insure personal documents like a birth certificate, passport, etc. Despite being valuable items, they have no monetary value, so they are not insurable. (This is what I was told at the USPS office near my house, anyway.)
posted by number9dream at 10:07 AM on June 1, 2015

Here in Seattle, I picked up my passport in person, and my birth certificate was with it. I did pay $60 for an expedited passport, though.
posted by pazazygeek at 12:45 PM on June 1, 2015

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