To obtain a U.S. passport, individuals must prove that they are U. S. citizens. A previous U. S. passport will suffice, but if they do not have one they will need to supply either a certified birth certificate, a naturalization certificate, or a consular report of birth abroad. A birth certificate must have been issued within one year of their births to be acceptable. A later, or delayed certificate may be valid if it comes with affidavits from an attending physician or midwife or the parents.
If individuals do not have certified birth certificates, they will need a “letter of no record” issued by the state and listing their name and date of birth while also noting that there is no birth record. In addition they will need as many other documents as they can provide, including baptismal certificates, school or family Bible records, or physician’s records. A parent or other older relative can submit an “Affidavit of Birth” claiming personal knowledge of when the individual was born. In addition, individuals can ask a friend to vouch for them. This friend must be a U. S. citizen and a permanent resident, have a valid identification, and have known them for at least two years. He or she must fill out a special form in the presence of the passport agent.