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Pattyjo9951

Copy of birth certificates

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This is one of those cases where one cruises per CC opinions - probably written by those with no first hand experience or you cruise per Carnival written policies and facts from those of us that have done it.

 

Pretty easy choice for me. I have used a photocopy (as others have). No problem, no supervisor needed, no additional time spent - none of the drama presented in this thread.

 

Ah, anecdotal evidence. Now that's compelling...

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That does seem clear enough. It also seems to conflict with the Customs and Border Patrol FAQ.

 

 

"U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government issued driver's license, picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth.

 

An U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original, notarized or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by Department of State, (DOS) and/or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services."

 

No mention of photocopies. A "certified copy" is not a photocopy.

edit: I just emailed the CBP. My question will be answered within 14 days :)

 

If you look under the actual requirements of the WHTI on the CBP site it clarifies it.

 

 

  • U.S. and Canadian citizen children under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious group, or other youth group) need only present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship. The birth certificate can be original, photocopy, or certified copy.

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Ah, anecdotal evidence. Now that's compelling...

 

 

 

It’s not just anecdotal evidence. Carnival says a copy is good. The U.S. government says a copy is good. The anecdotal evidence unanimously says a copy is good. Not a single person has posted on here with even a single example of a copy not being good enough (just vague references to sometimes the folks at check in may not know the rules — which is true, at times).

 

But because someone says “eh, maybe not good enough” we’re gonna start cracking safes.

 

On the the other hand, you are going to have to open that safe sometime or another....

 

 

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If you look under the actual requirements of the WHTI on the CBP site it clarifies it.

 

 

  • U.S. and Canadian citizen children under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious group, or other youth group) need only present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship. The birth certificate can be original, photocopy, or certified copy.

 

It does say that for children under the age of 16. A couple paragraphs down it says

  • U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) are able to enter the United States with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.

No mention of photocopies being accepted. Also doesn't say it has to be an original or a certified copy. Maybe since photocopies are mentioned in regard to children it can be assumed that it's the same for adults. I don't know the answer but I sure think there is room for confusion.

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You will never see the "original" of your birth certificate. That is held by the state in which you were born. The best you will ever see is a certified copy which you get by ordering through VitalChek or a similar service.

 

 

 

Now the term "original" that Carnival refers to would be the actual document you receive through the service you ordered it through. And the term "copy" would mean that you used a photocopy machine to make a facsimile of the "original".

 

 

 

Either one, Carnival says will be acceptable.

 

 

 

Have a GREAT cruise!

 

 

 

Maybe in your state, but we have the originals of all of our birth certificates. They are sent within a few weeks of birth. The state does not hold our birth certificates. The city in which we were born have official log books of all of the births. I’ve watched many times our City Clerk pull out the logs and issue a new copy of birth certificates. So, no “copy” doesn’t always mean a photocopy if you’ve been issued a new copy by an office of vital statistics.

 

 

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A simple copy. They go as far to say it does not have to be notarized or certified to further clarify that.

 

 

 

Any copies of BC we’ve gotten from offices of vital statistics are always certified. Maybe that’s just here.

 

 

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Does this friend have an enhanced drivers license or enhanced state ID? If so thats all you need. Carnival allows enhanced ID's as proper documentation for boarding.

 

Directly from Carnival website.

 

"

State Enhanced Driver's License (EDL)

 

The State Enhanced Driver's License cannot be used to travel by air outside the United States.

Several states are working with the Department of Homeland Security to develop an EDL for U.S. citizens residing in their states. This document will denote both citizenship and identity and will facilitate the entry process at land and sea ports of entry. The word 'Enhanced' must appear on the license. The following states issue this type of WHTI-compliant document: Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington."

most all states now issue enhanced drivers license.

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It does say that for children under the age of 16. A couple paragraphs down it says

  • U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) are able to enter the United States with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.

No mention of photocopies being accepted. Also doesn't say it has to be an original or a certified copy. Maybe since photocopies are mentioned in regard to children it can be assumed that it's the same for adults. I don't know the answer but I sure think there is room for confusion.

 

If you read the underlying DHS regulations the language is the same for adults and children, that an "original or copy" of the birth certificate is acceptable. Why is the CBP website different? It used to be the same as the regulations, then it got edited. My guess is the person who updated the website hadn't a clue what they were writing. In any event, the CBP website, as it is written, is really confusing and misleading. (And FWIW a certified copy is what you get from the state when it issues it to you and it is what most people think of as their "original". Having a notary notarize a copy doesn't "certify" it.)

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Can someone please clarify what is meant by “copy”. Are we talking a photocopy made on a copier, or an official stamped copy from an office of vital statistics (as opposed to the one issued at birth). These two definitions of “copy” are very different. It sounds like the cruise line is talking official copy as they refer you to how to obtain one. I would hate for someone to think a photocopy is okay if it’s not.

 

 

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A photocopy is what we mean by "copy". I put my birth certificate on a photocopy machine, made a copy of it and when I boarded that is what I presented.

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I have made the statement believe it, don't believe it do whatever you want if you think it is false prove it false. Or don't as I already said I would never travel on a copy but you are free to do so.

 

I can't imagine stronger proof than quoting directly from the terms and conditions. Were you ever denied boarding because you only had a copy?

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Any copies of BC we’ve gotten from offices of vital statistics are always certified. Maybe that’s just here.

 

Correct....clause 1 covers that scenario. It pertains to originals or certified copies obtained directly from the state.

 

Clause 2 covers simple copies of the document issued by the state, further clarified that there is no need for it to be independently notarized or certified.

 

 

 

  • An original or copy of a birth certificate issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics
  • A clear, legible copy of a birth certificate that was originally issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics. The copy does not need to be notarized or certified.

Edited by ray98

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Certs must be issued by a government authority. Photocopy is not acceptable, and neither is an original certificate issued by a non-government entity, such as a hospital.

 

Photocopy may be good to leave with a family member in case of emergency or to take with you while in port.

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Certs must be issued by a government authority. Photocopy is not acceptable, and neither is an original certificate issued by a non-government entity, such as a hospital.

 

Photocopy may be good to leave with a family member in case of emergency or to take with you while in port.

 

I can believe all the crap being posted by clearly uninformed people. The rules have been posted many times. A BC photocopy is all that is needed. Not an original, not a "certified" copy. The plain old fashioned photocopy is all that is needed. If you need reassurance, then post a IM on Carnival's FB page and they will reassure you. Rant Over!

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Certs must be issued by a government authority. Photocopy is not acceptable, and neither is an original certificate issued by a non-government entity, such as a hospital.

 

Photocopy may be good to leave with a family member in case of emergency or to take with you while in port.

 

A photocopy of a government issued birth certificate is perfectly acceptable and is allowed under the DHS regulations themselves. As I've said I presented a photocopy and it was accepted. No emergency involved. Not taking it with me in any port. CCL would not have accepted it if it was acceptable under the regulations.

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Certs must be issued by a government authority. Photocopy is not acceptable, and neither is an original certificate issued by a non-government entity, such as a hospital.

 

 

 

Photocopy may be good to leave with a family member in case of emergency or to take with you while in port.

 

 

 

Wrong. That is all.

 

 

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The rules are clear....a copy is sufficient.

 

 

 

 

 

  • An original or copy of a birth certificate issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics
  • A clear, legible copy of a birth certificate that was originally issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics. The copy does not need to be notarized or certified.

Ambiguous, at best.

"original" or "copy"....issued by a government agency. (Not a photocopy you made?)

 

"clear, legible copy" of a birth certificate that was originally issued by a government agency. Make your own photocopy?

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We can stop all this nonsense. The poster is cruising already on the copy of the bc. It is fine! Would you do it? It doesn't matter.

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That's all well and good, but if all you had was a copy are you saying you would forfeit your cruise rather than go with the copy? Sometimes things do happen and we are put in a position where we have to go with something less than what we planned on (I have read a couple of stories of folks losing their passport on the way to the port or forgetting it at home and as you say since they were able to have a copy of their birth certificate faxed they were still allowed to cruise.)

No that's not what I said. I travel with a passport. I think said go with what you have. Reread it and let me know.

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Seems clear that a copy should work. Print out a copy of Carnival's "rules" about a copied BC and take it with you. Sounds good. Have a great time!

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Certs must be issued by a government authority. Photocopy is not acceptable, and neither is an original certificate issued by a non-government entity, such as a hospital.

 

Photocopy may be good to leave with a family member in case of emergency or to take with you while in port.

Two years ago, I know Carnival's FAQ's stated that a certified copy of a BC was required. I remember reading it multiple times because it was our first cruise and I wanted to be certain which documents we needed. At the time, we hadn't yet gotten our passports. But that was two years ago and the fact of the matter is, their FAQ's now state differently.

 

 

 

 

  • An original or copy of a birth certificate issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics
  • A clear, legible copy of a birth certificate that was originally issued by a government agency (state/county/city) or the Department of Health and Vital Statistics. The copy does not need to be notarized or certified.

Ambiguous, at best.

"original" or "copy"....issued by a government agency. (Not a photocopy you made?)

 

"clear, legible copy" of a birth certificate that was originally issued by a government agency. Make your own photocopy?

The first one, "original or copy," simply means the original birth certificate issued at birth or a certified copy of it. The second one literally means a clear photocopy of the one issues by the government. Notice at the end of that statement, it says it doesn't need to be notarized or certified, simply meaning a copy you made yourself.

 

We can stop all this nonsense. The poster is cruising already on the copy of the bc. It is fine! Would you do it? It doesn't matter.
I think it does matter because someone else will probably come along wanting the same information. It's important to stop all this misinformation. Actually, they'll probably just create a new thread and this debate will rage on in multiple threads like every other heated debate on here. :D

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Two years ago, I know Carnival's FAQ's stated that a certified copy of a BC was required. I remember reading it multiple times because it was our first cruise and I wanted to be certain which documents we needed. At the time, we hadn't yet gotten our passports. But that was two years ago and the fact of the matter is, their FAQ's now state differently.

 

The first one, "original or copy," simply means the original birth certificate issued at birth or a certified copy of it. The second one literally means a clear photocopy of the one issues by the government. Notice at the end of that statement, it says it doesn't need to be notarized or certified, simply meaning a copy you made yourself.

 

I think it does matter because someone else will probably come along wanting the same information. It's important to stop all this misinformation. Actually, they'll probably just create a new thread and this debate will rage on in multiple threads like every other heated debate on here. :D

 

 

Lord help the ones that come here for an answer. They will probably just cancel their cruise.... Lol

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No that's not what I said. I travel with a passport. I think said go with what you have. Reread it and let me know.

 

The first line of your post was "Not to get in the middle of this but I would never travel with a copy." and that is what my post was in response to. I apologize for not snipping the rest of it.

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Nope, they won't take a copy. Try to get that safe open, good luck hope everything works out .

 

The Carnival FAQ clearly states that a quality copy is acceptable. ( I hope other reading this will prepare far in advance and make sure their travel documents are in order long before the cruise. Myself, if I were going to use a birth certificate, I would order a brand new one from my state's vital records.)

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