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Pattyjo9951

Copy of birth certificates

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I agree that there is enough misinformation on this thread, but I'm not the one coming up with unlikely scenarios and inapt analogies. I can think of no reason why documentation requirements for a particular sailing would change. Whether anyone likes it or not a copy of a birth certificate is legally allowed, that doesn't mean that anyone is required to use it, just means it's a viable option should some choose to use it.

 

 

 

I was responding to your post where you said taking a bottle of water purchased on the other side of security was against the rules.

 

The poster who was told he could not take his water bottle on the plane did not find himself in that situation because his rule breaking caught up with him.

 

61c4858876089920174505fbb8074399.jpg

 

 

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I was responding to your post where you said taking a bottle of water purchased on the other side of security was against the rules.

 

The poster who was told he could not take his water bottle on the plane did not find himself in that situation because his rule breaking caught up with him.

 

 

 

 

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I still think the analogy is inapt. In any event no one has to use a copy of a birth certificate and I've said repeatedly that the original is best. But when push comes to shove it is good to know that a copy will suffice.

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  • 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?

Yep - this rule is not very clear or legible :D.

 

Must the "copy" be produced by and received from the government? This makes sense to me.

 

... or can the "copy" be something you ran off your office copier, for example?

 

I sure hope Carnival does not accept something you can manufacture on the computer as proof of citizenship, but who knows. I have heard of stranger things.

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I don't know how much clearer it can get. Maybe they should throw in pictures.

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We were told years ago that "copy" means the copy you get from the Bureau of Vital Statistics with a RAISED seal on it. Without the raised seal, they will not accept it. However, this is what we were told when we booked a Royal Caribbean cruise many years ago. I can't believe that Carnival will accept some printed copy from a copier machine. But, maybe times have changed.

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We were told years ago that "copy" means the copy you get from the Bureau of Vital Statistics with a RAISED seal on it. Without the raised seal, they will not accept it. However, this is what we were told when we booked a Royal Caribbean cruise many years ago. I can't believe that Carnival will accept some printed copy from a copier machine. But, maybe times have changed.

I interpreted the Carnival policy statement to be "a raised seal is required", but others have come on this thread to dispute it. Folks love to prove others wrong around here, as you probably have noticed.

 

I recently had to prove to the health insurance company that my kids are my kids, so I have recently ordered birth certificates from both Georgia and North Carolina, and they both have the raised seal.

 

This proves nothing about the other 48 states, but I suspect if you try to board with a self-made photocopy from GA or NC and it has no raised seal, you may be in trouble getting on board.

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I interpreted the Carnival policy statement to be "a raised seal is required", but others have come on this thread to dispute it. Folks love to prove others wrong around here, as you probably have noticed.

 

I recently had to prove to the health insurance company that my kids are my kids, so I have recently ordered birth certificates from both Georgia and North Carolina, and they both have the raised seal.

 

This proves nothing about the other 48 states, but I suspect if you try to board with a self-made photocopy from GA or NC and it has no raised seal, you may be in trouble getting on board.

 

You may interpret the policy as you wish but the fact still remains that it is based on the DHS regulations that do indeed allow passengers to use an original or a copy. I don't know why there is so much resistance to the idea- if there were any security concerns associated with the practice than DHS wouldn't allow it (and as I said before they do verify everyone's documents). But based on my own experience of using a copy and the experience of many others it is accepted. Again, using the original that you obtain from the state is best but in a pinch the copy will work just fine.

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You may interpret the policy as you wish but the fact still remains that it is based on the DHS regulations that do indeed allow passengers to use an original or a copy. I don't know why there is so much resistance to the idea- if there were any security concerns associated with the practice than DHS wouldn't allow it (and as I said before they do verify everyone's documents). But based on my own experience of using a copy and the experience of many others it is accepted. Again, using the original that you obtain from the state is best but in a pinch the copy will work just fine.

 

People just don't like to accept the fact that what they think is correct, isn't exactly correct. Not sure how they must have a raised seal when in fact many places don't even give a raised seal. I agree with you though, take your original birth certificate to work and make a copy in the Xerox copy machine then take that copy with you and you will be just fine. Now, how about those tablecloths?

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You may interpret the policy as you wish but the fact still remains that it is based on the DHS regulations that do indeed allow passengers to use an original or a copy. I don't know why there is so much resistance to the idea- if there were any security concerns associated with the practice than DHS wouldn't allow it (and as I said before they do verify everyone's documents). But based on my own experience of using a copy and the experience of many others it is accepted. Again, using the original that you obtain from the state is best but in a pinch the copy will work just fine.

 

FWIW - I have no doubt that a copy of a birth certificate works just fine as you are claiming. I just don't find the justification for your claim in any government regulation, FAQ, etc. You said in another post something about underlying DHS regulations allowing photocopies. I can't find anything like that. DHS refers the question to the WHTI. The WHTI uses the term photocopy addressing children's birth certificates but later it only says birth certificate when discussing adults.

 

I did email U.S. Customs and Border Protection and they got back to me today. They wouldn't offer an opinion on Carnival's policy of accepting photocopies, just referred me to their information center statement that does not seem to allow for photocopies.

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FWIW - I have no doubt that a copy of a birth certificate works just fine as you are claiming. I just don't find the justification for your claim in any government regulation, FAQ, etc. You said in another post something about underlying DHS regulations allowing photocopies. I can't find anything like that. DHS refers the question to the WHTI. The WHTI uses the term photocopy addressing children's birth certificates but later it only says birth certificate when discussing adults.

 

 

 

I did email U.S. Customs and Border Protection and they got back to me today. They wouldn't offer an opinion on Carnival's policy of accepting photocopies, just referred me to their information center statement that does not seem to allow for photocopies.

 

 

 

Well I googled documentation requirements for closed loop cruises got to this URL on the first click and it said this:

 

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/74/related/1da370d5904c28bdfd7702b58d7a7b0b2.jpg

 

Now can you folks who somehow missed the countless threads on folks sailing on faxed copies of birth certificates please give it a rest?

 

 

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FWIW - I have no doubt that a copy of a birth certificate works just fine as you are claiming. I just don't find the justification for your claim in any government regulation, FAQ, etc. You said in another post something about underlying DHS regulations allowing photocopies. I can't find anything like that. DHS refers the question to the WHTI. The WHTI uses the term photocopy addressing children's birth certificates but later it only says birth certificate when discussing adults.

 

I did email U.S. Customs and Border Protection and they got back to me today. They wouldn't offer an opinion on Carnival's policy of accepting photocopies, just referred me to their information center statement that does not seem to allow for photocopies.

 

CBP's website as written is practically useless and I'm not quite sure who to address that to, because by not clearly stating the requirements it causes confusion and sets travelers up for potential failure. I have mentioned the DHS regulations several times and that is what is ultimately controlling, on both the cruise lines and the government. Here is a link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2008/04/03/E8-6725/documents-required-for-travelers-departing-from-or-arriving-in-the-united-states-at-sea-and-land#h-111 . I have read not only that document but I also read the proposed regulations when they came out. One critical difference is in the proposed regulations it said a passenger could use an "original or certified copy" and in the final regulations, well, here, read it yourself:

 

"When traveling entirely within the Western Hemisphere on a cruise ship, and when the U.S. citizen boards the cruise ship at a port or place within the United States and returns on the return voyage of the same cruise ship to the same United States port or place from where he or she originally departed. That U.S. citizen may present a government-issued photo identification document in combination with either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before entering the United States; if the U.S. citizen is under the age of 16, he or she may present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;" [emphasis mine]

 

Now, this isn't the only exception to the passport rule, there is another one concerning children crossing the land border. Here that language is:

 

"When the U.S. citizen is a child under the age of 19 arriving from contiguous territory in the following circumstances:

 

 

(i) Children Under Age 16. A United States citizen who is under the age of 16 is permitted to present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services when entering the United States from contiguous territory at land or sea ports-of-entry". See the similarity? I live 8 miles from the Canadian border and I've known many kids who have gone up to Canada by car with nothing but a copy of their birth certificate. In fact my own children did on field trips until the liability insurance got to be so high that the school nixed those. So when the debate started here on CC I knew the answer because the language in both sections is the same.

 

And it's not just CCL that will accept copies. I have read of cruisers on NCL and RCI who have had to have their birth certificate faxed to the port for one reason or another and it saved their cruise. So again, it may not be the optimal way to take a cruise but knowing that this exception exists could well save a cruise.

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Interestingly enough, when you go through the online check-in process and reach the section where you pick which travel document you'll be taking, if you choose birth certificate, Carnival says this:

Important:

Birth Certificate
MUST
be from the Department of Vital Statistics and a government-issued photo ID will also be required for all guests ages 16 and over.

But I still believe their FAQ's contradict this and do allow for a homemade copy.

 

Yep - this rule is not very clear or legible :D.

Must the "copy" be produced by and received from the government? This makes sense to me.

... or can the "copy" be something you ran off your office copier, for example?

I sure hope Carnival does not accept something you can manufacture on the computer as proof of citizenship, but who knows. I have heard of stranger things.

I think Carnival's wording is a lot more clear now that they've divided it into two separate points. The first says, "original or copy issued by a govt. agency." The second says, "clear, legible copy that was originally issued by a govt. agency." That second point simply means a copy of the one issued by the govt. agency will suffice. People have been copy/pasting excerpts from the State Dept. website and the DHS website and from what I've seen, they all contradict one another. Listing "copy" in some places and "certified copy" in others. But it's the government, what do you expect?

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Well I googled documentation requirements for closed loop cruises got to this URL on the first click and it said this:

 

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/74/related/1da370d5904c28bdfd7702b58d7a7b0b2.jpg

 

Now can you folks who somehow missed the countless threads on folks sailing on faxed copies of birth certificates please give it a rest?

What you posted there states that "homemade" photocopies are not allowed. I can't tell if that's the point you were trying to make. One paragraph says, "government-issued birth certificate." The other paragraph says, "an original, notarized, or certified copy." None of which are copies made at home by the cruiser. Unless you count "notarized," but that's still making a copy official.

 

With that said, Carnival's FAQ's state that homemade copies are allowed.

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It's amazing that you should even need a BC if you have a passport. Can't get the passport without the BC. Found out what my parents were given(and I used all my life to prove my existence)was just a birth notice, not a certificate so I needed to get the real thing to get my passport. Can't figure out why my parents' names are on the "notice" but not on the "real" BC. Plus, the one I obtained to get my passport looks completely different than my kids' which do in fact have all the expected info, parents' names, etc. Just making an observation and now I'm very much relieved that I can bring a photocopy rather than the original.

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It's amazing that you should even need a BC if you have a passport. Can't get the passport without the BC. Found out what my parents were given(and I used all my life to prove my existence)was just a birth notice, not a certificate so I needed to get the real thing to get my passport. Can't figure out why my parents' names are on the "notice" but not on the "real" BC. Plus, the one I obtained to get my passport looks completely different than my kids' which do in fact have all the expected info, parents' names, etc. Just making an observation and now I'm very much relieved that I can bring a photocopy rather than the original.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but you do not need to take a birth cert. if you take a passport. The BC is for proof of citizenship and the passport takes care of that.

 

All my life, I've had what I think is technically called a birth certificate card. It's paper (thicker stock) and looks exactly like a certified birth certificate, even has a raised seal, but is much smaller. It folds in half and slips into a sleeve the size of a credit card. That's all I had ever known and it always sufficed any time I ever needed to show my birth cert. It even worked when I went into the military. Fast forward to two years ago when we decided to get passports for our first cruise. They wouldn't accept my birth cert. card as proof of citizenship. Wait, what? The U.S. Dept. of Defense accepted it to enlist, but the Dept. of State would not? I had to go to my county courthouse and get a certified copy. Government. :rolleyes:

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Copy works just fine. My bf and I brought a copy and the original just to check out the theory. Gave the copy not one problem at all

 

 

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Well I googled documentation requirements for closed loop cruises got to this URL on the first click and it said this:

 

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/74/related/1da370d5904c28bdfd7702b58d7a7b0b2.jpg

 

Now can you folks who somehow missed the countless threads on folks sailing on faxed copies of birth certificates please give it a rest?

 

 

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Well, what you have circled pertains to children under the age of 16...

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Did the original person get on the ship?

 

 

 

She and her family are having a grand old time while a bunch of random people debate nuanced wording and carry on with hypotheticals.

 

 

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but you do not need to take a birth cert. if you take a passport. The BC is for proof of citizenship and the passport takes care of that.

 

All my life, I've had what I think is technically called a birth certificate card. It's paper (thicker stock) and looks exactly like a certified birth certificate, even has a raised seal, but is much smaller. It folds in half and slips into a sleeve the size of a credit card. That's all I had ever known and it always sufficed any time I ever needed to show my birth cert. It even worked when I went into the military. Fast forward to two years ago when we decided to get passports for our first cruise. They wouldn't accept my birth cert. card as proof of citizenship. Wait, what? The U.S. Dept. of Defense accepted it to enlist, but the Dept. of State would not? I had to go to my county courthouse and get a certified copy. Government. :rolleyes:

 

A few years ago State changed their requirements for birth certificates and now require a full form birth certificate with both parents names on them. What you used to enlist could have been used on a closed loop cruise because DHS only requires that the birth certificate be issued by a government entity (when we first cruised I too only had the birth certificate that I used to join the Navy, about the size of a business envelope, no parental info on it. It was accepted for the cruise.). I still haven't figured out why State changed their requirements.

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I remembered something that hasn't been mentioned. CCL used to have interactive forums on their website and passenger could post information, similar to CC. The CCL folks who ran the website were asked all of the time about this and routinely reassured people that photocopies were acceptable. I can't remember when that feature fell by the wayside but it was another source that used to be available.

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She and her family are having a grand old time while a bunch of random people debate nuanced wording and carry on with hypotheticals.
I hope they’re having a good time. Meanwhile, we’re not on their cruise so I guess we have to pass the time somehow until our next one. You are free to skip right passed this thread rather than post just to complain about its content.
A few years ago State changed their requirements for birth certificates and now require a full form birth certificate with both parents names on them.
It’s been two years since I’ve even looked at it, but I thought my parents’ names were on it. Now I’m curious, I’ll have to dig it out.

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I hope they’re having a good time. Meanwhile, we’re not on their cruise so I guess we have to pass the time somehow until our next one. You are free to skip right passed this thread rather than post just to complain about its content.

 

 

It’s been two years since I’ve even looked at it, but I thought my parents’ names were on it. Now I’m curious, I’ll have to dig it out.

 

 

 

I’m not complaining about the content, just making an observation that the original poster has already sailed while people continue to debate the topic. You are free to skip right past my comment.

 

 

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A few years ago State changed their requirements for birth certificates and now require a full form birth certificate with both parents names on them. What you used to enlist could have been used on a closed loop cruise because DHS only requires that the birth certificate be issued by a government entity (when we first cruised I too only had the birth certificate that I used to join the Navy, about the size of a business envelope, no parental info on it. It was accepted for the cruise.). I still haven't figured out why State changed their requirements.
Update: I checked and my birth cert. card does have both parent's names on it. Government issued, county clerk's signature, raised seal, the whole nine. We applied for our passports at a post office, so maybe I was just unlucky with those particular postal workers that day. There have been plenty of times over the years when people were surprised at the sight of my card because they had never seen that kind before, but they had always come to the conclusion that it had everything an official birth cert. should, so no one ever denied it until applying for the passport.

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