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CoyoteDreemurr

Help! No passport, no birth certificate!

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So, my parents and I have a Caribbean cruise booked for March 24-31 on the Regal Princess. But, my mom was denied a passport because she didn't have a birth certificate. She was also denied a birth certificate because of a different spelling of her name. How ridiculous. My dad and I both have our passports. But, what will we do about my mom? How can she get on the cruise if she can't get either document? Please help me!

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If she really wants a passport, she should talk to her city, county or state vital records office and find out why she can't get a birth certificate and what she can do -- and then do whatever that is. If it's literally impossible, ask what other documents she might offer. Get their answer in writing.

 

Then, she should call her local passport AGENCY -- this is the State Department facility closest to you, not your local library, or wherever, that can just take in passport applications -- and make an appointment to apply/speak to someone there. She should bring the passport denial letter which she would have received in the mail which explains why her original application wasn't approved,  the letter from the vital records office, and every single slip of paper she has that proves she is who she says she is and is an American Citizen. (Birth records, parents birth/passport records, immunization records, school records, yearbooks, baptism/confirmation/bat mitzvah/religious records, etc.) This is difficult, and they may need to request additional information, but she may be able to prove by preponderance of the evidence that she's entitled to passport services. 

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It sounds like her birth was registered with a different spelling or different birth date. If she has a living older relative, she should verify the spelling of her name and her birth date.  If she doesn't have a relative who can do this, she should check with the records that the previous poster mentioned.

 

She needs to get the proper info before she applies to the vital records office of the place where she was born to get her birth certificate.

 

There is time to fix this. Don't panic yet!

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Engage an Immigration Lawyer and stop messing about!!

 

You guys could have

and should have fixed this decades ago -not now.

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Without proof of citizenship she won't be able to go so do everything you can to get her birth certificate.

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2 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

At the same time OP does the above, contact your congressman/woman. Amazingly, that often helps "grease the wheels."

Great advice. I know my late mother did this in I'm thinking the early 60s. She was born in Russia and emigrated with her parents when she was a toddler. It probably, helped that she was a World War II veteran having served as a WAVE.

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Definitely you need to get her to immigration lawyer.

 

The spelling of my first name is different on my birth certificate than when my mother enrolled me kin school.  By the time I graduated from high school and got my driver's license -- another different spelling.

 

When I applied for my first passport, I took all 3 different spellings on their original certificates and said to the man in charge -- pick one.  He choose my driver's license -- have no idea why and that was 6 passports ago.

 

When I applied for handicapped plaque -- I printed everything out very carefully -- the card that I need to carry came with a 4th different spelling!!

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26 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Definitely you need to get her to immigration lawyer.

 

The spelling of my first name is different on my birth certificate than when my mother enrolled me kin school.  By the time I graduated from high school and got my driver's license -- another different spelling.

 

When I applied for my first passport, I took all 3 different spellings on their original certificates and said to the man in charge -- pick one.  He choose my driver's license -- have no idea why and that was 6 passports ago.

 

When I applied for handicapped plaque -- I printed everything out very carefully -- the card that I need to carry came with a 4th different spelling!!

Thank you for changing the font you use!!!!

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6 hours ago, CoyoteDreemurr said:

But, what will we do about my mom? How can she get on the cruise if she can't get either document? Please help me!

 

Regardless of how ridiculous the requirements may sound, it is what is necessary.  Follow the advice given by the others - quickly! - because without a birth certificate and valid picture ID  -or-  a passport, she will be denied boarding. There is no flexibility or negotiating with this.  And unless you have insurance with your booking, there will not be a refund for her fare.

 

Best of luck - I hope it all works out.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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5 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

. And unless you have insurance with your booking, there will not be a refund for her fare.

Does  insurance  cover  your lack of proper documents ??

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10 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Does  insurance  cover  your lack of proper documents ??

 

Good point and I don't know.  I guess I'm lumping denied boarding in with "cancel for any reason" insurance? (And if that would be the coverage they would have).

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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I am really wondering what an immigration lawyer has to do with it. OP never said her mother was not a US citizen by birth. In any case, if her mother was indeed born outside the US and was not a US citizen by birth, then having just a birth certificate will not do her any good for a cruise, because it doesn't prove that she was born in the US.

 

An immigration lawyer helps with immigration. I don't see anywhere that OP's mom needs to immigrate to the US in any capacity.

 

Signed, an immigrant who made it through all of the immigration stages and knows what an immigration lawyer does.

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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10 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

Good point and I don't know.  I guess I'm lumping denied boarding in with "cancel for any reason" insurance? (And if that would be the coverage they would have).

If they have cancel for any reason they would likely have to cancel within a certain time frame, typically 48 hours.

 

15 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Does  insurance  cover  your lack of proper documents ??

The policies that I've read only cover not having proper documents if they are lost or stolen. Not having them at all is not something that I've seen covered.

 

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7 minutes ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

I am really wondering what an immigration lawyer have to do with it. OP never said her mother was not a US citizen by birth. In any case, if her mother was indeed born outside the US and was not a US citizen by birth, then having just a birth certificate will not do her any good for a cruise, because it doesn't prove that she was born in the US.

 

An immigration lawyer helps with immigration. I don't see anywhere that OP's mom needs to immigrate to the US in any capacity.

 

Signed, an immigrant who made it through all of the immigration stages and knows what an immigration lawyer does.

I was wondering this myself. 

 

OP, as far as spelling goes if you request a birth certificate for "John Smith" and the last name is really spelled "Smythe"  they wouldn't find a match and wouldn't make the connection between the two spellings. They have to make sure that everything in the request matches or there is the danger of issuing an incorrect certificate.

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The short answer is that she will not get on the cruise without either document. I don’t know how she gets a birth certificate or passport at this point (but it sounds like you have some suggestions for follow up) but she will not board the cruise unless she gets one of the two.

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My sister's application was sent back.  Not because of spelling, but a different issue.

 

Anyway, when she got the application back she called the State Department.  They were very helpful.  They told her they just needed to verify she was who she said she was.  They gave her a list of documents to send to them. 

 

So yeah, call someone.   I  would start with the State Department.

 

 

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I just thought of something.  Suppose Mom thought that her maiden name was Anna Smith, but it was really Anna Smythe, and they manage to get her birth certificate in the name of Anna Smythe.  Assuming that she took her husband's last name when they got married, she will have to bring along her marriage certificate to prove that she is really Anna Smythe Brown.  Just the birth certificate won't be enough, because I'm assuming that her cruise passage was booked in the name of Anna Brown.  However, the marriage license will show that John Brown married Anna Smith, not Anna Smythe.  What kind of photo ID does she have?  Does she have a drivers license?  If so, I'm wondering how she got one without (apparently) having shown a birth certificate, or else she would know what her name on her birth certificate was.

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Does she have a social security card? Should that not have the same spelling as her birth certificate? I wasn't born in the US, but my kids were and their social security cards were issued when their births were registered. 

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Had a similar problem with the spelling of my middle name.  My B/C and my D/L disagreed on the spelling.

First, I got a birth certificate which established the correct spelling.  (You may prefer something else but the B/C is the gold standard.)  Short of a court legally changing your name, you don't have a choice in the spelling.

Second, I took the B/C and went to DMV.  I told them I needed a D/L that matched my B/C explaining that somehow/somewhere/I know not where a mistake was made.

Third, with the corrected D/L and the B/C, I was able to get a passport.

 

There's no quick and easy solution.

You have to clear this up.

 

Remember, once the new driver's license requirements (Star) kicks in, you won't be able to get a new D/L.

Without a new D/L, you won't be able to get on a plane.

You'll have big difficulties in any engagement with the government, even local, ie, getting utilities, paying taxes, etc.

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She'll also need a birth certificate to apply for social security benefits. 

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This situation is a little different than yours, but it might be helpful to know what documents he sent to get a passport. A family member was born with one name (on the official birth certificate) but raised with another ( that the hospital sent a separate 'hospital certificate' with a different last name).  A social security number was issued in the name he was raised. The problem was that he had no idea about the name change until.... When he later in life wanted a passport to go on a cruise, the name difference became a big issue.  Here are the documents that were requested to get the passport in the name he was using.  

 

Legal birth certificate

Hospital certificate

Driver license

School records (report cards from elementary to graduation)

Marriage license

Check stubs from his job (of 30 years)

 

I realize the birth certificate is not available for you at this point.  He had to send an application to the state of birth Social and Health Services.  Fortunately he was able to find family that knew the birth father's name. The town of birth was on the hospital certificate. 

 

Hope this helps you some.  This must be very frustrating.  Once the agency received the originals sent to them.  The passport and all original forms sent, were returned in a very timely manner.  The passport was in the name he uses.  So, officially he lives under an alias name with a legal passport.  The Agency was very willing to help him.  

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Aplmac said:

Engage an Immigration Lawyer and stop messing about!!

 

You guys could have

and should have fixed this decades ago -not now.

I learn something new every day. I had no idea immigration lawyers dealt with birth certificates for natural born American citizens. 

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Does she have a social security card? Should that not have the same spelling as her birth certificate? I wasn't born in the US, but my kids were and their social security cards were issued when their births were registered.

Then I guess your kids were born in 1980 or thereafter.  Things weren't always done that way.  When I was a teenager, it was a rite of passage to go to the post office and apply for a Social Security number.

 

She'll also need a birth certificate to apply for social security benefits.

I didn't have a birth certificate when I applied for my Social Security number.  In fact, when I went to get my driver's permit when I was 16, I showed Motor Vehicles what I thought was my birth certificate, only to be told that it wasn't any good, because it was the one issued by the hospital.  I lost my temper.  Usually, that's a bad thing, but they decided to give in and let me get a driver's permit (and eventually a driver's license) without a valid birth certificate.  But when I decided to get a passport at the age of 24, I figured that the passport people wouldn't give in, so I sent away for a genuine birth certificate.

 

So Social Security never saw my valid birth certificate (because I started working a number of years before I turned 24, and I always had a Social Security number).  I am currently receiving Social Security benefits, for which I applied online, never having to visit one of their offices, so, you see, it's possible to get Social Security benefits without their ever seeing your birth certificate.

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14 hours ago, CoyoteDreemurr said:

So, my parents and I have a Caribbean cruise booked for March 24-31 on the Regal Princess. But, my mom was denied a passport because she didn't have a birth certificate. She was also denied a birth certificate because of a different spelling of her name. How ridiculous. My dad and I both have our passports. But, what will we do about my mom? How can she get on the cruise if she can't get either document? Please help me!

 

Good luck, but your mom is not likely to get on a cruise ship in 5 weeks. Your best hope is going to be contacting your US representative. They have a way of working magic on things like this.

Edited by zqvol

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