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Lost Birth Certificate to Hurricane


Shannon_50

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I am going on a cruise with my husband on the Holiday on the 15th of June. Our problem is that I do not have a birth certificate. We were victims of Hurricane Katrina and lost our home down to the slab. I thought I grabbed my birth certificate the morning of the storm, but I grabbed a copy (xerox) by accident and my husband's birth certificate. I was not able to order a new copy in time for the cruise as it (the cruise) was given to us as a surprise gift for my husband's graduation from college. I was born abroad and it takes much longer than the date of our cruise to get my birth certificate. I called the cruise line and they said all I could do was tell the immigration officers at the port my story and bring what documents I could to prove who I was. This is what I am bringing:

 

My license

Copies of my birth certificate and copies of my hospital paperwork

My marriage certificate

My social security cards from before and after marriage

FEMA paperwork to prove that we lost our home

Copies of last year's taxes

 

My husband also has a certified copy of his birth certificate and license. I just pray this is enough to get us on the ship. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I am so scared we will get to the port and be denied...we are so excited about getting away from here for awhile! Now I am terrified we will be turned away and disappointed!

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Good luck.

 

I assume that you are a US citizen (you said you were born abroad). If you are not a citizen then you are going to have to have a passport.

 

I hope what you have works but I would try to reschedule if at all possible, Homeland Security is very strict and you are going to have real problems getting back into the country with what you have. I don't think I would leave with your documentation. (Leaving is easy it is returning that is tough.)

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We recently booked a July cruise. My parents decided they wanted to come but were unsure if they had an official birth certificate. We also live in the Katrina affected area and it would probably be impossible to obtain one in time. I asked Carnival about this and the PVP said to try to get one from http://www.vitalchek.com/?clicked=1 and stated if we didn't receive it in time they would need a notarized letter stating they lost their birth certificate and were unable to obtain an official copy because of Hurricane Katrina. I hope this helps and good luck!

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Hi Shannon. Doesn't your mother have a copy of your b/c? She could overnight it to you if she lives elsewhere. When returning to the U.S., that's when a problem may arise with U.S. authorities, even if Carnival allowed you to go on the cruise.

 

For future reference, what I do is keep ALL my important papers in a small portable safe. Whenever I have to evacuate, the safe is one of the first things to be put into my car. Like you, my home was leveled by Katrina, so just thought I'd give you that little bit of advice.

 

Good luck, dear. Call yo mama!:) I bet she has a copy!

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You absolutely *will not* get on the ship -- there is no exception in this regard. (I too could not find my docs and I cruise this week!)

 

That said you'll have to hustle to get your birth certificate and/or a passport.

 

You need to contact the state records department where you were born to get a *raised seal* birth certificate.

 

My suggestion is to call -- this morning -- a passport expeditor -- the first link -- they can also expedite your birth certificate --

 

You can do this within 24 - 48 hours --

 

http://www.passportexpress.com/default.aspx?page=vitalchek

 

http://www.passportnation.com/

 

http://www.americanpassport.com/index.html

 

http://www.passportsandvisas.com/index.asp?affiliate=g3usapassportrenewal&gclid=CLWhqciAt4UCFQ9ZFQodpHc-8Q

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My mom gave me my birth certificate when I got married. I have tried to order my birth certificate, but they said it will take up to a month to get it because I was born abroad and have to mail in everything including a certified, signed letter. Carnival said I may not have a problem with all the proof I have, but it depends on the person at the port. I have tried to call immigration but I can never get through. I was also told that we cannot change our cruise date or be refunded. We are at a loss.

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Shannon --

 

Are you a US citizen? Then you have several routes. If you are not a US citizen, then you need to get to the consulate of your country of citizenship -- but they can still expedite.

 

If you are a US citizen --

 

a) If you are a naturalized US citizen-- If so, the INS will have a record of that. You can get a passport in 24 - 48 hours. A passport expediter can help you!

 

OR

 

b) If you are a US citizen by virtue of your parents being US citizens, then the state in which you resided when you came into the US should have your birth registered. Again a good expediter with a state network can get this.

 

Call one or several of the document expediting this morning -- no time to waste!

 

Pete

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Get your information together and get an expedited passport. The information you have will not allow you to cruise. You may not need a birth certificate for a passport. There are a list of other things you can use on the website.

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Thank you so much everyone! I did not realize I could get a passport this fast! I have contacted someone and will be recieving my passport Wednesday or Thursday morning. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

 

PS I am a US citizen born overseas to military parents :)

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they would need a notarized letter stating they lost their birth certificate and were unable to obtain an official copy because of Hurricane Katrina. I hope this helps and good luck!

I was also going to suggest the notarized letter. Have your copy of the birth certificate stamped as well with the raised notary seal. Do you have photo's of your damaged home? That may promote some sympathy. :( If all else fails, cry!

 

Good luck and please let us know if you get onboard!

 

Whoops! We posted at the same time. Glad all is working out for you! :D:

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When you finally get your "new" certified birth certificate, take it to your local County Recorder's office and have it recorded in their vital statistics. You will then be able to get certified copies whenever you need them. I, too, have a foreign-born military child and that is what I did when we moved back to the US, and there has never been a problem.

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Thank you so much everyone! I did not realize I could get a passport this fast! I have contacted someone and will be recieving my passport Wednesday or Thursday morning. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

 

PS I am a US citizen born overseas to military parents :)

 

Just curious, how are you getting the passport without the birth certificate? I thought you had to have one to get a passport.

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There are circumstances that allow you to get a passport without a birth certificate. It's on the website.

 

I'm glad your getting your passport. You're going to need it for your next cruise, since you'll be addicted and all :)

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It would not hurt to get in touch with the office of your local Congressman or Senator, and ask for assistance cutting through the passport red tape.

 

With elections never far away, our elected rascals would love to divert attention from the problems and highlight a good deed to a voter in need. People love to read that sort of story and the politicians have a lot of clout to pull strings and get you a passport pronto. It is worth a try.

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I guess I am going to the website. I have ordered a OS BC but it still has yet to arrive. I need to get the info on the passort so if I do have to get one last min. if it don't come I can. My DH was also a military brat born in Japan I am so worried about not having it in time. I have tried calling them to see if it has been sent and can't get no one to answer the dang phone for a week straight.. Thanks for the info I didn't think you could get a passport without a BC

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We had a couple on our cruise that the wife didn't have her birth certificate. They just had to feel out papers that he knew her for 5 years and to his best knowledge, she was a US Citizen. She got on with no problems.

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Just a suggestion to everyone reading this, since the OP has said she has arranged to get her passport prior to leaving.

 

Your US congressman can often be a big help in these situations. They have staffs everywhere in their districts and when they can help are happy to do so, it is good campaign material for them, because word of mouth is cheap.

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Well hopefully my passport will be here Thursday morning. I sent in a TON of documentation of who I am. A plus is also that the place where passports are issued is also where my birth certificate was filed. Hopefully everything will work out (crossing my fingers). If worse comes to worse I went ahead and got a certified letter tody stating my situation and I have a folder full of info on me and the copies of my birth certificate. Lets hope those folks in the passport office are in a good mood tommorrow when they get my info! ;)

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Well I was told today by the passport office that we cann't get a passport without a BC or a letter of vital records saying that they can't find his BC. So I guess we are crap out of luck. I have been trying to call the vital office for a week now and no one will answer or they hang up on me. I'm call Congess tomorrow of DC but what is bad I don't live in DC will that matter.

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Well I was told today by the passport office that we cann't get a passport without a BC or a letter of vital records saying that they can't find his BC. So I guess we are crap out of luck. I have been trying to call the vital office for a week now and no one will answer or they hang up on me. I'm call Congess tomorrow of DC but what is bad I don't live in DC will that matter.

 

armywifesfisher, you can contact any Congressman or Senator. Call the ones for Alaska or for your hometown. Do any of your family members know any Congressmen? One of my uncles who lives elsewhere had a problem with the VA and another of my relatives who lives here called her Congressman. What the VA told my Uncle would take 9 months to be fixed, was fixed in 3 weeks.

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