Instead of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. citizens born in a foreign country are issued a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA).
When U.S. citizens give birth to a child outside of the United States, they must use CRBA Form DS-2029 to register the child’s birth with the local U.S. embassy or consulate. Otherwise, their child will not be registered as a U.S. citizen. Conveniently, the parents can also submit an application for a Social Security number and passport for their child, along with the CRBA application.
After the CRBA application has been processed and approved, the child will be issued a CRBA or Form FS-240. This form functions as a birth certificate and can be used to prove identity or as proof of U.S. citizenship when registering for school, applying for a driver’s license, and other official processes.
How to determine if you have a CRBA or a U.S. Birth Certificate
As a general rule, if you were born inside the United States, then you have a U.S. Birth Certificate. If you were born outside the U.S., but your parents were American citizens, then you probably have a CRBA instead. However, individuals born in the following areas during the stated time periods may actually have been issued a U.S. birth certificate:
- Puerto Rico after April 10, 1899
- U.S. Virgin Islands after January 16, 1917
- American Samoa after February 15, 1900
- Guam after December 23, 1952
- Swains Island after March 3, 1925
- The Panama Canal Zone before October 1, 1979
- The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands after January 8, 1978 (8 PM EST)
- The Philippines before July 4, 1946
How do I get a new copy of my CRBA
You can replace your CRBA if it has been damaged, stolen, or lost. Your request must be notarized and provide the following information:
- Full, legal name at birth, as well as any adoptive names
- Place and date of birth
- Passport information, if you have one (date of issuance, expiration date, passport number)
- Parents’ or legal guardians’ full, legal names
- CRBA serial number, if you know it
- Mailing address and contact information
- Copy of your valid photo ID
- Payment for the processing fees
If you are applying for a copy on behalf of a child and you are their legal guardian, you must also provide a certified copy of the court order granting you guardianship.