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View Diary: Do you have your birth certificate? (250 comments)

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  •  On getting a BC, PP, SS card; proof of self etc. (8+ / 0-)

    When I was a college senior, my mother was living abroad. My graduation present was an airline ticket to go visit, my first international trip. She told me to call the department of vital records in the state where I was born and order a raised seal copy of my birth certificate, as preparation to get a passport.  Everything went smoothly, but the process took multiple steps and many weeks before I had a passport in hand.  If you've got 3-6 months to plan ahead on these things, no problem, right?

    Almost 25 years on, I still have that same raised-seal copy of my birth certificate.  Guess what, Mom?  It came in handy when I corrected my information with Social Security.  When SSA started sending out annual projected benefits estimates (which I think they've suspended now), I noticed that my birth year on their records was the year I got my SS card, not the year I was actually born.  Since I didn't feel like waiting an extra year for eligibility, I figured I should get that corrected right away.  The birth certificate also came in real handy for that, and I assure you they looked very closely at my request to move back my birth date!

    A couple other tips:

    When applying for a passport or a renewal, there is an option to get also a "passport card" which is a limited passport that looks like a driver license or a military ID.  It's only good for travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and certain domestic purposes like clearing TSA security for domestic flights, but I always carry it internationally separate from my regular passport.  I figure if my passport is lost or stolen, the card will be very helpful at the consulate to get things straightened out.  It only costs about $20-30 extra on top of the regular passport fees, IIRC.

    The litany of personal questions the diarist describes, used to establish identity for issuance of a birth certificate, is often implemented as an automated function of data mining of public records, which is so error prone that it makes your credit report seem like perfect information. I went through one of those and answered every question absolutely correctly, yet the system rejected me (and then red-flagged me). Overcoming the rejection was worse than establishing my identity in the first place. What a PITA that was.  I told the entity I was dealing with that whatever they paid for their e-verification system, they should demand for a refund and start over.

    "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

    by craiger on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 07:12:58 PM PDT

    •  Thanks!!! Excellent Info. Lots of it. (5+ / 0-)

      You made me think that I may as well  order a raised copy cert for my son - while I'm at it - might save him some time/problems in the future.

      Thank you so much.

    •  keep a copy (5+ / 0-)

      I have scanned copies of all our birth certificates, social security cards, driver's licenses, passports, and credit cards and have saved them in encrypted, password protected PDF files. When we traveled to Europe I sent them to my Gmail as well as saved them on my iPod, just in case. It's a lot easier for the embassy/consulate to help you get a replacement passport while you're abroad if you have a copy already.

      Another useful thing is a loose-leaf binder for my daughter with clear sheet protectors holding her birth certificate, vaccination records, annual physical paperwork, etc. It's come in handy many times over the years when signing up for camp and school and all that Fun Stuph.

      "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

      by solesse413 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:21:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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