Help, stolen birth certificates

Old Sep 25th, 2007, 05:39 AM
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Help, stolen birth certificates

This is unbelievable. I can renew my husband and my passports without our birth certificates, I can just mail in the old ones, but since my children were under 16 when their first passports were issued, I need their birth certificates to renew as well as their old passports (those I still have), and they're gone!

I kept them in a file box and all of our birth certificates are gone! I can only suspect the cleaning people, my cleaner sometimes hires helpers and I'm never home when they're here.

So, first, how do I get the kids BC's replaced? Any idea how long that takes?

Further, what could someone do with our birth certificates? Has anyone had this happen?
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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The county courthouse, of the county your children were born in, can provide you with birth certificates.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 05:56 AM
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Thanks. I hope they can do it soon, I need to get all of our passports renewed!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Are you really sure you need their birth certificates for passport renewal. I just checked passport website and it does not seem to be the case, and renewed dtrs passport in past year and they required old passport - not birth certificate again.

While birth certificates can be useful for someone wanting to establish legal residency in this country, I would also think really hard about some alternative to theft. Did your kids require them for school admission, sports teams, etc and they were either not returned or misplaced upon return.

Time to get new birth certificates varies by jurisdiction - and it is not always a county function, sometimes it is just a city office. If they were born near where you currently live, it is likely to be faster than if you need to do by mail.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:01 AM
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Unfortunately I need the kids birth certificates to renew their passports.

Anyone who was issued passports before their 16th birthday cannot send in the old passport for renewal, they need to bring a birth certificate to a passport agency.

I called the passport office yesterday and they confirmed this.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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I did originally think I misplaced them but all of them? The file where all of ours are kept is completely empty, all four are missing.

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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Gail, was your daughter younger than 16 when her old passport was issued? It would be so much easier if I didn't have to get the birth certificates!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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Ny kids definitely did not need their birth certificate...but maybe it differs state by state. Illegal residents do not need anything here to get a driver's license!!!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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Nope, just confirmed it again, I definitely need their birth certificates to renew the kids passports...thanks Gail, I guess I'm off to the Town Clerks office 50 miles away...ugh.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Don't call - go the US Dept of State website. If a child was under 16 when their passport was first issued another passport is the same as a new application - it is not really a renewal. However, website clearly states that they need ONE OF THE FOLLOWING - certified birth certificate OR expired passport
(I am sure valid/current would also work).

When you go to get their actual passports, make sure you understand parental presence requirement - varies by age.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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I know what it says, but I've spoken with 2 different people at the 800# and both said I need the birth certificate AND the expired passport.

Then again, a third person told me I could renew by mail when the passport was issued before they were 16 and I made her double-check...she was wrong of course, so I don't think the people answering the phones know what the hell is going on!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:51 AM
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Nina,

"What can people do with birth certificates?" PLENTY

THEY can apply for a Social Security number; they can use them to "prove" citizenship; technically they could also apply for passports although one would hope that if they did the State Department computer system would catch it...

identity theft IOW
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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Is there a post office within driving distance that handles passports? If so, I'd take that route in renewing the passports.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Just a thought -- when I got new passport [old one expired] I need a new birth certificate that was issued by the state, not local city. Same went for getting new drivers licenses in new state. This is in 2005. The clerk said that old cerificates [issued by hospital, church, even city] were no longer sufficient.

We had to buy them to get official, certified, registered ones.

Got it at vitalchek.com It was fast and convenient and easier to do since we were no longer near our birthplaces.

I have a bc with a raised seal and everything and was told, " no good -not since 9/11"

Good luck.
Debi
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Nina, the post that says to contact the clerk or health department of the city/county where the children were born is correct. That's the quickest source. You can request them through the state office of vital records, but it usually takes longer because of the volume they receive.

If it's nearby, you can walk into the office with ID and receive the documents at the counter. If it's not close, many vital records offices allow you to request documents online and most have expedited service for an additional fee. The basic fee is usually around $15-25 and additional copies requested at the same time are in the $8-12 range.

If you're not sure where to go, check the info page of the National Center for Health Statistics at http://tinyurl.com/lszq">http://tinyurl.com/lszq
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 07:45 AM
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I would be more concerned about the potential use for identify theft (than not being able to renew a passport in time for a trip). I have no idea how you handle that part, but I would want to be reporting them missing to someone official somewhere!!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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we had to renew our kids' passports 2 years ago. They were 12 and 13 at the time and I had to produce birth certificates AND old passports.

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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Get yourself over to town hall and get replacements ASAP. Period.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 09:34 AM
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I went through this about 5 years ago when my birth certificate was stolen in Jamaica.

I called my Senator because I was worried about it being sold on the black market to a terrorist or something.

He said that they could flag my passport but every time I came in and out of the United States I would be detained.

Chances were greater that someone would try and steal my identity and credit rating.

 
Old Sep 25th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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Meant to add that even if you COULD get new passports without them (you can't), you need to have BC's for everyone in your family. There are southern towns in this country (I don't know where you live) that will detain your children if you cannot prove their citizenship.
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