I was looking over the instructions for filing a form N400, application for naturalization to become a US citizen.

One of the questions they ask is if a person has ever been arrested, convicted or even detained for a crime. They specifically state they want to know even if the person was only detained but never even charged with a crime.

They then ask for a certified copy from the court proving the final disposition of the matters. They ask for this information going back to the beginning of your existence.

In Texas, speeding is considered a criminal matter and is a class C misdemeanor.

Would the DHS really expect someone to know the disposition of all of their speeding tickets going back for over 25 years? And expect someone to go back to each court no matter what ones there are and request certified copies of each outcome?

Or can speeding tickets from Texas (which are criminal) which are dismissed, disposed of, probation completed, etc? be regarded as too minor of an issue to be reported to the DHS on the application for citizenship?

I ask because if a person happens to live in a state where the matter is a civil infraction, I'd expect that they not have to report them, while someone from a state where they are criminal would?

1 Answer 1


The instructions for form N-400 address this:

NOTE: You must submit documentation of traffic incidents if:

(1) The incident involved alcohol or drugs;

(2) The incident led to an arrest; or

(3) The incident seriously injured another person.

You do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines or incidents that did not involve an arrest or did not involve drugs or alcohol, if the only penalty was a fine of less than $500 or points on your driving record.

Note that this concerns the submission of documentation. The instructions do not say that such incidents should not be reported by the applicant.

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