Consider a situation where non-US citizen parents (say Indian parents) have a child in US thus child is US citizen by birth. They obtain birth certificate and passport for the child and go back to India with the child. Then all of a sudden, birth certificate requirement changes like April 2011 rule or in worst case like this Puerto Rico Birth Ceritificate Invalidation.

Birth certificate is needed to obtain minors passport. Now the issue is minors passport cannot be obtained after previous one expires if birth certificate does not match up with new requirement.

Also Birth certificate cannot be obtained if you are out of US soil.

What are the options for Indian citizen parents in such a case if they cannot come to US:

  1. Can we hire an attorney who can obtain birth certificate and send it to India via fedex ?
  2. If yes - what kind of attorney ? family law ? immigration ? estate planning ?
  3. Can attorney mail the birth certificate from US to India (in other words is it legally allowed to mail birth certificate out of country) ?
  4. How can we prove that we indeed hired attorney and we authorize attorney to obtain birth certificate on our behalf, while we (parents) are not in the US ?

1 Answer 1


Focusing only on the question of getting a new, valid birth certificate, it depends on the state where the birth is registered, and when you do this. Right now, the situation in Washington state is described here: the bar is quite low and you can do it online. The law changes on Jan. 1, to this, which involves more restrictions on who can apply. Even under the new law, you do not have to be present in the US in order to supply the relevant documents, but the future rules are not yet set in stone. A birth certificate might include confidential information (described here), but that information is not (apparently) required by the Dept. of State for issuing a passport. Under the new requirements, you will need to provide more information: as they say,

Identity and proof of relationship documentation will be required. Exact documentation is still to be determined

The new rules will not be more onerous than the old rules for confidential information, which includes a current government ID with the child's name, DOB, photograph, signature, and physical description, documentation of any name changes, and a notarized signature of the requestor along with proof of identity.

There are 49 other states, plus places which are not states, so it depends on the laws of the birth jurisdiction.

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