Lost Certificate of Naturalization

fedormma

New Member
Huracan - thanks for your comments.

Actually, I managed to get in touch with the US District Court where I was naturalized and they gave me my CoN Number and my A number for free and a Letter Of Verification for $9.

I can use that Letter and the numbers to file the N-595 if I so choose.

How did you get in touch with them? through telephone or in person?
Any help would be appreciated.
 

wojtek1

Registered Users (C)
How did you get in touch with them? through telephone or in person?
Any help would be appreciated.

fedormma - I just gave the office of the US District Court Clerk a call.

I explained my situation and they could not have been more helpful. They transferred me directly to the person who deals with naturalization records, she took my full name, DOB, place of birth, approximate date of naturalization and told me to call next morning at 9:30. When I called, she recognized me (called me by my name), told me she found my record, and gave me my CoN Number and A-number over the phone. Then she said that if I will be filing the N-565 they can type up a Verification Letter with the raised seal of the US District Court stating that I am a naturalized citizen, with the naturalization date, CoN number, A-number etc, for $9. She transferred me to a guy who took my credit card info, and in two days (I am not kidding) the letter arrived in my mailbox.

The whole process was easier than renting Netflix movies or ordering on Amazon.

Very impressive.

You hear that, USCIS???

;)
 

slade

Registered Users (C)
fedormma - I just gave the office of the US District Court Clerk a call.

I explained my situation and they could not have been more helpful. They transferred me directly to the person who deals with naturalization records, she took my full name, DOB, place of birth, approximate date of naturalization and told me to call next morning at 9:30. When I called, she recognized me (called me by my name), told me she found my record, and gave me my CoN Number and A-number over the phone. Then she said that if I will be filing the N-565 they can type up a Verification Letter with the raised seal of the US District Court stating that I am a naturalized citizen, with the naturalization date, CoN number, A-number etc, for $9. She transferred me to a guy who took my credit card info, and in two days (I am not kidding) the letter arrived in my mailbox.

The whole process was easier than renting Netflix movies or ordering on Amazon.

Very impressive.

You hear that, USCIS???

;)

good info. i say sticky this comment so in case something like this happens again. Thanks again :)
 

wojtek1

Registered Users (C)
good info. i say sticky this comment so in case something like this happens again. Thanks again :)

No problem.

The key is knowing where your naturalization records are kept. Some older records from US District Courts were moved to National Archives. If you were naturalized in a County Court, the records might still be there. They won't give you a new certificate (only USCIS can do that), but they will very likely provide some useful info or even a verification letter.
 

Imrahil

New Member
Trying to obtain driver's license

Thanks for the info on the US district court!! While moving, i lost several documents and have recently applied for a new Certificate of Naturalization. Unfortunately the Texas Department of Transportation needs this to give me a license. I explained it would take six months to get it, and I need the license to get a job. Is there another way to get a license? I've a certificate of search from the US district court, my ss card, old school records, a voter registration card, old pay stubs, an old college ID, among other things. I don't have a passport or an old license. HELP!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
Thanks for the info on the US district court!! While moving, i lost several documents and have recently applied for a new Certificate of Naturalization. Unfortunately the Texas Department of Transportation needs this to give me a license. I explained it would take six months to get it, and I need the license to get a job. Is there another way to get a license? I've a certificate of search from the US district court, my ss card, old school records, a voter registration card, old pay stubs, an old college ID, among other things. I don't have a passport or an old license. HELP!

Thew issuance of driver's licenses is not a federal but a state matter and every state has its own rules. Texas seems to be pretty tough in this regard. By looking at the list of documents required by the Texas DoT at their website, http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/identificationrequirements.htm
it does not look like you have much of a chance of getting a driver's license in Texas until you get a replacement naturalization certificate.

You could write to USCIS and request an expedited processing of your N-565 application and explain your circumstances (that not having the naturalization certificate would cause you economic hardship since until you get it, you would not be able to obtain a driver's license and be legally employed) . You could also try to contact your local congressional representatives (the two U.S. senators for Texas and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for your district) and ask them for assistance; they might be able to help with getting USCIS process your N-565 a little faster.


Another thing you could try to do is to apply for a U.S. passport with the documents that you do have at the moment. If you have a xerox copy of your naturalization certificate (the one that you lost), plus some court records from the U.S. district court that approved that certificate, you might be able to convince the State Department to issue you a passport based on those documents. However, this is also rather a long shot since officially they require an original document proving U.S. citizenship when you apply for a passport.

I am curious about one thing in your post. You say that you have some old pay-stubs, although you do not have any old driver's licenses or old passport. How were you able to get hired in your previous place of employment (from where you have those stubs) without having a driver's license or a passport? When being hired there you should have been required to fill out a I-9 form and to produce some state issued ID. How were you able to do that?
 

König

Registered Users (C)
Another thing you could try to do is to apply for a U.S. passport with the documents that you do have at the moment.
The problem is that the Texas DPS will not accept a US passport of naturalised citizens since their place of birth is not in the USA. Only the certificate of naturalisation or certificate of citizenship will suffice. It's a bizarre requirement, but apparently the passports of natural-born citizens are more trustable in the eyes of the state of Texas :rolleyes:
 

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
The problem is that the Texas DPS will not accept a US passport of naturalised citizens since their place of birth is not in the USA. Only the certificate of naturalisation or certificate of citizenship will suffice. It's a bizarre requirement, but apparently the passports of natural-born citizens are more trustable in the eyes of the state of Texas :rolleyes:

Are you sure about this? That would really be a bizarre and nasty requirement. At the Texas DPS website,
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/identificationrequirements.htm
they list an Unexpired United States passport as an acceptable primary proof of identity. It does not say anything there about an exception for non-natural born citizens. Is it mentioned somewhere else?
 

dms1

Registered Users (C)
Thanks for the info on the US district court!! While moving, i lost several documents and have recently applied for a new Certificate of Naturalization. Unfortunately the Texas Department of Transportation needs this to give me a license. I explained it would take six months to get it, and I need the license to get a job. Is there another way to get a license? I've a certificate of search from the US district court, my ss card, old school records, a voter registration card, old pay stubs, an old college ID, among other things. I don't have a passport or an old license. HELP!
It is quite likely (in my opinion) that the requirement for the CofN by Texas DPS will be struck down in less than the six months it takes to get a new certificate. This, and other restrictions that the DPS are imposing, are blatantly discriminatory and unconstitutional and are currently the subject of a court case. The court has already issued an interim injunction negating the regulations but this is stayed since the DPS appealed. However, the final ruling is supposed to be being handled through an expedited process.
 

König

Registered Users (C)
Are you sure about this? That would really be a bizarre and nasty requirement. At the Texas DPS website,
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/identificationrequirements.htm
they list an Unexpired United States passport as an acceptable primary proof of identity. It does not say anything there about an exception for non-natural born citizens. Is it mentioned somewhere else?
Yes, it is mentioned here:
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/LawfulStatusDLID.htm

"US Passport may be used ONLY if it indicates place of birth in the US".

Basically, it can constitute a discrimination because foreign-born people (even those who have been Americans all their life) should spend quite a lot of money to obtain necessary documents from USCIS/Dept of State before they can apply for a licence.
 

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
Yes, it is mentioned here:
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/LawfulStatusDLID.htm

"US Passport may be used ONLY if it indicates place of birth in the US".

Basically, it can constitute a discrimination because foreign-born people (even those who have been Americans all their life) should spend quite a lot of money to obtain necessary documents from USCIS/Dept of State before they can apply for a licence.

Ok, thanks. This sounds pretty outrageous, these Texas DPS guys are out of their minds.

I think this requirement is even worse for those people who were born abroad but derived their citizenship later on in life through their parents. Such people often do not have a certificate of citizenship but apply for a U.S. passport directly. Now Texas DPS would force them to apply for a certificate of citizenship which costs a lot of money and takes quite a bit of time. Moreover, if N-600 needs to be filed late in life, it may be difficult or impossible to track down all the relevant documents required for the N-600 approval (copies of old green cards, proof of legal and physical custody etc). A very unfair and discriminatory practice and I hope the courts will overturn it soon.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

dms1

Registered Users (C)
Yes, it is mentioned here:
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/LawfulStatusDLID.htm

"US Passport may be used ONLY if it indicates place of birth in the US".

Basically, it can constitute a discrimination because foreign-born people (even those who have been Americans all their life) should spend quite a lot of money to obtain necessary documents from USCIS/Dept of State before they can apply for a licence.
Interestingly, it isn't this provision that evoked either of the pending law suits even though it is both unconstitutional (creating sub-classes of citizens) and discriminatory (for the reason you state).

Instead, the suits are based on the facts that:
1. TX DPS will not issue a driving license to any legal non-immigrant alien whose proof of immigration status expires in less than six months - for example someone with an EAD that expires in fives months.
2. TX DPS uses a different format of license for people with a time-limited right of abode.

Both of these are considered discriminatory.
 

Imrahil

New Member
thanks for the input guys! I guess I'll write a letter to USCIS to expedite the process. i used to have a texas driver's license, but it expired years ago:mad:
does anyone know of another site or forum that could be helpful?
 

König

Registered Users (C)
Instead, the suits are based on the facts that:
1. TX DPS will not issue a driving license to any legal non-immigrant alien whose proof of immigration status expires in less than six months - for example someone with an EAD that expires in fives months.
2. TX DPS uses a different format of license for people with a time-limited right of abode.
I read somewhere about a wealthy Chinese guy who moved from NY to TX and could not obtain a licence because he lost his certificate 20 years ago and since then only used his passport for travel and other stuff. He hired a lawyer and sued the Texas DPS. I would like to read what his case is based on since it is the only problem he has had with them.

However, I would REALLY like to hear their official justification as to their refusal to accept a valid US passport of foreign-born US citizens. Preferably from the very person who came up with this ridiculous restriction.
 

absrao

Registered Users (C)
I read somewhere about a wealthy Chinese guy who moved from NY to TX and could not obtain a licence because he lost his certificate 20 years ago and since then only used his passport for travel and other stuff. He hired a lawyer and sued the Texas DPS. I would like to read what his case is based on since it is the only problem he has had with them.

However, I would REALLY like to hear their official justification as to their refusal to accept a valid US passport of foreign-born US citizens. Preferably from the very person who came up with this ridiculous restriction.
And I like to know why the place of birth is on the passport to begin with.

I dont think its one guy who came up with stuff in TX. Its bunch of them - like the ones who come up with stuff in washington.
 

König

Registered Users (C)
Actually, I just found this story about a Chinese guy:
DRIVERS LICENSE RULES BECOME A HIDDEN TRAP FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS

From this letter, it is unclear whether Fung has already filed a lawsuit against the DPS. If he does, this case would be very significant for naturalised US citizens.

In my humble opinion, states should not be given a right to determine which federally issued documents prove the US citizenship if the federal government already designated such documents to serve as a proof of US citizenship. The US government does not distinguish between US passports, so why the hell Texas does? The state of Texas simply does not have any jurisdiction to interpret what each immigration document proves and what it does not prove - this is the job of the federal government because only the federal government is in charge of immigration policies. If the states want to check the legal status of an applicant, I have nothing against it as long as various states do not come up with their own interpretations of who is legal and who is not. Why wouldn't a federal government come up with a complete checklist of acceptable documents that ALL states should follow? If a particular document is accepted by the USCIS and the Department of State, it should be accepted by states, counties and municipalities alike, period.
 

Huracan

Registered Users (C)
Imrahil,

In what way is the license needed for that job? Do you need the license for the job itself, or to present for I-9?
 

dms1

Registered Users (C)
In my humble opinion, states should not be given a right to determine which federally issued documents prove the US citizenship if the federal government already designated such documents to serve as a proof of US citizenship.

It's worse than that - the underlying Texas law makes no mention of what proof of immigration status is required. It was Texas DPS, a purely administrative agency with no legislative authority whatsoever, that chose to create two classes of US citizens, not issue licenses to certain people who are fully entitled to them (those with documentation expiry dates less than six months away) and, issue distinguishing licenses for no reason other than to encourage discrimination against immigrants. Of course, governor Prick Perry should have immediately read the riot act to the DPS but instead he went on record saying that he supported their stance.
 

baikal3

Registered Users (C)
Actually, I just found this story about a Chinese guy:
DRIVERS LICENSE RULES BECOME A HIDDEN TRAP FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS

From this letter, it is unclear whether Fung has already filed a lawsuit against the DPS. If he does, this case would be very significant for naturalised US citizens.

In my humble opinion, states should not be given a right to determine which federally issued documents prove the US citizenship if the federal government already designated such documents to serve as a proof of US citizenship. The US government does not distinguish between US passports, so why the hell Texas does? The state of Texas simply does not have any jurisdiction to interpret what each immigration document proves and what it does not prove - this is the job of the federal government because only the federal government is in charge of immigration policies. If the states want to check the legal status of an applicant, I have nothing against it as long as various states do not come up with their own interpretations of who is legal and who is not. Why wouldn't a federal government come up with a complete checklist of acceptable documents that ALL states should follow? If a particular document is accepted by the USCIS and the Department of State, it should be accepted by states, counties and municipalities alike, period.

As far as I know, a valid U.S. passport has always been a universally accepted proof of U.S. citizenship for all purposes, including travel, employment (I-9), filing of immigration petitions, registering to vote, etc. Moreover, in this case the Texas DPS has decided that a U.S. passport is an acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship for some people but not for others. That's clearly discriminatory and has created at least two (in fact more than two) categories of citizens.

The foreign-born citizens are basically of several kinds: those born abroad to U.S. citizen parents (they are actually legally considered to be natural-born citizens since they acquired citizenship at birth); naturalized U.S. citizens; and those who have derived U.S. citizenship through parents after birth. The people in the first category would have been issued a consular report of birth abroad, a certified duplicate of which can, in a pinch, be recovered from the State Department (although that certainly costs time and money). The people in the second category are affected more seriously because if they have lost their original naturalization certificate, it can take quite a while (more than 6 months) to get a replacement one from USCIS. The third category are the ones worst affected by the Texas DPS rule.
In most cases such people became citizens as minors and would have directly applied for a U.S. passport then without ever getting a certificate of citizenship.
There is not and has never been a legal requirement for them to obtain a certificate of citizenship.

It may be hard or impossible for such people to obtain a certificate of citizenship for years later (in particular after their parents had died). In many cases the requisite documents particularly those related to physical and legal custody of the children, copies of old green cards etc, may be lost, thrown away and difficult to recover many years later. For such people the hardship created by this Texas DPS rule would be very great.

I really hope the courts will overturn this outrageous Texas DPS rule quickly. Maybe indeed the federal government can also pass some law explicitly requiring universal acceptance of a U.S. passport as a proof of U.S. citizenship.
 
Top