What is Form DS-10?
Form DS-10 or the Birth Affidavit form is a legal statement that provides sufficient evidence and includes witnesses to prove your birth for the purpose of establishing your identity and U.S. citizenship. Form DS-10 is provided by an applicant when a certified long-form U.S. birth certificate or other birth documents are lost or not available.
Form DS-10 is used for proving one’s U.S. citizenship when an acceptable birth document, an expired passport, or certificate is not available. It bears witness that you are indeed a citizen of the United States and have been born there. This form is also seen as a secondary type of confirmation for an American citizen’s identity and citizenship since the form would be accomplished by someone who is personally knowledgeable and familiar with details of their birth or were physically there at the time of conception.
When submitting Form DS-10, written statements made by a relevant authority claiming and confirming that you have no available birth document or certificate should also be included with it. Moreover, the applicant must also present a photocopy of both the front and the backside of their identification.
What is the purpose of Form DS-10?
The purpose of Form DS-10 is to provide proof of U.S. citizenship when acceptable birth documents are not available. Form DS-10 bears witness that the applicant is a U.S. citizen and the claim is supported by having witnesses knowledgeable of the applicant’s birth to make a statement confirming it.
Who should file for Form DS-10?
U.S. citizens applying for a new passport but do not have their birth documents, certificate, or an expired passport available are required to accomplish the form because it will serve as their proof of citizenship.
As long as the applicant resides in the United States or in its territories, their age of applying does not matter. Applicants, as long as a U.S. citizen, can be a minor or adult. A naturalized adult (a permanent lawful resident granted U.S. citizenship after meeting the requirements set by the INA), though, will not have a U.S. birth certificate. Instead, they will have to use their naturalized certification as proof of their citizenship.
Where can I file Form DS-10?
You can download a blank copy of Form DS-10 above or you may opt to fill the form out online using our PDF Editor. Nonetheless, when filling out this form, make sure to print/type down the information being asked legibly, accurately, and honestly. Like other government forms, it is a criminal offense to state false information on Form DS-10 or any other legal document forms. You may be subjected to penalty fines and/or imprisonment.
It should be noted that the affiant of Form DS-10 is the one who will provide the information being asked for. The affiant must then personally deliver the affidavit unsignedto a Passport Agent, Passport Acceptance Agent, or Notary Public who will put them under an oath making them swear under penalty of perjury that the information stated on the DS-10 form are all accurate and true.
After, the affiant will sign the affidavit and the official agent will notarize the affidavit.
When should I file Form DS-10?
The requesters of Form DS-10 and their witnesses will have to go to U.S. passport offices with their DS-11 applications because, in most cases, the applicants will have to submit their notarized Form DS-10 with their first passport application.
The reason why the requesters of Form DS-10 need their witnesses to come with them to the passport offices is because the passport agents need to witness the affiant signing the form, which makes the form valid.
It should be noted that there are documents you should be bringing with you when you submit your U.S. passport application, including (if applicable) a formal notice from relevant authorities confirming that there you have no available birth documents. Although Form DS-10 serves as your proof of citizenship and acts in lieu of your birth certificate, you will still need the following documents:
- A completed Form DS-11
- A current photo identification card and copy
- A passport-approved photo
- Payment for relevant fees
It should also be noted that the affiants need to bring some kind of official personal identification when visiting the passport offices with the requester. Acceptable forms of identification passport offices would honor are driver’s license, passports, or military identification card.
How do I fill out Form DS-10?
Again, Form DS-10 should be accomplished by someone other than the person applying for a passport. The requester of Form DS-10 must select a witness who is familiar and knowledgeable about their birth details and know them adequately enough to provide accurate personal information.
Like any other legal and official document, the information provided should be accurate and honest. Any false statements and/or incorrect information may cost the requester their passport and may be subject to criminal offense.
It is also crucial to remember that the requester and the affiant must notsign the form after completing the necessary fields. The signing must be done only if a relevant authority is present, like a Passport Agent, Passport Acceptance Agent, or Notary Public.
Form DS-10 consists of eight (8) parts that your selected witness needs to accomplish, namely:
- The name of the applicant whose birth in the United States is to be proved (you)
- Applicant’s (your) sex
- Applicant’s (your) date of birth
- Applicant’s (your) place of birth,
- Applicant’s (your) current home address,
- The number of years the affiant (witness) has known the applicant (you),
- The affiant's relationship to the applicant (you) or basis for their knowledge of the applicant’s (your) birth,
- Statement of all facts the affiant knows about the applicant’s (your) birth, including how they know this information and your birth parents' names (only if known).
The requester of Form DS-10 must also submit a Letter of No Record from the Office of Vital Statistics in the state where he/she was born. The requester may also submit Early Public Records with their Form DS-10 in order to strengthen their proof of identity and citizenship.
Early Public Records include, but are not limited to, post-natal medical records, school records, state or federal Census records, Baptismal records with the church's seal, or a certified adoption decree.