Passport as good as a Birth Certificate?

Hi Folks,

For a new job they want a copy of my birth certificate. I need to do some digging and I was wondering:

If I have a US Passport, (which you need to have had a birth certificate to get in the past), does this cover for a birth certificate if I can not produce one?

Thx for you info! :slight_smile:

Various problems can emerge. Passports do not necessarily carry the name shown on the birth certificate. Not all passports give full details of the place of birth. But probably the main reason they ask for the birth certificate is that (almost) everybody has one, and it’s also a publicly-available document.

Most places that I know of will accept a passport in lieu of a birth certificate, but you would be better off to call the HR department (or whoever) and ask them if it would be acceptable.


The form is on the page listed above. The downloadable PDF form has enclosed instructions. A US Passport falls under List A for identification, meaning as a single document, it is proof of eligibility to work in the USA and additional documentation (such as a birth certificate) is not required.

In addition, says an employer cannot prefer one type of documentation over another. To me that means you show your US Passport and you meet the requirements of the law. Your potential employer cannot demand other ID if you meet the requirements as stated in Form I-9.

What Duckster said. Most employers just ask new employees to bring a birth certificate because they are too lazy, and there is really no elegant way to explain over the phone, all the various permutations of “one document from List A or one each from List B and List C.” But the passport meets both criteria you need for legal employment in the U.S.: identity, and eligibility to work in the U.S. (provided it’s a U.S. passport, of course). Technically, the employer is committing document abuse by specifically requesting a particular eligible document.

But hey, they shouldn’t feel too badly. Having recently participated in an I-9 audit for a very, very large client involving tens of thousands of I-9s, I’d say the majority of them had at least one technical error, and many had more than one error. Heck, our own HR person asked me to bring a birth certificate and a driver’s license when I filled out my pre-employment paperwork, and she certainly should have known better. (She’s not working here anymore.)

You should be fine with just the passport.

Eva Luna, Immigration Paralegal

For the jobs I’ve had in the past, you need either “one each from column a and b”, meaning your driver’s license and a birth certificate or Social Security card or something, or “one from column c”, meaning just your passport will do. I don’t remember what else is in each of the columns, but I’ve lost my social security card and am unsure of the whereabouts of my birth certificate, but everybody takes the passport so far.