I also had to send in a raised seal certificate. I had orginally sent in the notorized copy of my daughter's birth certificate, and it was only issued for a year. They said I had to re-send with a raised seal for the expiration date to be changed.
Can you get your passport application expedited if you already have tickets to go out of the country?
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You need to have a bc with a raised seal on it. A certified one will not be good enough unless the seal of the county you were born in is on it as well. And it is returned to you. You can expedite a passport if you need to get it in a rush. Expedited service will cost extra.. but you get it within 2 weeks. Go to http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html for info on passports and finding a service center near you. Larger cities have State Dept passport centers in them.... otherwise you can always go to a local post office.
You don't have to have a birth certificate with a raised seal because it depends on the state.
Both of my children were born in Georgia and they have not had raised seals on their certificates in years (my son is 5 1/2). My kids have taken 3 cruises and never had a problem. It says on the GA certificate that they no longer require a raised seal,=.
Just got our passports and we did use a certified copy of birth certificate that was issued in VA. The orginal birth cert. were printed on the black paper that was used in 1951 and 1953...oops..I'm telling my age, and you really couldn't make out the info. When we went on our first cruise in 1998 I had ordered the certified copies for husband and myself and had used this for cruise in '98 and then again year before last. We had no problems. Since new regulations were going into effect requiring passports we applied for ours the last Saturday in Nov. and just got them last weekend. So it took about 7 weeks, but of course, Christmas and New Years fell within that time period. You do get the orginal birth cert back with the new passport. It is delivered in a Priority Mail envelope, you do not have to sign for it, it was just left in our rural post office box. Each person that applies receives a separate envelope.
You do have to send the raised seal birth certificate because it is that seal that makes it official. You do get your birth certificate back with your new passport.
If you are traveling within six weeks, you can request expedited processing of your passport. However, I've found that regular service is fairly speedy. My fiance just got hers less than four weeks after applying, and I got mine in under three weeks, and that was during the Christmas holidays and the anthrax scare back in 2001.
I'm TomS, and I approved this message.