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Old January 20th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Default problems with birth certificates

My family and I are cruising next month and will be using our birth certificates as we do not have passports. Has anyone ever had any trouble with having their birth certificate accepted? I'm worried about my husband's as he was born in Germany (army brat), and it just seems so different. I know we had a problem using it when we got our marriage license, though it was the same birth certificate he had used in every aspect of his life - school, ss, driver's license, etc.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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I think I'd be calling Royal Caribbean right away. God forbid you should get to the cruise terminal and be denied boarding because of some identity glitch. Also, have you asked your TA about this?
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Old January 20th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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I would get an expedited passport, that way you're sure there won't be any trouble. If you live close enough to one of the main places you can go and stand in line for one.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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I would also reccomend a passport. My husband is now a US citizen, but was born in Romania, so his doesn't work at all. I think the purpose of using your birth certificate and ID in place of a passport is to PROVE US citizenship. I don't think a German birth certificate would do that.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 09:58 AM
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A group from my husbands office went to Atlantis a year ago. Several people were denied boarding the plane because of passport issues, including one of the wives in our group. The biggest problem was that the seal was no longer raised (probably due to being squished in a file for years). The wife had to fly back to her homestate, and wasted a day getting a new birth certificate (luckily my husbands company sells jets so she had an easy time getting home).

With the new passport reqs coming out soon, and the fact that your husband is from Germany I would get the passports to be safe. If you had problems before using the birth certificate, you will certainly have problems now after 9/11. Spend the money now and get the fast versions!

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Old January 21st, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Another thing is if you are going to do a passport, get it going ASAP. Don't wait even it you would be inside the time window for expedited processing. I know of a number of cases where problems cropped up, mostly due to birth certificate problems and the passport agency claiming they can't verify someones citizenship. And these were all U.S. born citizens. My 91 year old grandmother went through h**l with them because of what they said was a problem with her birth certificate, the same one she had used for marriage, etc, her entire life. And she was born in Chicago, still in the USA as far as i know. They would not accept any of the traditional items you use for I.D., drivers license, Social Security card, etc. They wanted, get this, a family bible from 1914, an eyewitness to her childhood (from 85 years ago), or her twin brother who was terminally ill could come out from Calif. to testify on her behalf.It was ridiculous, as if she wasn't even a citizen. Apparently, if the passport agency decides it doesn't like your paperwork, you don't officially exist. In case you were wondering how it worked out, my brother spent 3 days and was able to get the census report for her neighborhood from, I think it was 1920 (forgot exact year). And they have no phone number where you can talk to anyone. We worked with the 800 number they had but when the paperwork was sent to the Chicago office, we were in limbo. They had no phone number you could call and the person at the 800 number (who was very nice), said they only had one contact number and that THEY were not allowed to call it under any circumstances. That's what we had to do. Crazy.

The point is that problems do crop up and it's a nightmarish bureaucracy, so get the paperwork in quickly in case you run into problems. Have a good trip.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 11:59 AM
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I'm not 100% sure, but I believe as of 1/06 every US citizen is required to have a passport to travel outside the US. They no longer accept birth certificates and a photo I.D.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 12:23 PM
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The new passport requirement was postponed until January '07. You can use an original, or state certified birth certificate until then on all Caribbean cruises.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:32 PM
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We are cruising Explorer on Feb 12 06 and want to know if anyone had a letter on there id different from there birth cert, my wifes name and id have Gerri on them and her bc says Jerri, The TA says no problem but we all know they can't be called on a sunday, I know we need passports, just not in the budget for 3 this year.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:38 PM
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I dont think a letter mispelled will cause you to miss your cruise. My partners name is Damon and on his birth certificate it is mispelled w/ an extra "d" on the end (Damond)...and it has never been a problem.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:44 PM
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Was that recent though with all this security stuff? Sometimes when she calls places they think it is a mans name or when I list her they think the same thing...we don't want to wave the boat goodbye, paid to much to watch it sail away
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 01:55 PM
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We were on The Elation last spring, so thats fairly recent.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 04:37 PM
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unfortunately, my husband does not have the time to get a passport before we leave as he is traveling with his job. However, I did call RCI and also showed it to my TA - and they both said it was fine. Of course, I'm still a little nervous. Anyone out there born abroad (military) and has used the document labeled "Department of State, Foreign Service of the United Sates of America, Certification of Birth"? It does have a raised seal on it as well.
Thanks!
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Old January 24th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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Course I'm just a gussin, but I would think that any document that says "Department of State" AND has a rasied seal should be official enough for even the most efficious federal employee.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 10:03 PM
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I went to L.A. to get my bc and I couldn't cause I was adopted and all those records were up in Sacremento. I had a copy of it and wwent and had it notorized in the building next door, for only $10, and I got onboard fine. I am going again in March and I'm thinking I might not be so lucky.
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