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CAN I KEEP A PHOTOCOPY OF US CITIZENSHIP CERTIFICATE? IT…

CAN I KEEP A...

CAN I KEEP A PHOTOCOPY OF US CITIZENSHIP CERTIFICATE? IT SAYS ON THE CERT THAT IT IS ILLEGAL UNLESS YOU HAVE LAWFUL AUTHORITY?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any paperwork with the U.S. government?

MY SON'S USCC WAS MISPLACED AND WE WANT TO RENEW HIS PASSPORT FOR THE 3RD TIME AND THEY NEED AN ORIGINAL CC CERTIFICATE AS PROOF OF HIS CITIZENSHIP. HE IS 22 YEARS OLD HAS VALID DL ETC ETC AND TWO EXPIRED US PASSPORTS. I HAVE APPLIED FOR THE REPLACEMENT CC BUT IT CAN TAKE FEOM 6-12 MONTHS.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?

NOT YET.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

THIS IS IT.

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Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/23/2018
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18,161
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

Yes, you can keep a photocopy of the certificate. The statement on the certificate always makes people wonder, but every immigration lawyer I know says that it doesn't apply to individuals keeping a copy of the certificate for their files. In fact, most BCIS officers will suggest that you make a copy.

The intent of the law is to prevent people from making copies of the certificate with illegal or nefarious intent:

18 U.S. Code § 1426 - Reproduction of naturalization or citizenship papers

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(a)

Whoever falsely makes, forges, alters or counterfeits any oath, notice, affidavit, certificate of arrival, declaration of intention, certificate or documentary evidence of naturalization or citizenship or any order, record, signature, paper or proceeding or any copy thereof, required or authorized by any law relating to naturalization or citizenship or registry of aliens; or

(b)

Whoever utters, sells, disposes of or uses as true or genuine, any false, forged, altered, antedated or counterfeited oath, notice, affidavit, certificate of arrival, declaration of intention to become a citizen, certificate or documentary evidence of naturalization or citizenship, or any order, record, signature or other instrument, paper or proceeding required or authorized by any law relating to naturalization or citizenship or registry of aliens, or any copy thereof, knowing the same to be false, forged, altered, antedated or counterfeited; or

(c)

Whoever, with intent unlawfully to use the same, possesses any false, forged, altered, antedated or counterfeited certificate of arrival, declaration of intention to become a citizen, certificate or documentary evidence of naturalization or citizenship purporting to have been issued under any law of the United States, or copy thereof, knowing the same to be false, forged, altered, antedated or counterfeited; or

(d)

Whoever, without lawful authority, engraves or possesses, sells or brings into the United Statesany plate in the likeness or similitude of any plate designed, for the printing of a declaration of intention, or certificate or documentary evidence of naturalization or citizenship; or

(e)

Whoever, without lawful authority, brings into the United States any document printed therefrom; or

(f)

Whoever, without lawful authority, possesses any blank certificate of arrival, blank declaration of intention or blank certificate of naturalization or citizenship provided by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, with intent unlawfully to use the same; or

(g)

Whoever, with intent unlawfully to use the same, possesses a distinctive paper adopted by the proper officer or agency of the United States for the printing or engraving of a declaration of intention to become a citizen, or certificate of naturalization or certificate of citizenship; or

(h)Whoever, without lawful authority, prints, photographs, makes or executes any print or impression in the likeness of a certificate of arrival, declaration of intention to become a citizen, or certificate of naturalization or citizenship, or any part thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 25 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism (as defined in section 2331 of this title)), 20 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (as defined in section 929(a) of this title)), 10 years (in the case of the first or second such offense, if the offense was not committed to facilitate such an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime), or 15 years (in the case of any other offense), or both.

Note that the emphasis is on forging, counterfeiting, etc... rather than making copies for record keeping. The "warning" on the certificate is warning against copying it for those purposes, not for record keeping purposes.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Can i use a copy to process passport renewal for my son. I have applied for a replacement of the misplaced or lost USCC. It can take over 6-12 months. I need my son's passport renewed as he has to attend medical school in Caribean in Aug 2018. I do have a copy of his USCC and the certs for me and my wife.

I rejected the phone call request because I can answer your questions here (and save you the cost of the phone call). Generally they want the original, although it's possible that they can grant an exception, especially if it's a renewal of the passport.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I gather it is US Passport's call to give me an exception.

Yes

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Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 18,161
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
ScottyMacEsq and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What are the final charges? Have you deducted already?
Thanks for your help. I will rate this response now.

I don't know what the final charges are (I don't have access to that information) but I will make sure that the phone call is not charged to you, as it appears that you don't need it. You should get a receipt in your email to show what the charges are.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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