Chapter 4: Replacement of Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization

The table below serves as a quick reference guide for requests to replace certificates of citizenship or naturalization. The sections and paragraphs that follow the table provide further guidance.​

Basis for Request​s of Replacement​

Certificate ​of ​Citizenship or Naturalization ​| ​Form N-​565​

Certificate​

Correct USCIS Clerical Error​

Date of Birth Correction​

No clerical error​

Legal Name Change​

Lost or Mutilated Certificate​

Legal Gender Change​

Certificate of ​Citizenship​

Permitted; no fee required​

Permitted if correction through U.S. state court order or similar state vital record (fee required)​

Permitted if name change through court order or operation of law (fee required)​

Permitted​

(fee required)​

Certificate of ​Naturalization​

Permitted; no fee required​

Not permitted (8 CFR 338.5)​

Permitted​

(fee required)​

A. General Requests to Replace Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization​

In general, an applicant submits to USCIS an Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (​Form N-565​) to request a replacement Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization. The application must be submitted with the appropriate fee and in accordance with the form instructions.​ [1] See 8 CFR 103.7.

A person may request a replacement certificate to replace a lost or mutilated certificate. A person may also request a replacement certificate, without fee, in cases where:​

USCIS issued a certificate that does not conform to the supportable facts shown on the applicant’s citizenship or naturalization application; or​

USCIS committed a clerical error in preparing the certificate.​ [2] See 8 CFR 338.5(a).

An applicant may submit a r​equest to update ​his or her name on ​a ​C​ertificate ​of Naturalization ​based on a name change ​ordered by a state ​court ​with jurisdiction or ​due to marriage or divorce.​ [3] See INA 343(c). In addition, an applicant who has legally changed his or her gender may apply for a replacement certificate reflecting the new gender.​ [4] A request to change the gender on a certificate may also affect the marital status already listed on the certificate. See Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 10.22, Document Issuance Involving Status and Identity for Transgender Individuals. If the gender change results in the individual now being in a valid same-sex marriage, then the certificate must reflect his or her marital status as “married.”

Unless there is a USCIS clerical error, regulations prohibit USCIS from making any changes to a​ date of birth​ on a Certificate of Naturalization if the applicant has completed the naturalization process and sworn to the facts of the application, including the ​DOB​.​ [5] See 8 CFR 338.5(e). The regulation at 8 CFR 338.5(e) specifically provides that USCIS will not deem a request to change a DOB justified if the naturalization certificate contains the DOB provided by the applicant at the time of naturalization.

B. Replacement of Certificate of Citizenship​

An applicant may submit an ​Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (​Form N-565​) ​to request issuance of ​a replacement Certificate of Citizenship to correct the DOB or name if the applicant has obtained a state-issued document with a corrected DOB​ or name​. Along with his or her application and the appropriate fee, the applicant must submit the court order or other ​s​tate vital record.​ [6] See Chapter 2, Certificate of Citizenship, Section B, Contents of Certificate of Citizenship, Subsection 3, Changes to Names or Dates of Birth per Court Order [12 USCIS-PM K.2(B)(3)].

An applicant may submit an ​Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (​Form N-565​) ​to request issuance of ​a replacement Certificate of Naturalization to correct the date of birth (DOB) if the correction is justified due to USCIS error.​ [7] See 8 CFR 338.5(a), 8 CFR 338.5(c), and 8 CFR 338.5(e). For pre-1991 judicial naturalization cases, the regulations provide that USCIS can “authorize” the court to make a change on the certificate if it is the result of clerical error. However, USCIS plays a minimal role in these cases. See 8 CFR 338.5(b) and 8 CFR 338.5(e).No filing fee is required when an application is filed based on a USCIS error.​