How Do I Obtain an “Authenticated” Copy of a Certificate of Naturalization?

If you are required to provide an “authenticated” copy of your Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship to someone outside of the U.S. government, you must make an appointment with your local USCIS office to authenticate your photocopy of your certificate.  “Authentication” is a term used by the U.S. Department of State and other governments to describe what USCIS refers to as a “Certified True Copy.” These two terms refer to the same thing. When you require a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship to be authenticated, be sure to say that you want a "Certified True Copy" of the certificate.

You do not need to obtain a Certified True Copy if the U.S. government asks for a copy of your certificate for official U.S. government business. For example, if the U.S. Department of State requests your Certificate of Naturalization when you apply for a U.S. passport, you may use a normal photocopy that has not been authenticated. You may use a normal photocopy of your certificate for legitimate U.S. government business. 

In order to certify a copy of the certificate, you must make an appointment with your local USCIS office and bring both your original document and your photocopy. We do not authenticate or certify copies as true through the mail or electronically. Please call the Contact Center at 800-375-5283 to request an appointment.

When you go to your appointment, be sure to bring:

  • Your original Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship
  • A photocopy of the certificate
  • A form of photo identification, such as a state issued driver’s license, a state identification card, or a passport.

At your appointment, a designated USCIS employee will review your documents. The officer may certify the copy if they can confirm your identity and status as a U.S. citizen.

Note: If you are a family member requesting a Certified True Copy for a deceased U.S. citizen, you must also provide evidence of your        relationship to the decedent (such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, or other documentation showing your relationship).

USCIS will provide Certified True Copies and return these along with the supplied documentation to you. USCIS does not accept fees on behalf of the U.S. Department of State or any other government agencies, and we do not forward Certified True Copies to any other government agency on your behalf. We will return to you all documentation that you submit to us, including any documentation supplied by the Department of Homeland Security.

To obtain the services of the U.S. Department of State, Authentication Office, contact the Department of State:


Phone: 202-485-8000


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