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Does the law require periodic updating of naturalization (citizenship) documents?

Long Beach, CA |

My sister and I are naturalized citizens since 1955. My sister, later married, let her California ID lapse accidentally years ago since she never needed it for ID purposes. When trying to renew her ID, Homeland security got involved and her case has been in review for over 7 months.
Seems her orig.citzenship docs, marriage license, Social Security number, photo credit card and her expired California ID card would be enough, but not according to the DMV. Her DMV case worker said her citizenship doc. should have been updated with current picture and married name....that this was "common knowledge". I have heard that it is an OPTION but not a requirement.
My sister also wonders, since none of these older documents required fingerpinting, how can they "prove" identity with any certainty?

Attorney Answers 1


There is no requirement for a citizen to "update" their naturalization certificate. That would be like asking her to update her birth certificate. Her naturalization certificate, marriage license and other id's should be sufficient. She should ask to speak with a supervisor because this examiner is wrong. If the examiner can't resolve it and there is no other problem with any of these documents, she should hire an attorney and sue DMV.
Why is Homeland Security involved? Was there some kind of underlying fraud involved with the obtaining of the original naturalization or permanent residency? That would be difficult to prove at this time, unless someone has traced back a fraudulent provider back to that time. For instance, there has been some cases where USC's born in Texas have had their citizenship taken away where their births were registered by midwives and it later came out that those midwives fraudulently listed some births as being in the US when they really took place in Mexico.
But normally, if everything was on the up and up, you should be ok. However you might need an attorney to get it unstuck.

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