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Can you prove who you are without a shadow of a doubt

Can you prove who you are without a shadow of a doubt? Are you a citizen of the country you live in? Are you a citizen of another country? Do you have dual citizenship? Do you have adequate documentation?

I just recently received a letter from a government agency demanding that I provide evidence of my citizenship. Easy thing to do. Right? Just produce an original or certified birth certificate, not a photocopy, they say.

There's a problem with this. I can contact the birth records department for the state I was born in. I can ask for a copy of my birth certificate. But, I will need to provide either a credit card or send a check to pay for my copy. I doubt they will be accepted as my present name is not the one I was given at birth.

I completely changed my full name  by a common law practice of assuming a new name, registering it with social security, driver's license and bank. It was easy to do back then, and quite acceptable. That was nearly 30 years ago. It is my understanding that I would need to go to court to have it changed. Which brings us back to proving who I once was.

Presuming that I cannot receive a certified copy of my birth certificate, I have slim options. I am only allowed to have one affidavit signed by a family member stating that they knew me to be who I claim to be I once was and they knew me when I changed my name to who I am now.

I would be surprised if there many facing the same issue on this level. How many old hippies changed there name the way I did?

I would need another affidavit signed by an unrelated person who can prove their own citizenship stating they knew me before and after. I haven't stayed in touch with childhood friends. That leaves my Ex-Husband. Hmmm... I wonder where he lives now. If I found him would he be willing to sign an affidavit that he knew my name was one thing and then I changed it to another.

What amazes me about this requirement is how it could possibly be acceptable proof of my citizenship, based upon another person's say so. Some dishonest people may have an easy time of doing this. It bothers me.

Note: I wrote this several months ago. I did not want to publish it until I received my new birth certificate with my new name, which I now have.