A certificate of citizenship proves that you are a citizen of the US. It may be a document you need in order to run for office, apply for specific jobs (including some government jobs), or to get a passport. You may need your certificate of citizenship to prove that you are a US citizen in a number of situations. The certificate of citizenship is issued by the USCIS to those who have achieved citizenship because they were born to US parents or have achieved citizenship by being born to parents who became citizens while the applicant was a minor. This is known as citizenship through derivation or acquisition at birth. A certificate of citizenship is different than a certificate of naturalization, which shows that an applicant has gone through the naturalization process and has become a US citizen that way.
If you have lost or misplaced your certificate of citizenship, or if your certificate has become damaged, you will need to apply to the USCIS to replace your certificate of citizenship. This is important, since it is inevitable that you will need to prove your status as a citizen at some point. You may also need to apply for a replacement citizenship certificate if your name has changed and your current certificate is no longer accurate. You can apply for replacement by filing form N-565 (Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document). You can download form N-565 from the USCIS website, along with the instructions you will need to complete the form.
USCIS form N-565 is used to replace a certificate of citizenship, repatriation certificate, naturalization certificates, or declaration of intentions. You can also use the same form to apply for a special naturalization certificates that will be recognized by foreign nations. The form itself is fairly short, only two pages, while the instructions are thee pages. Depending on the state where you live, you will file the form with either the USCIS Texas Service Center or the USCIS Nebraska Service Center. The instructions of the form will tell you where you need to file specifically.
Form N-565 does include $345 filing fee, so it is important to file this document correctly the first time. Failure to file correctly can mean that your certificate of citizenship will be delayed, you petition may be rejected, and you may need to pay the filing fee more than once in order to rectify the mistake.
When filing the form, you will generally need to include supporting documents that prove your identity as well as your claim to US citizenship. You may need to include information about your parents, for example, and how and when they became US citizens. In addition, you will need to include the filing fee as well as photographs, as outlined in the instructions for the form.