Please carefully read the information on this page, and use the Citizenship Request Packet Checklist below to complete your request.
How to Request a Certificate for Citizenship-Related Purposes
Follow the directions in the Citizenship Request Packet Checklist. Please prepare the materials carefully and ensure that your request packet is complete. All documentation should be provided together at once via email, fax, or mail. Archives staff is not responsible for incomplete documentation or incorrect mailing addresses. When the request packet is received, staff will notify the requestor of any issues with their request. If there are no detected issues, staff will simply mail the certificate to the address you have provided on the sacramental request form online. Please send request packets at the time of your online request. Download the Citizenship Request Packet Checklist.
Access to Sacramental Certificates for Citizenship Purposes
A certified copy of a sacramental record, including baptism, marriage or funeral/death may be released to a third party requestor for citizenship purposes if the person(s) named in the record is deceased. The requestor must fill out the sacramental request form online.
Each sacramental certificate that is issued for citizenship purposes is $25.
If the record is dated 1931 or later, requestor will need to provide the following documentation to obtain a sacramental certificate:
1. A copy of the death certificate of the person(s) named in the record. To request a marriage certificate, both parties named in the record must be deceased. The requestor must provide death certificates for both parties.
2. Copies of the birth/baptismal/marriage certificates that prove that the requestor is a descendant of the person named in the record. To request a marriage certificate, provide proof of relationship to one of the persons named in the record.
3. Photograph ID (driver’s license or state ID) of the requestor.
If the record is dated 1930 or earlier, requestor will need to provide the following documentation to obtain a sacramental certificate:
1. Photograph ID (driver’s license or state ID) of the requestor.
2. Correct date and parish name where record is located. Research should be done prior to requesting the record. Find instructions on how to find sacramental records at the Research Page at https://www.archstl.org/archdiocesan-archives/research.
3. Full names with correct spellings of all known parties involved, typed:
a. For baptisms, provide the names of the baptismal recipient, father’s full name, mother’s first name and maiden name, witnesses.
b. For marriages, provide the names of the bride, groom, each of their father’s full names, and each of their mother’s first names with maiden names, witnesses.
Providing Correct Names and Spellings
Please take care to provide the full names and correct spellings of all known parties involved. If names are not provided, staff will transcribe the handwriting in their best judgement.
If significant differences are noted between the name in the record and the names provided by the requestor, the requestor must provide further documentation to correct the name discrepancies. Note that simple spelling errors will not generally be scrutinized. Ex. Antonio vs. Antonino. Especially in pre-1930 records, language and spelling issues are common.
The following issues will require further documentation:
1. The names are significantly different. Ex. Jacob vs. John; Smith vs. Schmitt
2. Requestor wants to add a first, middle, or last name to the record
3. Requestor wants to change first, middle or last name to a different name
For each of the above issues, requestor must provide the birth certificate or legal name change documentation of the person whose record they are requesting. The following do NOT qualify as appropriate documentation for changing names in the sacramental records: correspondence, obituaries, news clippings, death certificates, first communion or confirmation certificates, etc.
Public Notaries and Apostille
It is often requested that an apostille or public notary signature be affixed to the sacramental certificate. A notary public does not directly notarize ecclesiastical documents. Archives staff is unable to provide advice or reference as to what foreign consulates will accept as proper documentation. Please inquire with that consulate directly.
An apostille is a specific form of authentication that is made by a state’s Secretary of State. Archives staff is unable to provide advice or reference on the application or documentation required by the state for an apostille. Please inquire with that secretary of state directly. The requestor may work with any state’s secretary to obtain an apostille. You will likely be required by that state to provide an affidavit swearing that the facts contained in the document are true and correct to the best of your knowledge. The affidavit must be notarized by a public notary from the same state. We are unable to provide further advice on the process of obtaining an apostille from a state. Please inquire with that state or with a notary public.
For your convenience, the Missouri Secretary of State apostille webpage is here: https://s1.sos.mo.gov/business/notary/notary/certify