What if you were born in the USA but never got a birth certificate or social security number?

I know you couldn’t get a license or get grants for college but what I’m wondering is, could you get in trouble with the law? Could they sentence you to jail and would you have to go to court? Illegal aliens don’t have them and they can’t really get in trouble here, just deported, right?

8 Answers

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  • james
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    It is not illegal. But this mostly ended in 1960. There were a few that did not have such till then. The Government helped them get there I.D. Went back threw family bibles for most part. Ask the families who you were talked to people who knew you. Most I knew lived back some in the swamp. Worked on farms, worked a few weeks a year in the grain rush at elevators, commercial fished & such. In the 90s they passed a Federal law all children born must have a birth certificate. Even if by mid wife. So today it would be rare to happen. But I don't think a law was ever passed to say you had to have a S.S. number or birth certificate. Could be wrong there. Wolf cub children are a rare thing to meet were ever you are. So people know you or off you were ever you are born & live. About the same time the Government also did away with Gypsy children. Made there kids go to school as they moved around. You never see them any more. & migrant workers. All about things of the past.

  • 5 months ago

    You may need to get a lawyer to help you with this one.

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    There's actually a highly publicized test case for this. This homeschooled girl was born to survivalist types who never claimed her US citizenship and she's had problems ever since - https://www.thedailybeast.com/homeschool-teen-cant...

    But most "undocumented" people have plenty of documentation from their home countries and are easily identified as foreign nationals. This lack of "documentation" implicit in the word pertains only to a lack of US documents. Now that most states issue driver licenses to illegals this is less of a problem for them.

  • John
    Lv 5
    5 months ago

    It is not illegal, in and of itself, for a US citizen to not have a SSN or a birth certificate. The problem comes when that child wants to go to school, get a job, file tax returns, get a driver's license, and a host of other things for which one needs those documents.

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  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    You are mistaken. Illegal aliens do get in trouble with the law, and are put in prisons. Once released from prison they are often immediately deported.

    • harrys4 months agoReport

      Illegal aliens are not the subject of the question.
      “What if you were born in the USA...”

  • Sharon
    Lv 6
    5 months ago

    Each college decides for itself whom they accept and under what terms. I've never myself dealt with a college that wanted to see my birth certificate. It is not illegal, although perhaps under some circumstances inconvenient, not to have a birth certificate. Remember, before WW1 most states did not require them. The idea was an import from Bismarck's Prussia

    • RICK
      Lv 7
      5 months agoReport

      Same here
      In 68 years over never been asked for my birth certificate for anything, Mom may have had to shows it when I was originally enrolled in school

  • 5 months ago

    You need a social security number in order to get a paycheck and in order to file tax forms. It is illegal not to file tax forms if your salary is over the minimum reporting amount, and you need a SS number for taxes. If you are receiving your salary "under the table" your employer could also be breaking the law. Most states also require a SS number to get a driver's license.

    In order to get a social security number, you will need your birth certificate. If you need to get a copy of yours, do a web search naming your place of birth followed by "birth certificate".

    • harrys4 months agoReport

      Not until several years past his departure did we discover his BC. Not having one to show had never been any problem until he filed for SS benefits. No one ever asked to see a SS card. You just recited your SSN. Now “everyone” insists on seeing your SS card.

  • Will
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    That happens often actually for idiots who rather give birth at home. They sometimes won't report the child's birth and next thing you know you have an undocumented child. Child, not immigrant. They'd have to prove you are an undocumented immigrant first. The parents know the child is an American, but the authorities don't.

    • harrys4 months agoReport

      Many out-of-hospital births are “accidental,” that is, the sudden labor and birth catches everyone by surprise. Mom didn’t know, after having false labor starts. Back seats of taxicabs, aboard buses, aboard aircraft, at home, in an RV, in a motel room, aboard ship, anywhere.

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