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Citizenship Documentation for MaineCare Coverage

Federal law requires that many people who apply for MaineCare prove both their U.S. citizenship and their identity to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This law is for both adults and children.

For most people, this will be pretty easy. If you are a citizen and have a Social Security Number, then DHHS will check with Social Security to make sure that you are a citizen. You will not have to give any other proof.

Not everyone must prove their citizenship

The law does NOT apply to everyone. The people who do not have to show documents to prove their citizenship and their identity are:

These people have already shown documents proving their citizenship or their immigration status. They have also proven their identity to state or federal government officials. These people do not have to do anything different to get or keep MaineCare.

Infants and Pregnant Women:

There are special rules for infants. If the mother is on MaineCare at the time of the birth, then the newborns will get MaineCare. They will have until they are 1 year old to prove citizenship or identity. If the newborn’s mother was not on MaineCare at the time of the birth, the newborn will have to prove citizenship and identity. Without this proof, the baby will not get MaineCare.

What do you need to do if your citizenship or identity can not be proved by Social Security?

First, make sure that DHHS sent the right information to Social Security. If that does not work, then you will have to prove both your citizenship and your identity. To do this, show DHHS original documents or certified copies. For example, get a certified copy of a birth certificate from the town or state where you were born. See list below for some of the types of documents that work for you.

Do I need to do this each year?

No. Once you have shown DHHS the documents that prove your citizenship and identity, you will not have to do it ever again in Maine. Even if you stop getting MaineCare, but some time later you get MaineCare again, you will not have to show these documents again.

Some documents you can use are:


  • U.S. passport (this also proves identity)
  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Official military record of service that shows U.S. place of birth
  • Adoption papers


  • U.S. passport (this also proves citizenship)
  • Driver's license or State ID
  • Native American tribal document
  • School ID card with photo
  • U.S. military card or draft record
  • School records (if age 17 and younger)
  • Affidavit (if age 17 and younger)*

* Children who do not have a document to prove identity can have a parent fill out a form called an affidavit. This will prove identity for that child (or children).
Get affidavit form for child age 15 or younger
Get affidavit form for teen age 16 and 17

This is not a full list of documents that will prove citizenship and identity. These are the most common documents. You may have another document that you can use.

Help with Getting Maine Birth Certificates

If you were born in Maine, ask your DHHS eligibility specialist to see if they can check to see if there is a birth certificate for you at Maine Vital Records.

For Help

Please call:
Consumer for Affordable Health Care
Help Line 1-800-965-7476 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-965-7476      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Maine Equal Justice Partners
March 2009

We are providing this information as a public service. We try to make it accurate as of the date indicated for each client education page. Sometimes the law changes. We cannot guarantee or promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. Feel free to contact us to find out if there have been any changes since the date of the information provided.

We do not intend this information to be legal advice. We do not intend it as advertising or solicitation. By providing this information, we are not acting as your lawyer. It is best to consult a competent lawyer before taking legal action.

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