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Dr Bob says When I applied for my first passport I had no problem obtaining by mail a certified copy of my New Mexico birth certificate.

I have no idea how many years ago that was. Here is a list of the documents currently required to obtain an official copy of a NM birth record:

It is similar to that of most states with which I have experience in assisting people. And it is a daunting obstacle to many indigent citizens.

As you will see, the preferred ID to obtain the birth record is a Drivers License, a State ID, or a passport--the lack of which is exactly the reason for seeking a copy of the birth record in the first place. Alternative items (a minimum of 2 required), include, e.g., a baptismal certificate, Social Security card, school records, tax forms. Many indigent citizens don't have any of those.

I'm telling you from more than a decade of direct experience working with thousands of people that the process is not "no problem" for many American citizens. You'll have to decide for yourself why you choose not to believe that.
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