TGS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some questions that are frequently asked about Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) or tribal citizenship cards and how to update Chickasaw Nation records for a citizen's legal name or address.

  1. Can I be enrolled in more than one tribe?

    A person seeking Chickasaw citizenship may not be dually enrolled with another tribe. You must relinquish citizenship/membership from the tribe you are enrolled with and provide the appropriate form when applying for Chickasaw citizenship.

  2. Do either of the cards expire? 

    At this time, the cards do not have an expiration date.

  3. How do I apply if I am adopted?

    A person who has been adopted may be eligible for a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card and Chickasaw citizenship if they can prove the biological parent(s) is of Chickasaw lineage “by blood” and can provide the following required documentation:

    • Completed CDIB application
    • Completed Chickasaw citizenship application (minor or adult)
    • Original state certified (long form) birth certificate (prior to adoption). Biological Chickasaw parent(s) must be listed on your state certified birth certificate (SCBC).
    • Amended state certified birth certificate (long form) listing adoptive parent(s)
    • Final adoption decree (biological Chickasaw parent(s) must be listed)
    • One of the following:
      • Adoption petition (if biological parent is not listed on the final adoption decree)
      • DNA test (see below)
      • Court order establishing paternity (must list biological parents)

    If the biological Chickasaw parent(s) is not listed on the person’s SCBC, the final adoption decree or the petition for adoption, the applicant will need to do DNA testing with a biological Chickasaw parent (if living). If the biological Chickasaw parent is not living, the applicant may possibly be able to do DNA testing with any Chickasaw sibling, grandparent, etc.

    • Testing must be conducted by an accredited lab
    • Samples must be taken by a lab representative
    • Test results must be signed by the lab representative and notarized
    • Statistical probability of paternity must be established at ninety-eight percent (98%) or more by scientifically reliable genetic tests, including but not limited to blood tests
    • DNA testing expenses are the responsibility of the applicant.
    • Please see DNA Testing to Establish Paternity for further information
  4. How long will it take for me to receive my CDIB and/or citizenship cards?

    To ensure that every application is treated in a fair manner, applications are processed in the order they have been received with all required documentation. Processing times vary as the number of applications received on a daily basis varies and every application is unique. 

    Applications where the applicant’s lineage has not been established (applicant is the first person in direct lineage to apply for a CDIB) are considered research applications as each person in the lineage has to be reviewed and verified resulting in a longer processing time. 

  5. What are lineal descendants?

    Parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, etc., until you reach your lineal descendant listed on the Final Approved Rolls of the Dawes Commission. 

  6. What if I have a citizenship card that has “Interim” on it?
    An interim citizenship card was a temporary paper card issued to citizens prior to the implementation of the tribal enrollment database. The interim card has an issue date and states that a person “is a citizen and has the rights and privileges that citizenship confers.” However, since it was only a temporary card and is no longer issued, a citizen who has an interim card will need to complete a citizenship application and submit a current color photo to be issued an updated citizenship card.
  7. What if I have a name change? 

    When a person changes their LAST name due to a marriage or divorce, they will need to submit a copy of their marriage license or divorce decree to TGS.

    When a person changes their FIRST, MIDDLE or FULL name (other than their given name as listed on their original state certified birth certificate), they will need to provide the following documents:

    • Original state certified birth certificate (with name given at birth)
    • Documents used to change your name
      • Marriage license
      • Divorce decree
      • A legal court decree
    • Amended state certified birth certificate (with new name)
    • Completed CDIB application or duplicate CDIB application to change their name on CDIB
    • Completed citizenship application to change their name on citizenship card

    Legal name change documents are very important for a person to provide to show they are one and the same person; and most importantly to ensure lineal descendants will be able to trace their lineage.  This is also very important to help prevent another person from using information for fraudulent purposes.

  8. What if I have lost or misplaced my CDIB and/or citizenship cards and need replacements?

    To replace a CDIB card, a replacement form is available to download on the CDIB page

    For a replacement citizenship card, a new citizenship application must be completed. Applications for adults and minors are available on the citizenship page.

    If you have additional questions or would like to request an application be mailed to you, contact tribal government services.

  9. What if my address changes? 

    If you have an address change, please notify the tribal government services office by phone or mail or use the Update Your Address form.

  10. What is a CDIB or Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card?
    The Bureau of Indian Affairs issues a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB). It certifies that a person has a specific degree of Indian Blood of a certain Native American tribe and identifies that a person may be eligible for citizenship within that tribe.
  11. What is a Sworn Statement Affidavit (SSA)?  

    A sworn statement affidavit is used as a supporting document to birth certificates that require additional verification, such as computerized, delayed and births that occurred abroad. The SSA must be signed by the Chickasaw/Native American parent(s) and notarized by a notary. (Original form with original signatures must be submitted).

  12. Where can I find an application for a CDIB or citizenship?

    You may contact tribal government services and request an application be mailed to you or you can find the applications by visiting the following pages:

  13. Where do I mail my CDIB application?
    All CDIB applications and supporting documents need to be mailed to tribal government services.