Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I send photocopies of documentation (e.g. birth and/or death certificates) with my application by mail?

A: No. You must send the ORIGINAL documentation (originals will be mailed back to you). You may bring in originals and a copy will be made for files (we do not keep the originals).

Q: Do the Indian hospitals register new births with the Registration office? 
A: No, It is the parent's responsibility to apply for their children's CDIB/Citizenship cards once they receive their birth certificate. This is recommended at the time of birth due to the backlog of applications.

Q: Can I get a CDIB card through Cherokee Nation from another Tribe?
A: No, you may not apply for a CDIB card for another tribe through Cherokee Nation. 

Q: Can I vote with my Blue Card?
A: Your blue card is a citizenship card only. You may not vote with the blue card alone.

Q: Am I eligible to vote now that I am registered with the Cherokee Nation?
A: In order to vote in Cherokee Nation elections you must first register to vote. To be eligible for voter registration you must be 18 years of age or older and have a CDIB and a Cherokee Nation citizenship card. You MUST fill out a voter registration application. You are not automatically eligible to vote unless the above criteria are met. Please visit the Cherokee Nation Election Commission's page on this website to access more information on tribal elections and to download a voter registration form.

Q: How long does the process take for new applications for Cherokee Nation citizenship?
A: Processing time varies 

Q: How long does it take to get duplicate cards processed?
A: 10 to 15 days

Q: How long does it take to process an amendment to a CDIB?
A: Processing time varies

Q. How can I get one of the new Cherokee Nation photo ID cards?
A. You may visit the main CN Registration office in Tahlequah Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Please bring your paper blue card and CDIB with you, along with another form of photo ID. Children under 18 without a photo ID can receive a CN Photo ID with parental consent. You can also receive a photo ID from Registration during some community and at-large events if staff is available. Please check with your local Tribal Council member or at-large community group leadership for upcoming events.

Q. Can I just send you a photo and signature in the mail and have you make a photo ID for me?
A. You must have your photo taken in person using the system that creates the ID cards. We regret that we are unable to process CN Photo ID cards by mail.

Q. Is the Cherokee Nation photo ID compliant with the REAL ID act?
A. The REAL ID law applies to whether ‘state-issued’ IDs are compliant and our Cherokee Nation photo ID is not state-issued.  The REAL ID law ONLY applies to state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.  Our tribal IDs are accepted as a ‘Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID’ for flying per the TSA website (See and you should not have to show your tribal ID in addition to a driver’s license.  This applies only to air travel, not other federal facilities.  Tribal IDs may be acceptable forms of identification at some federal facilities and may not be considered acceptable at others.

Q. Is the new Cherokee Nation Photo ID mandatory? What if I can't get to Tahlequah or another location to get one?
A. The new card is for your convenience. It combines your blue citizenship card with your CDIB into a single card. It is not mandatory and your old cards will still be valid.

Q. What benefits do I get for having a CDIB and/or tribal citizenship card?
A. There no specific benefits guaranteed to you as a Cherokee Nation citizen. However, you may be eligible for some tribal, BIA or Indian Health Service benefits, depending on your specific situation and the service's eligibility requirements (such as income, age, disability or residence).

Q. How much money do I get for becoming a Cherokee Nation citizen? Will I get a check every month?
A. There is no money or monthly check given to Cherokee Nation citizens. Instead, Cherokee Nation re-invests the profits from its tribal enterprises into job creation, economic development and services for tribal citizens who are prioritized as those highest in need, such as the elderly, low-income or disabled.

Q. I've heard that Cherokee Nation will pay for all of my education! True?
A. Cherokee Nation and other entities do have some grants and scholarships available to tribal citizens. They are not guaranteed, though, and you should plan your school finances accordingly.

Q. Will Cherokee Nation pay off my mortgage or buy me a car?
A. Like everyone else, those are things you will have to take care of yourself, sorry.

Q. When I become a Cherokee Nation citizen can I quit paying taxes?
A. Cherokee Nation citizens are required to pay all applicable taxes. Cherokee Nation citizens hold a dual citizenship but that does not exempt them from paying taxes.

General Contact for Cherokee Nation Registration 918-458-6980 OR 800-256-0671, ext.6980