How to Apply for an American Indian Tribe CDIB Card Number

By Jessica Briggs

Applying for a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card to prove that you are a descendant of a Native American Indian tribe can help you gain access to a multitude of benefits such as education discounts and health care. To get your CDIB card, you must be able to prove with extensive documentation that you are related through blood to a Native American on a tribal roll record; you will need their roll number to be granted authentication.

Log on to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) website and access the Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood Application and Instructions under the Document Library link in the top horizontal toolbar (see Resources).

Print the form. The BIA does not currently provide a way to submit the form online, so you will need to print out and submit the form via regular mail.

Complete the form following its included current directions. The ancestor-related questions take the shape of a family tree to help you understand the relationships.

Submit the form to the local office of your ancestral tribe. Your application will then be processed. The BIA must research the information you've provided; records are not always complete or easily accessible, so the processing may take some time.

Receive your CDIB card or rejection in the mail. If you receive a card, you have been assigned a CDIB number and are now eligible for all benefits. However, if you instead received a rejection, the envelope will contain information about how to appeal if you so choose.

About the Author

Jessica Briggs began writing professionally in 2011. She has written for high school, college and law school newspapers such as "The Justice" and "The Hoot" at Brandeis University. Briggs holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in international criminal law and justice.