Looking to apply for a child passport? Getting a child passport much more complicated than applying for an adult passport due to the number of abductions throughout the world. These procedures are in place to help guarantee the safety of one’s children. The process of obtaining a child’s passport is simple if the applicant follows all the requirements, and provides all the needed documents.
Required Documents Needed for a Child’s Passport
- Complete DS-11 Application Form for New Passport
- (fill out the form but do not sign it until you present it to a passport agent.)
- Provide (2) Passport Photos.
- These should be color photos and conform to the regulations for passport photos.
- Child Proof of Citizenship (Birth Certificate issued by City, County or State of birth)
- Evidence of Parental Relationship.
- Parental Consent (If one parent is applying)
- Both parents must appear with the child and provide parental consent.
- Passport Fee
The most important thing to know when applying for a passport for a child under 16 is both parents or guardians need to apply to the minor. You will not be able to renew a child passport as the existing passport is only valid for 5 years and not renewable. Minors with almost expired or already expired passports need to apply for a new passport using the new passport application form. This application form should be completed and signed by a passport agent.
Time Frame for Getting a Child’s Passport
The time it takes to get your child’s passport depends on where and when you apply for the infant passport applying via mail it could take as much as six weeks or even more to get your child’s passport.
If you need your child’s passport in a hurry, and you have travel plans in the next two weeks. You could apply via the regional passport agency in your area an appointment is advised, but walk-in is potentially welcome just be sure to get all your required document along with your travel itinerary showing the date of travel within the two week period. You can also use a registered passport expediting service to secure the passport as quickly as 24 hours.
Additional Child’s Passport Advice
You should not put your signature on the DS-11 application form until instructed to by a passport agent.
If possible take both parents or guardian if one parent is applying get a parental consent form.
If you are mailing your passport application, use a Tyvek envelope to ensure that your passport documents are secured during mailing.
Every child who travels overseas MUST have a valid passport regardless of age. Both Guardians should appear in person. If one is unavailable than parental consent from the parent or guardian who cannot attend should be included with the documentation (form DS-3053).
In addition to the U.S., birth certificate evidence of citizenship may include a previous U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
Evidence of parental relationship may include a U.S. birth certificate, am adoption degree, a divorce/custody decree, a foreign birth certificate or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (form FS-240).
If you are unable to provide “consent of the parent or custodial guardian” of a minor you may use this form (form DS-5525-Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances for minors under the age of 16).
If the minor has only one parent than the responsible single guardian must provide proof of their sole authority. Such proof may consist of a court order granting custody of the sole parent, a court order specifically allowing the single parent to apply for a passport, a death certificate of the non-applying guardian or parent or a judicial declaration of incompetence for the parent who is not applying.
For most documentation, photocopies or notarized copies are not acceptable.