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Are you sure that a 16 year old does not need a parent to get a passport?

by Sheryl
(Milwaukee WI, USA)

Question: We have a trip coming up 28 February. My son does not have a passport. Is it possible to expedite a passport for my son and, if so, how?


Answer: While the State Department website does not list the presence of a parent as a requirement, it does affirm the need for parental consent. This can be implied on the application form or established by the presence of a parent or submission of a notarized consent form.

Unfortunately, there is inconsistency in the application of this rule. Some agents require the presence of both parents or one parent and notarized consent from the non-applying parent. Others accept applications from minors age 16 with only one parent present. Still, others allow a 16-year-old to apply for a new passport if parental consent is implied. The only way we know that consent can be implied is for the fees to be paid with checks from one or both parents.

A passport can be expedited as fast as the same day by either scheduling an appointment at the Chicago Passport Agency or, if you cannot travel to the agency, employing the assistance of an experienced passport expediting courier service such as Fastport Passport.

Click here to expedite passport in 24-48 hours.

In order to get a new passport, your son needs to submit form DS-11 (unsigned), evidence of citizenship, proof of identity, photocopy of ID, one passport photo and payment of $195 ($60 is for expedited service fee).

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Passport without parents
by: Anonymous

Question: My cousin turns 16 tomorrow and we've been waiting for a year for him to be able to get his passport to go to Mexico. He has his ID and we heard that he can get his passport without his parents. Is that true?

Answer: Minors ages 16-17 with their own identification can apply for a passport by themselves. However, it is recommended that at least one parent appear in person with the minor to identify him/her and to show parental awareness.

Examples of Parental Awareness

* Having a parent accompany the child when applying, or

* A signed statement consenting to issuance of a passport from at least one parent (should be accompanied by a photocopy of that parent’s ID).

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