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Can my 9 year old daughter obtain a passport without my permission?

Question: The mother and I made an agreement that she was taking my daughter on a cruise. I later found out that she(the mother) was not attending this vacation. I explained to her parents that until I spoke with her I was not allowing my daughter to go.


Well, after numerous phone calls to the mother with no response, she finally got in touch with me 3 days before her family was departing for the cruise and confirmed she was not attending. That was a Thursday.

That Friday was my visitation weekend and I went to pick my daughter up and her parents would not let me have my visitation. I guess they were leaving that Saturday instead of that Sunday which was what they told me.

She, the mother, signed some affidavit for her parents to get my daughter a passport. Is she allowed to obtain a passport for my daughter without my permission or signature?

Answer: The only way one parent can obtain a passport for a minor is if that parent has sole legal custody. This can be proved by the presentation of a birth certificate with only that parent's name on it or a court order that officially grants sole legal custody of the minor to that parent.

If both parents have shared custody of the child, then both parents must appear with the child in order to get a passport or one parent can appear and present a notarized consent form from the non-applying parent.

Note, closed-loop cruises do not require a passport so it is possible to travel on some cruises without a passport.

If you have shared legal custody of your daughter and a passport was obtained without your consent, you may want to consult a lawyer concerning this issue.

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