Can one parent apply for a child's passport without the consent of the other parent?
Question: I do not have a court order of full custody of our son but my son is 8 years old and has lived in Illinois with me solely for the past 7.5 years. His father lives in California but travels to the Philippines frequently for long periods of time. We have not seen his father for 5 years and last contact was a phone call in February last year.
My son's passport expires next year and we are planning a cruise to the Bahamas for spring. I have mailed the statement of consent form to his father twice in past 6 months. I have attempted to contact him by phone twice as well and sent emails to an address I had on file for him also and no responses or replies.
I plan to go to the post office to see if I can get the passport renewed without his signature on the form but I want to know if the circumstances I list above will be acceptable to do so.Answer:
If the father's name is on the birth certificate
and you do not have sole legal custody of your son, then you cannot apply for a passport for him without the notarized consent
of the father.
If the father cannot be located, you can submit Form DS-5525: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances
. The statement must explain in detail the father's unavailability and recent efforts made to contact him. Exigent/Special Family Circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and there is no guarantee that it will be approved.
Alternatively, you can request a court order from a judge that would give you permission to obtain a passport for your son and travel with him on the cruise. Please consult your lawyer concerning how to obtain such a court order.
Note, passports are NOT required to travel on a closed-loop cruise. A closed-loop cruise is one that begins and ends in the same U.S. city. For more information, click the link below.Passports for Closed Loop Cruise
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