Child Passport Information - How to Get a Passport for a Minor Age 15 or Younger
Need a child's passport? Get ready to have your patience tested.
Acquiring or renewing a child's passport is no walk in the park. Over
the past few years, new requirements have been added in an effort to
combat child abduction and trafficking. The new requirements mean more
work for parents to acquire passports for their children. While
guaranteeing the safety of children may be a worthy objective, it still
means more work. To make it through the process without a hitch, it is
important to begin early and pay close attention to detail.
The first thing you need to know is that your child must apply in person with both parents or guardians
(see special cases below). There is no renewal of a passport by mail for minors
so children under 16 whose current passports have expired or are near
the expiration date must apply in person as if for the first time.
Complete Application Form DS-11
The are two ways to complete the application form.
Complete Form DS-11 Offline
Download New Passport Form
After downloading and printing, you can fill in the application
offline. Applicants should write legibly in black ink. If the agent has
difficulty reading what you wrote, it can lead to errors in the new
passport. The application should not be signed until an acceptance
agent asks you to do so.
Complete Form DS-11 Online
Online Passport Application
Print the form once you have completed it online. Some
applicants have complained of connection problems or the fact that the
online form would not accept some of their answers. In such a case, use
the link above to print the form and complete it offline.
There are only 22 questions on 2 pages. Personal information
that is requested includes the full name, date and place of birth, sex,
phone number, travel plans and emergency contact. While the estimated
burden is 85 minutes, you will most likely complete the form more
Gather Supporting Documents
There are several documents that you must either present at the
time you submit the application at a passport office or send with the
form to the processing center. The list includes the following:
Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
Certified copies can be acquired at the registrar's office of
the state where your child was born. Be sure to get the "long form".
Evidence of Parental Relationship
- U.S. birth certificate
- Foreign birth certificate
- Adoption decree
- Divorce/Custody decree
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a United States Citizen (FS-240)
The parent(s) or guardian(s) who are
applying for the child's passport must submit photo ID if the child
does not have one. Acceptable identification document is an undamaged
passport or valid driver's license.
photocopy of each identification document must be submitted as well.
The copy must be on plain white paper that is 8 1/2 x 11" in size.
Images can only be on one side of the paper.
A passport photo
that is 2x2 inches in size and was taken within the last six months must be submitted for each child.
Additional Documents for Special Circumstances
Minor Has Only One Parent/Guardian
Evidence of sole authority to apply for the minor must be submitted with the application in the form of a:
- U.S. or foreign birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or adoption decree, listing only the applying parent
- Court order granting sole legal custody to the applying parent (unless child's travel is restricted by that order)
- Court order specifically permitting applying parent's travel with the child
- Judicial declaration of incompetence of the non-applying parent
- Death certificate of the non-applying parent
One Parent/Guardian Is Unable to Appear
The DS-11 application must be accompanied by a signed, notarized Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent from the non-applying parent/guardian
One Parent/Guardian Is Absent and Cannot Be Located
The applying parent must submit Form DS-5525
: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances
The statement must explain in detail the non-applying parent's or
guardian's unavailability and recent efforts made to contact the
The applying parent also may be required to provide evidence
(e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to
document his/her claim of exigent or special circumstances. To protect
against international parental child abduction, the Passport Agency
processing the application may ask for additional details if the
statement is determined to be insufficient.
Both Parents/Guardians Are Unavailable
A third party may apply for a passport for the minor with a
signed, notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or
guardians authorizing a third party to apply for the minor. Each
statement must be accompanied by a photocopy of the parents' or
guardians' identification. When the statement of affidavit is from only
one parent/guardian, the third party must present evidence of sole
custody of the authorizing parent/guardian.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The written consent from the non-applying
parent that accompanies an application for a new passport must be less
than three months old. New written consent from the non-applying parent
must be obtained and submitted with any future passport application for
the minor under age 16.
Visit Application Acceptance Facility
Once you have Form DS-11 completed and all the documents together, contact the nearest application acceptance facility
. There are approximately 9,000 passport offices spread throughout the United States. Most of them are located in post offices.
Related Article: Applying for a passport at a post office
Finally, you need to pay the child passport fees
There is an application fee and an execution fee. The first is paid to
the Department of State and the second to the attending agent.
Applications that are submitted at a passport office
take up to six weeks to process unless you request expedited service
in which case it could arrive in 2 or 3 weeks. For faster service
, you need to apply at a US passport agency
or, if this is not possible, through an express passport service
Click for expedited courier service for child's passport in 24 to 48 hours!
Expedite Your Passport Now!
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