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Is it better to renew my 15 year old son's passport now or wait until he's 16?

by Kathryn

Question: My husband and I were married at the time we applied for my son's passport. Our family moved outside the U.S. My husband and I have separated but are still legally married and will be at the time when I will be applying for my son's passport renewal. My husband still lives outside the U.S. and my son and I now live in Texas, so our challenge would be in getting my husband to fly here just to renew my son's passport. I would like to schedule travel plans outside the country around the first of July. My son's passport expires in June, and he turns 16 in late April.

I have two questions: Am I better off waiting until he turns 16 to renew or will that be too late to get the renewed passport back in time for our travel plans? Also if we do wait until his sixteenth birthday, is there no need for his father to be here in person to renew?

Thank you.

Answer: If you wait until your son turns 16, there will still be time to get his passport before your trip in July. Routine processing of applications takes 4-6 weeks. The advantage of waiting is that his new passport will be valid for 10 years instead of just 5 years.

Note, however, that the father's consent may still be required even if your son is 16. The decision to require parental consent or not is made by the passport agent. It is not necessary that the father be physically present in order to apply for your son's passport. The father can provide you with a notarized consent form DS-3053. He can download the form from the internet and have it notarized at any U.S. embassy or consulate general.

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Passport for 16 year old son with a valid driving permit
by: Karen

Question: My son's old passport expired June 2012. I was told to wait till he is 16 to apply for another one-good for 10 years. We have the expired passport and birth certificate. He doesn't have a drivers license yet. He has a valid driving permit- post office said it is acceptable ID. Reading the DS-11 form (proof of identity said not temporary or learner license). Also, I was told only one parent needs to be present. Can you please provide me with the correct information?

Answer: A driving permit is not an acceptable form of identification. One parent should appear in person with your son to identify him and to show parental awareness. The parent can submit his or her own ID.

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