This is a privately owned website and not a government agency. Click to learn more.

What if the non-custodial parent will not sign for the child to have a passport?

by Dawn
(Alpharetta, GA, USA)

Question: My son is 13 years old and we will be traveling to the Bahamas in June of next year for 3 days. I had to cancel our vacation last year because his father, who lives in Virginia, we are in Georgia, would not sign for him to have a passport. His only explanation was that he didn't need to go on a cruise.

There has to be something I can do in order to give my son this experience. He is not an active participant in my son's life and I would like any information that could be useful in obtaining a passport for my son.

Answer: If you have sole legal custody of your son, then the father's consent is not required. Of course, you must prove that you have sole legal custody.

If the father is identified on your son's birth certificate, has been granted shared legal custody by the courts and he can be contacted, then you must submit his notarized written consent if it is required.

Note, if your son will be traveling to the Bahamas on a closed-loop cruise, then a passport may not be required. A closed-loop cruise is one in which the cruise ship departs from and returns to the same U.S. port. It is highly probable that this is the case.

Please contact the cruise line for further information about document requirements. For contact information, click the link below.

Cruise Lines: Contact Information

If you discover that a passport is required for your son to take the cruise and the father does not agree to provide the consent form, one solution may be to seek a court order from a judge that would grant you permission to obtain the passport or require the father to consent. There is no guarantee that your request would be granted.

Comments for What if the non-custodial parent will not sign for the child to have a passport?

Click here to add your own comments

by: Anonymous

Question: I applied for my daughter's and son's passports and submitted the form DS-5525 with both applications. I got a letter in the mail stating that I needed to submit the form but I already had. Where can I get started with the process of getting sole custody of both kids so it'll be an easier process in the future?

Answer: Please contact the nearest family court or consult an attorney.

Run away father
by: Anonymous

Question: My son was born two months ago. His father signed his birth certificate but a week later he ran off to Mexico and is unreachable. I tried reaching out to his family many times, but no one will give me any info. I'm going to Mexico with my baby in less than a month and I need to know what to do. Please help!

Answer: Along with Form DS-11 and required supporting documents, you can 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 non-applying parent.

Minor passport
by: Ivey

Question: I want to get my daughter's passport but am not able to find her father because his name was never put on her birth certificate.

Answer: Since the father's name is not on the passport, he does not need to be present nor do you need to submit notarized consent to apply from him. You can submit the birth certificate as evidence of sole legal custody. For a list of all requirements, click here.

My son
by: Anonymous

Question: I'm a father of a 3yo and want to get a passport so we can travel. But neither myself nor his mother has custody because I cant find her. Can Í still get a passport without her?

Answer: If the mother's name is listed on the birth certificate, here consent is required. If you cannot find her, you can submit Form DS-5525: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances. For more information about getting a passport for a minor, click here.

I'm the custodial parent? Do I have to have permission from the non-custodial parent for a passport?
by: Anonymous

Questions: I'm listed as the custodial parent for my 13 year old son. This was done as a court order. I have two questions: 1. Do I need a noterized letter from his father to take a cruise (closed loop)? 2. do I need his permission to obtain a passport for my son?

Answers: 1. Contact the cruise line concerning document requirements when a minor is traveling with only one parent. 2. Unless you have sole legal custody and not just physical custody, the father's consent is required in order to get a passport. Note, passports are not required to re-enter the United States when traveling on a closed-loop cruise. They may be required for the destinations you will visit. Again, contact the cruise line about travel document requirements.

by: Anonymous

Question: If I do not have custody of my child and his father has custody, he is not on the child's birth certificate. I do not want to give any consent to allow his father to take him out of the country - do I have this right? Can his father go over my head? Do I have the right to pick state where he can take our son?

Answer: One parent can apply for a passport for minor under the following conditions.

1. The applying parent presents notarized consent from the non-applying parent.

2. The applying parent presents evidence of sole legal custody. This can be either a birth certificate that has only the applying parent's name on it or a court order granting sole legal custody.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Passports for Minors FAQ.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Emergency Passport Renewal
How to get an emergency passport renewal in the U.S. or abroad. Discover the steps to renew your passport the same day.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Make Your Own Passport Photos
Use the online Passport Photo Wizard tool to make your own passport photos in minutes. Save money and time.

Passport Renewal Videos
Watch step-by-step instructional passport videos of how to renew a passport in 3 steps.