Would it be advisable to wait until a 15 year old turns 16 to get her passport?
Question: My daughter turns 16 in April. She will be traveling to Europe on a school trip in June. Specifically, we would like to know whether it is advisable to take the extra steps to get a passport for our daughter when she is 15 or wait until she is 16, which will give us less than 6 weeks to get the passport prior to her departure.
Whether age 15 or 16, your daughter must appear at an application acceptance facility and submit Form DS-11
and all supporting documents. The differences are listed below.
1. At 15, both parents or legal guardians must appear with your daughter and submit both evidence of relationship and valid IDs. At 16, your daughter only needs to appear with one parent.
2. A passport issued to an applicant age 15 is valid for 5 years while one issued to someone age 16 is valid for 10 years.
3. A passport issued to an applicant age 15 must be renewed in person when it expires. A passport issued to an applicant age 16 or older can be renewed by mail as long as all other criteria are met.
4. The application fee for a passport issued to an applicant age 15 is $80. The application fee for an applicant age 16 is $110. The execution fee is the same for both.
If you do wait until after your daughter turns 16, it is likely that you will be required to request expedited passport service in order to get her travel document in time for her trip. Currently, the fee is $60.
You can now compare the differences in passport requirements for a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old and decide which is the best option for your situation.
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