Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

Can I use a regular photo of my child for his passport?

by Chris
(Washington)

Question: My child is currently in a different country but since he is a U.S. citizen I have to have his passport made on the mainland, therefore he is not available to take a passport photo. Would it be acceptable to use a regular photo of him or will i have to have him take a passport photo and then send it to me in the States?


Answer: Regular photos are not acceptable. There are very specific requirements for passport photos. Click the link below for more information.

Passport Photo Requirements

Note, minors must appear at the passport application acceptance facility with both parents in order to apply for a passport. Parents cannot apply without their child present. Click the link below for a complete list of requirements.

Requirements to Get Passport for Minor

Since your child is currently outside the United States, he can appear at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general with both parents in order to apply for the passport. If he appears with one parent, the applying parent can submit notarized consent from the non-applying parent. Click the link below to find a place to apply.

List of U.S. Embassies and Consulates

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 7 and 10 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 4 to 6 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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