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

Does a minor under the age of 16 need to be present at the time of application?

Question: If a parent is applying in person at a passport office, does the applying minor child need to be present?

Answer: Yes, minors must appear in person when applying for a passport. This requirement applies to all minors independent of age. Even infants must be presented at the time an application is submitted on their behalf.

Also, both parents or guardians must appear with the minor. For complete instructions, please visit the following web page.

How to Get a Child's Passport

Comments for Does a minor under the age of 16 need to be present at the time of application?

Click here to add your own comments

Child out of the country
by: Anonymous

Question: My wife and I went through a divorce and during the process, she kidnapped our minor child out of the country. The court has ordered her to return the child to me and I have physical and legal custody of the child. She has failed to comply with the order and remains abroad with the child. Court also granted me the sole right to issue a child's passport. Can I issue his passport without him present (because he's not in the US and she will not let me see my child in person)?

Answer: The child has to be present when the application is submitted in his name.

Does my child have to be there?
by: Anonymous

Question: Does my child have to be present when I am renewing his passport? Not a new passport just renewing an old one.

Answer: Passports for minors cannot be renewed. You need to apply for the child's new passport the same way you applied for the previous one. The child needs to be present when the application is submitted.

Non-biological father
by: Anonymous

Question: The father on the birth certificate is not the biological father. I have DNA evidence to prove he is not the father. Can I still apply for a passport for my child? The biological father does not want to be added to the birth certificate and has not seen my child since infancy.

Answer: Please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 regarding your concern.

Daughter's passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I would like to take my daughter to Europe this summer. I have all the necessary documents including the DS3053 signed by her mother. However, she lives with her mother in a different state. I realize by reading comments in this forum that she needs to be present. Her mom would not take her even if I gave her all the documents. Is it possible to apply without her present using a copy of her school ID, she is 14? Or is there any other work around.

Answer: There is no workaround, unfortunately. The minor needs to be present at the time the application is submitted.

Can Parent renew passport without child present?
by: Anonymous

Question: We are living outside the US and my daughters passport expired. Can I come to the US and renew it without her present? She's 5 years old.

Answer: The child needs to be present when an application for a new passport in her name is submitted. You may do it outside of the United States if she cannot travel. Please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate located in the country where you currently reside for assistance.

Father has visitation, does he need to be present?
by: Anonymous

Question: Mom and Father had joint custody from a Divorce, then Father requested visitation. We went to court and the judge ordered visitation for father. Seeing that he has visitation I have custody. The child lives with me. In light of that does the Father need to be present for renewal of child's passport?

Answer: If you can present paperwork stating that you have SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY of the child, the father's presence/consent is not required.

by: Anonymous

Question: My kids Birth Certificate only has me as a Parent, the father isn't on their certificate, does he still need to be present?

Answer: No, he does not. The birth certificate listing you as the only parent is sufficient proof of sole legal custody.

by: Anonymous

Question: I am out of the state working. Can I give consent for my son age 21 to take my daughter to apply for a passport? I have consent from her father given to me to apply for passport. Can my son take her to the appointment for me?

Answer: The statement authorizing the older brother to apply in your behalf needs to be signed by both of the applicant's parents. The statement must also be notarized.

Son's passport
by: AnonymousTae Tae.

My son's father filed for him without me even knowing. Now he is a naturalized American citizen and lives in the Caribbean with his father. Now his father doesn't want me present when he is applying for his American passport. He wants to say he doesn't know my whereabouts as he did when he was filing for him. What do I do, because he is gonna lie again. He is trying to cut me out of my sons life.

Answer: Please speak to a lawyer regarding your concern.

Restraining order
by: Anonymous

Question: I have a restraining order against my son's father and he hasn’t been able to see/contact either of us since my son was 2 years old. He is now almost 10 years old. Would I be able to get a passport for my son considering we CAN’T have contact with his father?

Answer: You can. In addition to the requirements for the child's passport, please submit Form DS-5525 plus a copy of the restraining order.

Father in prison
by: Anonymous

Question: I am applying for both my small children to have a first passport, but their father is in prison. How do I go about applying for a passport for them if both parents have to be present?

Answer: You may ask the father to execute a notarized consent that you can present with the application.

Father is deployed
by: Anonymous

Question: My child is 4 years old and I need to get a passport for my child. How can I apply for it if he doesn’t have a notary close to where he is stationed in Cuba?

Answer: You may try to submit Form DS-5525 with a copy of the father's deployment orders. These must be submitted with the rest of the requirements for your child's passport.

by: Anonymous

Question: If both parents go in person, do they still need a notarized letter? Does the child need to be present? The child will be out of the state when the appointment was scheduled.

Answer: The child needs to be present when the application is submitted. A notarized statement is no longer required if both parents will be present for the submission.

14 years old
by: Anonymous

Question: Does my son's father have to give consent for him to get a passport?

Answer: If the child is age 15 and below and his father's name is on his birth certificate, then yes, his consent his required.

Step parents
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi, I'm a step parent and have the consent from mom to get my stepdaughter's passport. Dad is unable to make it to the appointment due to work; am I able to take her? What would be needed to do so? Thanks.

Answer: Both parents must provide you with a notarized statement authorizing you to apply for their child's passport in their behalf. This must be submitted with the requirements.

help with how to submit DS-3053 form
by: Anonymous

Question: My wife lives in Angola with my daughter who has American citizenship and an American passport. She is 15 years of age. Her passport needs renewing. I live and work in the UK. I am Portuguese. My daughter is coming to live with me in the UK to study. How do I get the form DS-3053 to my wife in Angola after it has been notarized and what other documents with the U.S. passport office require from me so that my daughter can renew her passport? Thanks.

Answer: First of all, passports issued to minors cannot be renewed. The mother needs to apply for the child's passport with the same requirements submitted the first time.

1. Form DS-11
2. Evidence of U.S. citizenship
3. Photocopies of both parents' IDs
4. Proof of parental relationship
5. One new passport photo
6. Payment for fees

You need to mail the notarized Form DS-3053 with a photocopy of your ID to the mother so she can submit it with the rest of the application requirements.

She may contact the U.S. Embassy in Luanda for further assistance.

I don’t talk with my ex
by: Anonymous

Question: Do we have to go together to get my kids passport or I can get a authorization from him and go by myself?

Answer: The father may provide you with a notarized Form DS-3053 plus a photocopy of his ID to submit with the rest of the requirements for a child's passport.

Deceased parent
by: Anonymous

Question: What if one of the parents is deceased, what will the minor need to do?

Answer: The minor (age 15 and under) needs to apply with the living parent. In addition to the requirements for a child's passport, a copy of the father's death certificate as proof that the living parent now has sole legal custody.

Passport Renewal
by: Anonymous

Question: My son needs to renew his passport. His previous passport was for a minor. He is now over 16, does he need to be present when the passport is renewed?

Answer: Passports issued when one was still a minor cannot be renewed. Your son needs to apply in person for his new adult passport. He needs to submit the following:

1. Form DS-11 (must be signed in front of a passport agent)
2. Evidence of U.S. citizenship plus photocopy
3. Proof of identity plus photocopy
4. One passport photo
5. Payment for fees

You may find the closest passport office and schedule an appointment here.

Only one parent has custody
by: Anonymous

Question: My husband has no custody. Does he still have to be present? He is not available and has no connection with my son for the last 2 years.

Answer: If you can provide evidence that you have SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY, you may apply for your child's passport without the father's presence or consent.

Minor passport renewal
by: dave

Question: Does the child and both parents need to appear in person to renew the passport of a minor under 16 years of age?

Answer: Yes. Please note that you will need to submit a new application instead of a renewal. Passports issued to minors age 15 and younger cannot be renewed.

To travel in Australia with kids
by: Mrs. Jobson

Question: Does the Australian embassy need a letter of approval from the biological father for my kids to travel?

Answer: Nothing in the State Department's travel sheet on Australia says you need a consent to travel. However, requirements periodically change. We recommend that you contact the Australian Embassy for the latest information on minor travel.

Travel overseas with kids
by: Mrs.Jobson

Question: I want to travel with my kids overseas. They are minors and their biological father hasn't seen them and didn't even bother to visit them. He hardly supports them either. I was never married to him; I had been married to a foreigner for 2 years. What I'm concerned is what requirements I need to provide and do I need my kids biological father's letter of approval to travel overseas?

Answer: If the father's name is on the children's birth certificates, you will need his notarized statement of consent plus a photocopy of his ID to apply for their passports.

The need for a consent to travel overseas depends on the requirements of the country you plan to visit.

by: Anonymous

Question: Do both parents have to be present if the father is not on the birth certificate, not involved, and living in a different state?

Answer: Only the parent listed on the birth certificate needs to be present.

Joint Custody
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi! So minor under 16. Both parents have custody. But one parent is not in the picture at all and can not be located. Will the judge approve the passport?

Answer: The State Department issues passports, not the courts. The father's consent is required if they share custody. If his consent cannot be obtained after attempts of contacting him, you may try to submit Form DS-5525 and explain the situation in as much detail as possible. This must be submitted with the rest of the requirements for your child's passport.

Please note that applications of this nature are processed on a case by case basis.

by: Anonymous

Question: Can the children get the passport if his mom and dad is not British but he was born in England? Yes or no? If yes, how? Thanks.

Answer: Please contact Her Majesty's Passport Office regarding British passports.

Renew minors passport
by: Anonymous

Question: How can I renew my child's passport without the father's consent? The father is not in the picture. Haven't had contact with the father for more than 10 years.

Answer: Passports issued to minors cannot be renewed. If the minor is still age 15 or younger, the process to obtain your child's new passport is the same as the first time you applied. The father's consent is required. If absolutely no contact can be established, you may submit Form DS-5525 and explain the situation in as much detail as possible. You should also describe the efforts you have made to contact the father. This form must be submitted with the rest of the application requirements.

If the minor is already 16 or 17, he/she may apply for his/her own passport as long as he/she has a government-issued ID like a driver's license. He/she will then only need a signed statement of awareness/consent from at least one parent plus a photocopy of that parent's ID. These should be submitted with the requirements for a new adult U.S. passport.

Expired passport for child five days from being 16
by: Anonymous

Question: Do both parents have to be present to renew an expired passport for a child that will turn 16 in 5 days but we want to go to Buffalo tomorrow to get it renewed?

Answer: Since your child is not yet 16, he/she needs to apply with both parents present. If he/she applies after his/her 16th birthday and he/she already has his/her own government-issued ID, he/she may apply on his/her own. He/She will then only need a signed consent from at least one parent plus a photocopy of that parent's ID.

Minors need to be present?
by: Anonymous

Question: We have the consent form from their mother which was signed but she is taking them on vacation next week. Can we go submit their passports without them?

Answer: Minors need to be present when applications for your passports are submitted.

by: Anonymous

Question: How do we get my son's passport renewed if his father is in Cape Town and we are in Johannesburg? We need to fly out the country and need his passport renewed.

Answer: The father can mail you a notarized Form DS-3053 which you can submit with the rest of the requirements for your child's passport at the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg. He can have the form notarized at the U.S. Consulate General in Cape Town.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Passports for Minors FAQ.

Click for fast expedited courier service

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

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 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 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 extremely limited in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 72 hours. Those with qualified life-or-death emergencies are prioritized.

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 72 hours (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 AM to 5PM, call ET 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, 202-647-4000

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Getting a Passport Expedited at a Post Office
Requesting express service at post offices and other facilities that accept application forms from U.S. citizens.

Applying at a Regional Passport Agency
Where processing centers are located. How to schedule an appointment. What documents to take with you.

Using a Registered Courier Service
How to pick a legitimate courier service company to assist in getting your passport quickly.

Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
Guide to help you decide if standard or fast track processing is the best option for your situation.

10 Benefits of Expediters
What are the advantages of employing the services a qualified expediter?

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.

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

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

Travel Warnings
The latest alerts to help you prepare for a safe and secure trip abroad.

Travel Documents
List of the most important travel documents and information about how and where to get them.

Travel Safety
Discover practical advice on how to keep safe during international trips.

23 International Travel Tips to Save Money on Transportation, Lodging & More
Cool ways to make your money stretch farther on travel expenses so that you can go more often and stay longer.

Expedite Your Passport Now!