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

Does my 16yo son need a passport book or a card to travel to Canada?

by Kathleen
(New Ulm, MN)

My now 16-year-old son was born in Germany and needed a passport to return to the US. Since then all our passports were either lost or missing. I am pretty sure they have expired.

Question: Do I need to file as lost/missing/stolen?

Answer: You only need to report the lost/missing/stolen passport if it has not expired. Otherwise, there is no need. You can file the report by calling 1-877-487-2778.

Question: Do I just file for a new passport for him?

Answer: All minors must apply for a new passport whether their previous one was lost or not. Click the link below for a complete list of requirements. Note, applicants age 16 must be accompanied by at least one parent.

New Passport Requirements

Question: His father was in the Army in Germany as well, so it was a military issue passport - does that make a difference?

Answer: No, it does not matter. He still needs to apply for a regular, tourist passport.

Question: Can we get a Passport Card for him? We are going on a trip to Toronto, Canada middle of June - is there enough time?

Answer: Passport cards can only be used for travel by land or sea. If you plan to travel by air, then you must obtain a passport book.

There is enough time to get the passport if you apply right away. Routine processing takes 4-6 weeks. If you need to get the passport faster, you can request expedited service. There is an additional fee of $60 but the application is processed in 2-3 weeks.

Question: Since he is going with a school group, it is my understanding that if he has his picture ID along with his Application for Citizenship and Certificate of a Naturalized Citizen he will be OK. However - he is a Type 1 Diabetic and we may have to leave the group. Heaven forbid - but it is always better to be safe then sorry!

Answer: It is true that he can present a photo ID and the Certificate of Naturalization if traveling by land or sea. If the group will be traveling by air, then a passport book is required.

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UPDATE: Mailing delays and high demand 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 10 and 13 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 7 to 9 weeks excluding mailing times on the front and back end. Current mailing delays are significant. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

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.

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.

A registered expedited passport courier can often assist in obtaining a passport as quickly as the same day. You can learn more about this service here.

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