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How do I renew a child's passport?

by Tannia
(Dallas, TX , USA)

Question: My 7-year-old son's passport expired. He is disabled and it's difficult to take photos of him which I know are required for his new passport.

Answer: Passports issued to minors cannot be renewed by mail. The child must appear at a passport application acceptance facility with both parents. If one parent cannot appear, the applying parent must either provide notarized consent from the non-applying parent or evidence of sole legal custody.

One recent passport photo is required. The State Department is strict concerning passport photos and many applications are delayed due to the submission of unacceptable photos. For this reason, we usually recommend that photos be taken at a location with experience in taking passport photos.

Since you did not explain your son's disability in detail, I do not know how difficult this might be. You may try making the passport photos yourself at home. Following is a link to a website that provides passport photos from pictures taken at home.

For a complete list of requirements, click the link below.

Apply for a Child's Passport

For a list of passport application acceptance facilities in Dallas, click the link below.

Dallas Passport Offices

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What happens if a parent does not sign for minor child's passport renewal and they're already overseas?

Question: Although my husband and his ex-wife have joint custody of their 8-year-old child, the mother took the child out of the U.S. to South Korea using the ruse of a family visit 5 years ago. We have been trying to get her back once we realized that the mother had no intention of returning to the US or abiding by the visitation/custody agreement.

I don't understand how they have been able to remain in Korea for so long or how she could continue; I assume that she's been applying for a tourist visa over and over again. She has also taken the child to Thailand several times and entered and left the U.S. without our knowledge.

The mother is a US citizen as well as the child. The only reason that her family lives in Korea is because her father is a DOD Civilian that is working at a US military base. Due to the mother's total lack of regard concerning threats of prosecution by the state of TX and several court orders to appear and produce the child, my husband will not be signing the renewal documents for his daughter's passport. It will expire in 2 months and we have not had any contact with mother or child since December of last year because she absolutely refuses phone calls, ignores emails and certified letters.

Next week, we have another hearing that will likely grant us sole custody of the child. We don't even know where to go from there. The U.S. Embassy and the Korean Government have already told us that they will not get involved with civil matters and the Korean Government said that our court orders for visitation, etc. have no legal standing in their country.

No agency seems to be concerned with the fact that they're just hanging out in Korea for 5 years. If the mom wants to do it and finds a legal way, fine. But how can a minor with a disagreeable parent be allowed? No one has questioned any of it. The mother sent a formal response to the court stating that she will not be attending the hearing because she does not claim to be a resident of TX so the state of TX has no "influence" on her. They were divorced in TX and yes, she really said it.

What happens to the child if the passport expires while she's in Korea and my husband refuses to sign the renewal documents? Will someone force her to be sent back? Will the Korean Government put her on a plane and deport her? We are planning to fly to Korea to bring her home as soon as we are granted custody-we are familiar with the area-we are both military who were stationed there and have friends who have done some investigative work for us. Of course I'm worried, that without any support from any government agencies, we will run into trouble because it will appear as though we just flew in, snatched the child and brought her to the US.

We can't risk letting her passport expire because if it does, won't her mother have to sign the same paperwork if we apply for renewal? She will not, I guarantee it. Can we get some type of emergency "override" or something if that happens? Her mother is also facing 6 months of jail time for each contempt of court charge- there are 18 of them. I can't seem to get a straight answer on this. We've tried the State Dept. International Abduction route, but because her whereabouts are known, her welfare is not in obvious danger, and the divorce decree is not "specific" enough, even though it is a standard TX divorce decree. They will not get involved.

Every time I've inquired about her passport expiring, they request "more info" and send us a bunch of information regarding child abduction, but nothing about the passport. FRUSTRATING! Thank you so much for any advice. I feel like we're just running in circles.

Answer: Since you have received recommendations concerning child abduction, I will focus on the question concerning the child's passport and only comment briefly concerning international child abduction at the end.

Passports issued to minors cannot be renewed by mail. The minor must appear in person with both parents in order to apply for a new passport. This can be done at any passport application acceptance facility or regional passport agency in the United States. When overseas, applications are submitted at a U.S. embassy or consulate general.

When only one parent appears with the child, the applying parent must either submit written, notarized consent Form DS-3053 from the non-applying parent or evidence of sole legal custody.

The applying parent must submit Form DS-5525: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances when one parent is absent and cannot be located. The U.S. Department of State is very strict concerning what constitutes a special circumstance.

If you were to travel to South Korea with proof of sole legal custody, then written approval from the mother would not be required in order to get a passport for the child.

You may be aware of this but the child can be enrolled in the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program. If an application is submitted on behalf of the girl, then the father would be contacted and given the chance to either allow or deny consent to obtain a passport. For more information, click the link below.

Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program

Since South Korea is not a partner to the Hague Convention, you must seek legal action through other means if you so desire. The link below is to a site that provides possible solutions.

Using a Foreign Country's Civil Justice System

Finally, I would like to mention the website "Bring Sean Home". This was a highly publicized case which involved a Brazilian mother who traveled to Brazil with her son under the ruse of a family trip but who refused to return to the U.S. and her American husband.

The battle went on for several years but Sean was finally returned to his father in the United States. The website details several other cases of international child abduction and provides some guidance for those who are facing this heart-wrenching situation.

Bring Sean Home

UPDATE: Republic of Korea (South Korea) has signed the Hague Convention on the Civic Aspects of International Child Abduction in November 1, 2013.

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How to renew my 5 yrs old son's passport?

by Iryne
(Fairbury, Ne, USA)

Question: My son is 5 years old now and his passport will be expired this October. I want to renew it right away because we are planning on going for vacation this July. What should I do?

Answer: Passports issued to minors cannot be renewed by mail. You must apply for a new passport at an application acceptance facility. For complete instructions, click the link below.

How to Get a Child's Passport

Note, routine service takes 4-6 weeks so the passport would not be delivered in time for your July travels. You can request expedited service but this takes 2-3 weeks. You can get the passport sooner by visiting the regional agency or applying through a professional expediter. Click the links for more information.

U.S. Passport Agency List

Expedited Passport for Child

Finally, passports are valid up to the date of expiration. If your child's passport does not expire until October, you may be able to travel in July without the need to obtain a new passport. You should verify the foreign entry requirements of the destinations you plan to visit. Some locations require at least 3 or 6 months of validity remaining in your passport before they will allow you to enter. Other countries do not have this requirement.

Foreign Entry Requirements

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13 yr old child's passport renewal with questions

by Susan
(New York, NY)

Question: My 13-year-old daughter has a passport that was issued 5 years ago and expired early this year. Her father passed away 7 years ago and I would like to renew her passport.

I have a current passport photo but am unsure of which forms I must complete and whether you need a death certificate for her father.

Also, must I visit a passport office to renew her passport or is it possible to bring it to a local post office that provides passport services? I would really appreciate a prompt reply as I'd like to renew her passport as soon as possible.

Answer: You must appear with your daughter at a passport application acceptance facility in order to apply for her passport. Along with completed but unsigned form DS-11, you also need to present evidence of your daughter's U.S. citizenship, evidence of your relationship to her, personal identification, a photocopy of your ID document and one recent passport photo.

When both parents cannot appear, the applying parent must provide evidence of sole legal custody. For this reason, you need to present the death certificate.

The fee for a child's passport is $80 for routine service. There is also an execution fee of $35.

Routine service will get the passport application processed in 4-6 weeks. You can request expedited service to get the passport in 2-3 weeks. There is an additional fee of $60 for this service. For more information, click the link below.

How to Get a Passport for a Minor

For a list of application acceptance facilities in your area, click the link below.

New York Passport Offices

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Should I wait to renew child passport if my son is turning 16 one months after his passport expires?

by Susan

Question: My sons passport expires this June. He will be 16 on July 31st. Should I wait to renew his passport after he turns 16 so that he can get a 10 year passport or would they go ahead and give him a 10 year passport since he is only one month away from turning 16?

Answer: If your son applies before his 16th birthday, his passport will be issued with a validity of 5 years. You can wait until after his birthday to apply for a new passport if you prefer that he get a 10-year passport.

Note, your son will be unable to travel outside the United States during the time that his passport his expired. He will also be unable to apply for any travel visa that requires a specific validity before it is issued.

If your son has no plans to travel outside the U.S. and you foresee no possible emergency that would require him to travel outside the country during the period that his passport is expired, then there should be no problem in waiting.

You may want to download the application and gather required documents so that you are prepared to apply on or shortly after your son's birthday.

How to Apply for a Passport

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Where do we need to go to renew childrens' passports?

by Jill
(Patrick AFB, FL)

Question: Our children have passports that expired four years ago. I've seen from your website that we have to appear in person to renew their passports. My question is, in person where? Can we go to one of the expedited places your website lists locally, or do we need to go to the Miami office?

We're going on a cruise in March.

Thanks for your help.

Answer: First of all, you are not required to travel with a passport if you are going on a closed loop cruise unless the countries which you plan to visit require it.

If your cruise is not closed loop and you are required to get passports for your children, then you can apply at either a passport application acceptance facility or at a regional passport agency.

Passport Application Acceptance Facilities are usually found in local post offices, county clerk's offices or public libraries. Applications submitted at acceptance facilities are processed in 4-6 weeks for regular service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service. To find one near you, visit the list of Florida Passport Offices.

The regional passport agency attends to applicants who plan to travel within two weeks or less or within four weeks if they need both passports and entry visas. Applications submitted at a regional agency can be processed as fast as the same day. For more information, visit the page of the Miami Passport Agency.

If you prefer to have a professional expediter submit your application for you, then click the link to Get Passports Fast.

For complete instructions and to download applications, click the link below.

How to Apply for a Child's Passport

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How do I renew a child's expired passport?

by Lara
(Monterey, CA)

Question: How do I renew a child's passport which expired a year ago? (We are a military family and had them issued on a military installation.)

Answer: A passport for a minor can be obtained by submitting Form DS-11 at a passport application acceptance facility. Acceptance facilities are usually found in local post offices, county clerk's offices or public libraries.

Along with the application form, you must submit proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of relationship to the child, personal identification, a photocopy of your identification document and one passport photo.

Both parents must appear with the minor. If only one parent can appear, then the applying parent must submit either a notarized consent form from the non-applying parent or evidence of sole legal custody.

For a child's passport book, the application fee is $80 and the execution fee is $25. Expedited service is an additional $60.

For more information, click the links below.

How to Get a Child's Passport

Find an Application Acceptance Facility

Get Child's Passport in 24-48 Hours

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How can i renew my child's passport if I am not a US citizen?

by pragathi
(Hyderabad,Andhra pradesh,India)

Question: My son, who is a minor, was born in the U.S. and has a U.S. passport. My husband and I live in India and have valid Indian citizenship. We do not have a valid US driver's license as mentioned in step 4 of minor passport. How can I renew my son's U.S. passport?

Answer: The purpose of the driver's license is for photo ID. Your driver's license from India should meet this requirement. In fact, the website of the U.S. embassy in New Delhi states, "For children under age 16, both parents must be present with photo identification to sign the passport application in the presence of a consular officer." Visit the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for your child's new passport. If your Indian driver's license is not acceptable, they will inform you as to what you can present.

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When do I need to have my 15-year old daughter's passport renewed?

by Kari

Question: My daughter has a passport that was issued when she was 11 years old due to expire in November. She is now 15 but will turn 16 in April. She is traveling to France in June for 10 days with a school group. Will her current passport be acceptable, or do we need to obtain a new passport after her 16th birthday? I see from the questions above that it is recommended to apply for a renewal 9 months prior to expiration, but because she will be turning 16 in 3 months, I don't think that will work...

Answer: Your daughter's passport is valid until the date of expiration. Even though she will turn 16 in June, the passport continues to be valid until November.

You may possibly have time to get her a new passport between her birthday and departure date but it is not necessary.

The recommendation to renew passports approximately nine months prior to the expiration date is precautionary and especially important to those who travel abroad frequently.

I do recommend, however, that your daughter apply for a new passport shortly after returning from France. Note, passports issued to minors cannot be renewed by mail so she will need to apply for a new passport using application form DS-11. A parental consent form may still be required.

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Can I renew the passport of my daughter if she is 6 years old?

by Elida
(Tempe, Az. USA)

Question: Her passport expires on May 31, do I have to go thru all the process so she can have a new passport or can hers be renewed?

We are traveling to Mexico on May 27 and we were not planning on coming back until June 1st, so I was just wondering if I can get her passport renewed or if I need to rearrange my return on May 31.

Answer: You must apply for a new passport for your daughter using Form DS-11 and submitting all supporting documents.

Since your trip is planned for May 27, you either need to apply for emergency passport expediting or return to the U.S. before the passport expires.

In order to obtain your daughter's passport before you leave, you have two options. One, you can submit the application at the regional agency in Tucson or you can get a professional passport expediter to do it for you.

Click the link below for instructions and directions for applying at the regional agency.

Western Passport Agency in Tucson, AZ

Click the link below for a fast, reliable passport expediting service.

Get Passport Fast

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Passport Renewal for My Children

Question: I am a non-U.S. citizen father living in my home country with my family (spouse and three children, under 18 years old) now. My kids were born in U.S.A. while I was studying. They have U.S. passports.

Would you please let me know how I can renew their passport? Are they eligible for financial assistance while they are living in father's home country? Thank you.

Answer: You can apply to get new passports for your children at the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate General. Click the link below to find the one nearest you.

U.S. Embassy List

We do not handle questions concerning financial assistance. We only provide information about foreign entry requirements and the passport application process for American citizens.

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Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.


More Passport & Travel Information

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.

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.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

1. How can you get a passport when you're in a hurry?
2. What exactly does a passport expediter do?
3. Are passport expediting services legitimate?
4. How can I identify a reliable passport expeditor?
5. Is expedited passport service worth it?

Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

You can also visit our library of articles about passport expediting.

In a Hurry? Get Reliable Expedited Passport Courier Service:Expedite My U.S.Passport Now!

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