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Passport for Minor Child with No Contact with Mother

Question: My husband has two children from another marriage. We have been trying to contact his ex-wife via phone and through a lawyer to have her sign the passport documents. Neither my husband or our lawyer have been able to contact her. We have documentation from the lawyer proving that we have been trying to contact her. The government passport website states:

Complete item 5, Statement of Special Circumstances, only if you are an applying parent or guardian and the written consent of the non-applying parent or guardian cannot be obtained. The statement must explain in detail the non-applying parent's unavailability and recent efforts made to contact the non-applying parent.

We are still seeking Sole Custody through the courts with a lawyer but because we are in the Army and are on orders to report to Germany, the passport issue is time sensitive. What should we do? The website says there is a way around it if you can prove that you have tried to contact that parent. We have tried to have her served through Official Mail and have also hired someone to serve the papers to her at her last known address. Please advise

Answer: The rule is you must submit notarized consent of the non-applying parent in cases of joint legal custody. Since both you and your lawyer have been unsuccessful in contacting the mother and you need to obtain the passports quickly, you can try completing the "Special Circumstances" section of Form DS-3053.

Provide as much detail about the situation as possible and evidence to support your claims. Also, include as much contact information for the mother that you have. Passport Services may attempt to contact her. Note, this may cause delays in the application process and the request could be denied. Of course, it could also be granted so it might be worth the try given the situation.

If the request is denied, payment for the fees will not be refunded. However, you can apply again later once you obtain consent or are granted sole legal custody. Click the link below to download the form.

DS-3053: Statement of Consent for Issuance of a Passport to Minor Under Age 16

Comments for Passport for Minor Child with No Contact with Mother

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My son's father hasn't had any contact with my son since he was 2, he is turning 13 this year.
by: Anonymous

Question: I found out that my son's father has been incarcerated for the past 4 years. My son is turning 13 years old this year and hasn't had any contact with his father for the past 11 years. We never established custody so I don't know what kind of custody I have. Based on our situation is there a special form we can fill out to obtain the passport without his consent?

Answer: You can submit Form DS-5525: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances. The statement must explain in detail the non-applying parent's or guardian's unavailability and recent efforts made to contact the non-applying parent.

The applying parent also may be required to provide evidence (e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to document his/her claim of exigent or special circumstances.

For a complete list of requirements, visit How to Get a Passport for a Minor.

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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