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Passports for Minors - Get the FAQ

Minor child holding American passportGetting passports for minors age 15 or younger requires some extra steps that are not necessary when applying for an adult passport. These requirements exist to guarantee the safety and well-being of the minor. You will find answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

Does a minor need a passport to travel abroad?

Every American citizen, including minors, must possess a valid U.S. passport to travel abroad. Exceptions include land and sea travel to and from Canada or Mexico.

How to get a passport for a minor?

Parents or legal guardians can apply for their minor child's passport by submitting a completed, unsigned application form DS-11, evidence of citizenship, evidence of identity, and a passport photo. The minor's parents or legal guardian(s) must appear with the child or provide a notarized consent form. They must also submit evidence of relationship to the child and pay the appropriate fees.

Can a passport issued to a minor be renewed by mail?

A passport issued to a minor cannot be renewed by mail. The minor and parents or legal guardian must apply in person for a new passport as if for the first time.

Do minors require the consent of parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to get a passport?

Yes. If a parent or legal guardian is unable to accompany the child, that individual can provide a signed, notarized consent form to the applying parent or guardian. The consent statement must include the child's name and date of birth, as well as the parent's identification information or a copy of his/her ID.

This new requirement is being implemented to enhance the accurate identification of applicants and aid in the prevention of international child abduction and substitution.

Can a minor with a passport travel alone internationally?

Children 5 years of age or older can, in some cases, travel abroad as unaccompanied minors. There are a number of international rules, airline policies, and general considerations that apply in these cases. Check out our guide to unaccompanied minor travel for more specifics. There we cover the steps to take to ensure a child can safely and comfortably travel internationally on their own.

What is the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)?

Apart from the Two-Parent Consent requirement for U.S. passport issuance for minors under the age of 16, parents may also request that their childrens' names be entered in the U.S. passport name-check system. The Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program provides notification to parents of passport applications made on behalf of minor children, and denial of passport issuance if appropriate court orders are on file with CPIAP.

Who signs a child's passport and how do they sign it?

A child can sign his or her own name, if capable. If not, the mother or father must print the child's name in the space provided and sign their own name. Then, in parenthesis by the parent's name, write the word (mother) or (father).

How long does a child's passport last?

A passport issued to a minor age 15 or younger is valid for five (5) years from the date of issuance.

How much does a minor's passport cost?

You will have at least two fees - the Passport Application Fee and the Execution Fee.

For children under age 16, the passport book application fee is $100. The application fee for a passport card is only $15. In addition to the application, there is an execution fee of $35 that is paid to the agent where the application is submitted. Optional fees include $60 for expedited service and $19.53 for 1-2 day delivery of the new passport.

Can a minor's passport be expedited?

A request for expedited service can be made at the time of application at the nearest acceptance facility. An additional fee of $60 must be added to the total payment. It is recommended that the word "expedite" be written on the outside of the envelope. Processing time can take several weeks. For faster service, schedule an appointment to apply at a regional passport agency. Applicants who are unable to visit a regional processing center can employ the services of a registered passport expediting courier service.

An additional fee of $60 is paid to the Department of State for expedited service. Fees for expedited courier service varies depending on how quickly you need to get the passport.

Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.

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!
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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