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Would it be better to wait until a 15yo turns 16 to get her passport?

Question: My daughter turns 16 in April. She will be traveling to Europe on a school trip in June. Specifically, we would like to know whether it is advisable to take the extra steps to get a passport for our daughter when she is 15 or wait until she is 16, which will give us less than 6 weeks to get the passport prior to her departure.

Answer: Whether age 15 or 16, your daughter must appear at an application acceptance facility and submit Form DS-11 and all supporting documents. The differences are listed below.

1. At 15, both parents or legal guardians must appear with your daughter and submit both evidence of relationship and valid IDs. At 16, your daughter only needs to appear with one parent.

2. A passport issued to an applicant age 15 is valid for 5 years while one issued to someone age 16 is valid for 10 years.

3. A passport issued to an applicant age 15 must be renewed in person when it expires. A passport issued to an applicant age 16 or older can be renewed by mail as long as all other criteria are met.

4. The application fee for a passport issued to an applicant age 15 is $80. The application fee for an applicant age 16 is $110. The execution fee is the same for both.

If you do wait until after your daughter turns 16, it is likely that you will be required to request expedited passport service in order to get her travel document in time for her trip. Currently, the fee is $60.

You can now compare the differences in passport requirements for a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old and decide which is the best option for your situation.

Comments for Would it be better to wait until a 15yo turns 16 to get her passport?

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Age requirement 15 turning 16
by: Anonymous

Question: My daughter is turning 16 in mid-January, can she apply in late Dec/early Jan (at 15yr 11.5 months) and get the 10yr passport as she will be 16 when the passport is issued?

Or do we have to wait till she is 16 to apply for the 10yr? Do a few weeks make a difference? We are worried about the timing for a school trip.

Answer: The applicant must be 16 years old at the time the application is submitted in order to be issued a 10-year passport. Applying before will result in the issuance of a 5-year minor passport.

If you're worried about timing, you may opt for expedited service. This will take processing time down to 3 to 5 weeks excluding shipping.

by: Anonymous

Question: Can I get a passport when I’m 15 and still use it when I turn 16 in a month after getting it?

Answer: Yes, you can. However, your passport will only be valid for 5 years instead of the 10 years issued to individuals age 16 and older.

Passport Signatures
by: Anonymous

Question: My son obtained his passport when he was 15. I signed the passport according to the minor rules. Now that he is 16 should he sign the passport? If he should sign it, where should he sign?

Answer: You may leave the signature as it is.

Minor passport query
by: Shubh Panchal

Question: What only my mother has a passport and my father doesn't have a passport? Can I apply for a minor passport with my mother's passport only?

Answer: If you are age 15 or younger, you need both parents to be present when your application is submitted. Your father may present other forms of ID like his driver's license or SS card. Your mother may present her U.S. passport or any other government-issued ID.

If you are age 16 or 17, you will only need one parent when you apply. Your mother can accompany you and present her passport or any other ID. You will also need to present your own government-issued ID.

Getting passport at 15 v 16
by: Anonymous

Question: If a passport is due for renewal and the child is 15, and the passport is renewed at age 15, is it valid until it expires in five years and then the next passport is valid for ten years and can be mailed after that? There is no requirement to get a new passport when a child turns age 16? Thanks!

Answer: If the passport is issued at age 15, the passport will be valid until the child is 20. After that, he/she will need to apply for an adult passport which can be renewed by mail 10 years after.

At 16, a minor has to apply for an adult passport which will expire when he/she is 26.

Is my child required to get a new passport at 16?
by: Anonymous

Question: My son is 15 and a half and just had his passport renewed for an upcoming trip. I was told that he would be REQUIRED to get a new passport when he turns 16. Is this accurate? Thanks.

Answer: It is not. Your son may use his new passport until it expires.

Passport for 16 year old
by: Anonymous

Question: My son's passport expires on July 14th. If I renew passport now, the validity will be only for 5 years. He will turn 16 on JULY 27th. Can I wait for few days and apply passport after 27TH July? Will we have any issue when we apply for new passport after 27th JULY since his current passport will be expired by then?

Answer: You may apply for the new passport after he turns 16. There shouldn't be any issues.

by: Anonymous

Question: I have a nephew living with me. His passport expired and he is going to turn 16 in April. My concern is that his parents are both in Mexico. Is there a way that he can renew his passport on his own?

Answer: Minors age 16 or 17 may apply for passports on their own if they can present their own ID. However, parental awareness of passport issuance must be established. Since his parents are in Mexico, a letter of consent accompanied by a photocopy of at least one parent's ID should satisfy this requirement.

Passports for Minors Age 16 or 17

One Year Difference?
by: Anonymous

Question: What is the significance of one year? Why the huge differential of rules and guidelines between 15 and 16 years of age? I could understand the difference between 17 and 18, whereby 18 is a legal adult but 15 and 16? Makes absolutely no sense. Some explanation would be highly appreciated.

Answer: Passports issued to minors age 15 or younger are valid for only 5 years from the date of issue while those issued to applicants age 16 or older are valid for 10 years from the date of issue. The reason being that the physical appearance of minors age 15 or younger far more than those age 16 or older. This allows a passport to be issued with a photo that more closely resembles the bearer.

While minors age 16 and 17 are not considered adults by law, they are granted the right to do certain things that minors age 15 or younger cannot do, sometimes with restrictions. For example, most states set age 16 as the age at which an individual can obtain a driver's license.

Age 16 is the basic minimum age for employment with unrestricted hours (unless restricted by state law).

Most airlines do not offer unaccompanied minor services for children over 15 years old. While minors age 16 and 17 are not legally considered adults, they do not need to be accompanied on international flights.

Passport Services does not believe that minors age 16 and 17 need to be accompanied by parents to apply for passports. However, parental awareness by at least one parent is required.

15 or 16
by: Anonymous

Question: My son has a passport that expires 11/14/2016. He is 15. So, are you saying that I can renew his passport and it will be good until 11/14/2021 when he will be 20?

Answer: If you submit the application form when your son is age 15, his new passport will be valid for 5 years from the date of issue not 5 years from the date you apply nor 5 years from the expiration date of his current passport. The remaining validity that exists in his passport will be lost if you apply before the expiration date. However, this may be necessary since many countries require at least 6 months validity remaining in a U.S. passport as an entry requirement.

Wait until 16
by: Sarah

Comment I am also getting my son's passport for a school trip in June. He is 16 and they said I didn't even have to be there to sign. A 16-year-old is considered an adult and can apply for their own passport without a parent (according to USPS in Trenton, OH). Also, you don't have to have both parents there. Normally, the passports only take 3-4 weeks, so you should have enough time without paying the extra fee. I would also rather have their passport good for 10 years vs. 5 years.

Response: Children ages 16-17 with their own identification can apply for a passport by themselves. However, it is recommended that at least one parent appear in person with the child to identify him/her and to show parental awareness. Passport Services is currently processing routine applications in approximately 6 weeks from the time of application.

by: Anonymous

Comment Your reply contradicts itself. You say that whether a child is 15 or 16, they must still appear at an acceptance facility. But further down the page, you say that if the child is 16, they may renew by mail. Pick one - you can't have it both ways.

Response: Please read the answer again. There is no contradiction.

At 15, the applicant must appear in person. The passport received will be valid for only 5 years. When it comes time to renew the passport, the person will be required to appear in person again.

At 16, the applicant must appear in person. The passport received will be valid for 10 years. When it comes time to renew the passport, the person can renew by mail.

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