Getting a Child's Passport

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All children who travel abroad are required to have their own passport. This includes newborns and infants. There are 8 steps to obtain a child's passport for minor under age 16.

Complete Passport Application Form DS-11

This is the form used when applying for a new passport. You can download an application form online or pick one up at a nearby passport acceptance facility. Many travel agencies also have copies. It is important that the form not be signed until you are in the presence of an passport acceptance agent. If your child is unable to sign for himself or herself, you can sign your child's name on the line for the passport owners signature and sign your own name above it.

Show Proof of U.S. Citizenship

Children under the age of 16 must show proof of U.S. citizenship. There are numerous documents that can be used to prove citizenship but the most common are a previous fully valid U.S. passport or a certified U.S. birth certificate.

Show Proof of Relationship

While a previous passport may be used for proof of citizenship, it cannot be presented as proof of relationship. Most frequently used documents include a certified U.S. birth certificate, a certified foreign birth certificate or a report of birth abroad.

Show Your Identification

For minors under age 16, both parents must appear with the child and present proof of identity. A valid drivers license is presented by the majority of parents who apply for their children. However, other documents that can be used include an official U.S. military ID, a U.S. government ID, a foreign passport with recognizable photo, a naturalization certificate or alien resident card from USCIS. The document you use needs to be valid and have a photo.

Provide Documentation of Parental Consent

This can be done by both parents appearing at the passport acceptance facility and signing or one parent appears, signs and submits a notarized statement of consent for the second parent. If consent cannot be obtained from the second parent, the first parent should provide evidence that he or she has sole authority to apply.

Provide Two Passport Photos of Your Child

There are many different locations where you can get passport pictures made. Most of the time it is fairly quick. Locations that offer this service usually understand the requirements for passport photos but it is good to verify to make sure. I have had to refuse pictures before because they were not the right size which is 2x2 inches.

Pay the Proper Fees

Fees include an application fee and an execution fee. If you need to obtain your child's passport quickly, you can request that the application be expedited. The expediting fee is $60.

Present Your Social Security Number

The passport agent will ask you to provide your social security number. A $500 penalty can be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service on those who do not do this. Once you gather the appropriate documents and present them to the passport agent, you can expect to receive your child's passport within a few weeks if you request regular service and within two weeks if you request expedited service. 

Visit U.S. Passport Service Guide for answers to frequently asked questions about applying for a child's passport and find bargains on popular and name brand luggage for kids

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