Child passport Childs identity

How to Get My Child a Passport

Picture this: it’s almost time for your planned vacation that you’ve been dying to go on for the past year. You’ve lined up the pet sitter, the person who will collect your mail and water your plants, and made sure to cancel your newspaper for the week. You’ve made a checklist of everything you’re going to pack for yourself and your partner, as well as the kids. Speaking of the kids, wait a second, did you renew their passports? Hmmm…do your kids even have their passports yet? We’ve outlined everything you need to know about obtaining a child passport, so you can stop worrying and start enjoying your pre-vacation hustle!

Need to know how to obtain a passport for kids?

The first and most important thing to note in getting a passport for kids is that it must be done in person with both parents. Unfortunately, a child passport cannot be renewed by mail, so even if your child already has a passport, the process must be completed in person. You’ll want to do your reading before heading to your local passport office. Ensuring you have all the required documentation beforehand will help keep the process smooth and easy. See below for what else you’ll need to complete the process:

1) Complete Form DS-11

The first step in the child passport application process is completing Form DS-11. The US Passport Service Guide website links directly to this form. You can either complete the form online or print it out to complete and bring with you to the passport office. If you decide to print the application out and fill it in manually, make sure to write neat! Also, do not sign the application until you are directed to by an acceptance agent.

2) Proof of US Citizenship

The first document you’ll need to present with your child passport application is proof of US citizenship for the minor in question. The most common document used is the child’s birth certificate. If you’re looking for alternative options to prove citizenship, you can also use an expired passport, a certificate proving your child was born abroad, a naturalization certificate, or a certificate of citizenship.

3) Proof of Relationship to Parent

The next part of the process is to ensure you have documentation to prove your relationship to your child. Similar to the child’s proof of citizenship, you can present your birth certificate for this purpose. You can also provide a foreign birth certificate, an adoption decree, a divorce or custody decree, or form FS-240 which is a document stating you are a US citizen, but were born abroad.

4) Photo Identification

If your child has photo identification, be sure to bring it with you to the passport office. Check with your local DMV office for more information on getting a state-issued photo ID for your child. If your child does not have photo ID and/or you won’t be able to get one before you submit your passport application, be sure to bring photo ID for yourself. This will be required if you child does not have any photo identification.

5) Photocopies of Documentation

The passport office will request a photocopy of each piece of identification you’re required to provide as part of the child passport application. Make sure to use plain white paper in normal printer size, and to only print copies single-sided vs. double-sided.

6) Child Passport Photo

The last thing you’ll need to bring to the passport office with you is a passport photo! The photo of your child must be 2×2 in size and taken within the last six months. If you’re applying for a passport for more than one child, you will need to bring one photo per child.

A passport for kids

Getting a passport for kids doesn’t have to be a hassle. Just make sure to have all the required paperwork before heading to the passport office!

To help sum up the child passport application process, we’ve included a great video here for you. Check this out below!

There are some additional scenarios that may require additional paperwork such as if a child only has one parent or guardian. There’s more information on these special circumstances on the US Passport Service Guide website.

We hope this was helpful for you! If you need any assistance in obtaining any vital records, like a birth certificate for you or your children, VitalChek is happy to help. We wish you all the best on your next trip!


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