Requirements to Get Your Child Their First Passport

If you’re like many Americans, international travel doesn’t stop when you have children. Traveling with the whole family comes with its own set of challenges, but seeing the world at a young age creates some fantastic memories. Regardless of age, everyone traveling internationally will need a passport. Getting your child a passport is a fairly simple process. If you’re planning on traveling anytime in the near future, you’ll want to apply for a passport for your child as soon as possible. There are a few pieces of legal documentation and vital documents you’ll need to complete this process. Passport requirements for minors are for children under the age of 16. Children under 16 will be issued a Minor Passport, whereas individuals over the age of 16 are issued Adult Passports.

Child Passport Application Requirements:

  • Evidence of Parental Guardianship
  • Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
  • Application Forms
  • Application Fees
  • Passport Photos

The passport requirements for children as listed above must be submitted in person for children under 16. This means you’ll be unable to mail in the application. In some states, a certified birth certificate will not only prove evidence of parental guardianship but will also prove as evidence of U.S. citizenship. Child passport requirements also require consent from both parents. If there is only one parent there must be legal documentation stating that the sole parent has the right and authority to apply for the minor’s passport. Remember that copies and pictures of official documents will not suffice. You must present certified copies (not notarized copies) or originals of all vital and legal documents. Requirements for child passports are rigid to ensure that parental rights are not but at jeopardy when traveling internationally with a minor.

The steps on how to get a passport for a minor are very straightforward and clear. As long as you have parental consent and all pertinent documentation, your application process should proceed without any trouble. In most circumstances, it will take about six weeks to acquire the passport from start to finish. If you plan on traveling sooner than six weeks from the start of the passport application process, you’ll want to expedite your child’s application. There is an associated fee when you expedite the passport application. To print off your application just visit the U.S. Department of State’s website. Once you’ve met all child U.S. passport requirements and you’re application is filed, you’ll just sit back and wait for your child’s passport to arrive in the mail. When traveling internationally, you won’t need any other vital documents for your child. Their U.S. passport, which is now valid for five years, will be enough to get them in and out of the country.

2 Comments

  1. I need my daughter’s passport to travel to Mexico. Her dad had form DS-3053 notarized, but he used his school ID. He doesn’t have a state-issued ID. Will they accept her application for a passport?

    1. Good morning Lisa and thank you for your question. Any questions regarding ID that the passport office will accept should be directed to that passport office. That way you know for sure what that specific office requires and they are aware of what you will be bringing in.
      Thank you,
      Nichole H.

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