What Are the Steps Needed to Renew a Child’s Passport?

When it comes to passports for children, you’ll need to remember a few key points to ensure your children’s passports are up to date and ready for use when necessary, especially if a last-minute travel opportunity arises. The process for applying for a child’s passport is slightly different than that of an adult’s. You’ll need all of the regular documents required for an adult passport, but you’ll also be required to provide appropriate parental consent.

Child passport renewals actually happen more frequently than for adult passports. If your child is under 16, their passport will expire every 5 years as opposed to every 10 for individuals over 16 years of age. If you have already obtained a passport for your child under 16 and you’re just looking to renew, we’ve got some tips for you.

  • Renewing an expired child’s passport is a little more complicated than renewing or applying for an adult’s passport. You and your child must appear in person at a passport agency or authorized passport application acceptance facility to apply for or renew their passport, as you cannot renew a child’s passport by mail.
  • You’ll need to bring a completed DS-11 Form each time you need to acquire a passport (new or renewed) for your children.
  • Along with the completed DS-11 Form, you’ll want to bring proof of your relationship to the child via a U.S. Birth Certificate, Foreign Birth Certificate, report of birth abroad or adoption decree, 1 copy of their passport photo, and photocopies of your personal identification document.
  • If only one parent can be present, they must provide a notarized consent form from the parent who is unable to be present, or a legal document stating sole custody.
  • The application fee for each child’s passport will be $80 with a $25 execution fee. The typical length of time it will take to renew a child’s, or an adult’s, passport is four to six weeks. However, you have the option of paying a $60 fee to expedite the process which, depending on your circumstances may be able to get your child’s passport to you in as little as 24 hours.

Now that you know how to renew your child’s passport, you may want to consider renewing sooner than later. 2016 is due to be a big year for the U.S. Travel Agency, with millions of U.S. passports reaching their 10-year renewal point and due to expire in 2016 and/or 2017. Taking care of your child’s passport sooner than later will ensure you get all of your documents back with plenty of time to spare!


  1. What is a notarized consent form? Is a a particular document or can my husband just write out a consent, and sign it, then have it notarized?

    1. Hello Holly. Thanks for reaching out to us with your question. We suggest you check with the passport issuing agency to see if a handwritten, signed and notarized letter of consent from your husband would suffice. You can also visit the U.S. Department of State website for more information and to download the official Statement of Consent form (DS-3053)

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