A passport is a crucial document for international travel, and it’s equally important for children to have their passports. The process of obtaining a child’s passport can be uncomplicated, but it does involve several vital steps.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Collect the Necessary Documents
To apply for a child’s passport, you will need the following documents:
1. A completed DS-11 application form.
2. Proof of citizenship can be a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.
3. Proof of identity, like a valid government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license or state ID card).
4. One recent passport photo.
5. A copy of the parent’s or guardian’s passport (if applicable).
6. Payment for the passport fee.
Step 2: Complete the DS-11 Application Form
Download the DS-11 application form from the U.S. Department of State’s website. The form should be filled out in black ink and signed by both parents or guardians. If only one parent or guardian is applying, they must provide a notarized statement from the other parent or guardian granting permission for the passport.
Step 3: Obtain Proof of Citizenship
The child’s birth or naturalization certificate is the primary proof of citizenship. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) or Certificate of Citizenship must be submitted if the child was born outside of the United States.
Step 4: Obtain Proof of Identity
A valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card, is typically used as proof of identity. If the child lacks such an ID, other official documents, like a school ID or baptismal certificate bearing their name and date of birth, can be submitted.
Step 5: Obtain a Passport Photo
The passport photo must be a recent 2×2 inch color photo that meets the U.S. Department of State’s requirements. It can be at a local passport acceptance facility or a professional photographer’s studio.
Step 6: Make Payment
For a child under 16, the passport fee is $135. Payment can be made by check, money order, or credit card.
Step 7: Submit the Application
You can submit the completed application form and the required supporting documents in person at a passport acceptance facility or by mail to a passport agency.
Step 8: Track the Application
You can track the status of the passport application online or by contacting the National Passport Information Center.
If your child needs a passport sooner than the standard processing time, you can opt for expedited processing for an additional fee, reducing the processing time to 2-3 weeks.
For further information on obtaining a child’s passport, visit the U.S. Department of State website or contact the National Passport Information Center.
Tips for Obtaining a Child’s Passport
1. Initiate the application process early; the standard processing time is 6-8 weeks.
2. Ensure all required documents are complete and accurate, as complete or accurate applications will result in delays.
3. If mailing the application, use certified mail with a return receipt.
4. If applying in person, make an appointment at a passport acceptance facility.
5. Keep copies of all submitted documents.
6. Be aware of the passport validity requirements for your destination country. Some countries require passports to have at least 6 months of validity remaining.
Acquiring a child’s passport is a relatively straightforward procedure. By adhering to the steps mentioned above, you can ensure a smooth and efficient processing of your child’s passport application.