Obtaining a passport for a child is much like applying for one yourself, with a few extra steps and paperwork added in. If you are planning to travel outside of the country with your child, he/she will need a valid passport just like yourself. It is best to begin the process well in advance of your trip, as the process often takes several weeks to authorize, and the paperwork takes some time to accumulate. This article will focus on the process of obtaining a passport for your child.
The first step in obtaining a passport for your child is to gather all the necessary paperwork. You will need to bring with you a completed application for a child’s passport, evidence of citizenship, two passport sized photos, proof of departure, authorization letter, and evidence of credentials from both parents. The application form is titled DS-11 and can be found online or at your local passport acceptance agency. Evidence of citizenship can be accepted as one of the following items: recent passport or birth certificate, naturalization or citizenship papers, U.S. passport of both parents with child’s birth certificate. You can obtain two passport sized photos at many locations such as local drugstores or at your passport acceptance agency. Proof of departure can be accepted in one of the following forms: copy of round trip travel document, traveling scheduled stating the trip is reserved and confirmed, or a Business Letter of Expedite stating the applicant’s name, date of travel, and country to visit. The authorization letter is titled Release Letter and can also be found online or at the passport acceptance facility. The letter must be signed by the parent signing the application. Finally, evidence of credentials from both parents is needed. The evidence can be either a valid driver’s license with photo that was issued longer than six months ago or personal documents of citizenship as stated above.
The fees for obtaining a passport are $140 that will be paid to the U.S. Department of State and a $25 facility fee to be paid to the passport acceptance facility. The payments must be made separately and only by check or money order. There may be additional fees for expedited applications, so be prepared beforehand with the appropriate forms of payment. Expedited fees can also only be paid via check or money order.
When applying for a passport for a child, both parents must sign the application. If only one parent can be present at the time of signature, then the present parent must bring a signed and notarized letter from the absent parent giving their consent for the child to apply for a passport. If the child only has one parent with custody, then only the one signature is needed.
Schedule an appointment or visit a facility
Take the above mentioned forms and paperwork and present them to a passport agent. The process will begin and should take no longer than six to eight weeks to be approved.
Anna is a travel agent who has helped many families obtain passports for their children throughout the years. She suggests checking out FlyingPassport.com for more detailed information regarding how to obtain a passport for your child.