All About About The Process To Get A Passport For Kids

You might not want to wait until your family wants to travel to get valid travel documents for your children. Getting a United States passport for kids can take some time so it can be helpful to get it done when you don’t yet need it. Since you’re the parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child’s application is done properly.

Minor Passports

For these purposes, a kid is anyone who is not yet sixteen years old. Even for minors who already have their travel document, if it expires before they reach age sixteen, this is still the process that you’ll have to follow for them. The requirements of proof have gotten more stringent recently with the federal government increasing the safeguards against international child trafficking.

Proof of Citizenship

The first proof required is that your child does in fact hold US citizenship. If you can offer a certified copy of your child’s long form birth certificate, you have this covered. If you can’t, you can also prove US citizenship through a report of birth abroad, certificate of birth abroad, certificate of naturalization or a valid current US passport.

Custodial Parent

You’ll also have to show that you have legal standing, either as their parents or legal guardian, to make this application for them. If any of the documents you use to prove US citizenship list both your names as the parents for the child, this document can serve as proof for both issues. However, if both the names of the parents aren’t on the proof of citizenship document, you’ll have to provide something else. This could be a court order that shows custody or guardianship, or it could be an adoption decree.

Parental Consent

The federal government will also want confirmation that both parents consent to the application. If both parents are legally responsible for the child, the requirements to show consent may be different. There is a table you can consult online that will detail the types of parental consent required if one or neither of the parents has legal custody.

Passport Agency

Where both parents do have legal custody, they will both have to consent. At least one of these parents will have to by present with the child at the authorized US passport office when submitting the application. As part of your child’s application, you’ll have to fill out federal form DS-11. However, this form is only valid when signed by the parent in the presence of the application agent so don’t sign it until you’re asked.


The DS-11 anticipates that both parents will be at the application appointment and sign the form there. However, if only one parent can be with the child,then you’ll also have to provide federal form DS-3053. This form is a signed and notarized statement that confirms the absent parent also consents to the child’s application. There’s a different form for passports renewal application.

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