Child Passports: Get To Know The Policies

by erin on June 18, 2010

If you have a child for whom you need to acquire a child passport, it is important to know what the regulations are regarding this. Children of any age, even newborns, must have their own passports. In addition, for children of the age 16 and 17, there are additional requirements.

Children under the age of 16 must apply for their passports in person, accompanied by both of their parents/guardians. Proof of U.S. Citizenship must be supplied and will be returned. Acceptable proof includes a previous and undamaged U.S. Passport, official proof of birth or citizenship in the U.S. A social security number must also be provided.

The accompanying parents or guardians need to prove the relationship they have to the child applicant. This proof may be in the form of a foreign or U.S. birth certificate, a decree of adoption, or a court order that establishes guardianship or custody.

If any furnished documents are in another language, they must be translated. It can be formally or informally translated. Both original and English translation must be submitted with the passport application.

Prior U.S. passports may not be used to prove relationship. If a parent or guardian has changed his or her name since any original documents were issued, proof of the legal name change must be submitted. An example of such proof is a copy of a marriage certificate. In addition, both parents/guardians must show current identification such as: undamaged USA passport, certificate of naturalization, driver’s license, government ID or military ID.

Both parents must consent in order for a minor below 16 years of age to get a passport. Therefore, they must both appear when the application is made along with the minor. If they are not able to appear together, one parent must attend, and submit a notarized Statement of Consent from the absent parent. The consent form must not be older than 3 months.

If complete custody is with only one parent, that parent must go with the minor to the passport agency and sign the form before the agent. Proof of sole authority must also be furnished. This can be a birth certificate or consular report of birth abroad, which lists only the one name. Alternative proof may be an adoption decree, a court order, an incompetence declaration, or a death certificate.

If need be, a third person may make the application for the child’s passport. Said person needs to appear with a statement from both of the parents or the guardians, which must be notarized. In the case of sole custody, proof should be supplied, as well.

In addition to the application itself and the proofs of identification, relationship and custody, you must also provide two passport photos and, of course, the application fee. In the case of minors of age 16 and 17, they should also furnish photo identification. If they have none, then the parents or guardians must present their own photo identification. Whichever photo identification is used, a photocopy should also be provided. As with all American passports, it is a good idea to apply for a child US passport before it is really necessary.

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