How to Get a Child Passport for U.S. Citizens [2019]


How to get a child passport is usually a bit more complex than applying for an adult new passport.  It is important to know that a child passport cannot be renewed and you must get the new passport at your local passport office, accompanied by your spouse and the child you need a passport for.

Due to the high number of abductions and child trafficking, specific procedures allow the United States government to ensure that the child is traveling with parents or family members and is safe — this is the protection anyone would wish for a child. You and the child’s other parent will have to apply for a new passport.

Child passport cannot be renewed therefore you will have to use form DS-11 Application for a New Passport. In order to fill out DS-11, please go to this U.S. state passport form page. To obtain the child’s passport, both parents or the child’s legal guardian must appear with:

Child Passport Eligibility

  • Evidence of the child’s citizenship in the United States (a birth certificate or a previously issued passport)
  • Proof of the child’s relationship with the parents or guardian (birth certificate, passport)
  • The original parent or guardian government-issued identification (driver’s license, military ID card, or other government-issued ID)
  • A photocopy of the front and back of the parents’ identification

Eligibility for a Child Passport with One Parent Absent

How to get a child passport with one parent absent.  When a single parent is applying for a passport for the child the requirement is a bit different you will need to show evidence of sole authority to apply for a child passport you must also present one of the following:

  • Notarized written statement or DS-3053 including child’s full name and date of birth from the unavailable parent consenting to the issuance of the passport (this statement cannot be more than three months old and must be signed and notarized the same day with a photocopy of the parent’s I.D. front and back)
  • Death certificate if the second parent is deceased
  • Primary evidence of sole authority to apply per a court order
  • DS-5525 or a written statement made under penalty of perjury explaining why the second parent is unavailable to appear

When applying for a passport, the child must be present and appear in person. These rules apply to a child that is 16 years of age or younger. The new passport will be valid for five years from the date of issue in general. Please bring the child’s old passport to your local passport office and turn it in before the issuance of the child’s new passport.

When taking pictures for a passport, ensure that no teeth are showing, and the child is not smiling. Also, all hair should be pulled back away from the face, and a neutral expression held while the photo is taken. There are very particular rules about the photo, and it is easiest to have it taken at a photographer’s studio who frequently takes passport photos. You can find these studios with a quick web search in your area.

How To Get a Child Passport Expedited

In order to expedite a child passport, you need to get the DS-11 Application Form adjudicated and submitted any of the passport agencies in your area to find a passport agency in your area use our regional passport agency section to locate the closest passport agency in your area. If you need to use a private expediting company. National Passport Service is a privately own expediting company that would be able to expedite your child passport form.