Passport for Minors
Minor children traveling internationally with their parents need their own passport. Passports for children who are United States citizens and who are 15 years of age or younger are valid for five years. Minors who are U.S. citizens and aged 16 years and above are issued an adult passport that is valid for ten years. Because a passport for a child cannot be renewed. the process for obtaining this document is the same whether it was issued already or it is new.
Eligibility for a Passport for Minors
Every child — regardless of age — is required to obtain a passport so they can travel legally outside the United States. Both of the child’s parents or legal guardians must give their approval in order for the passport to be issued. This permission is provided either in person to the Passport Acceptance Agent or via a particular government form that is notarized if one of the parents is not able to appear before the Passport Acceptance Agent.
Process for Obtaining a Passport for Minors
The following documentation is required as part of the process of obtaining a passport for minors:
- Birth certificate as proof of citizenship. Only the original or a certified copy of the long form of the birth certificate with both parents’ names listed is acceptable.
- DS-11 Application Form for Minor Passport. This form can either be filled out online and then printed off or completed offline. This form is the same type that is used by adults when they are applying for a passport.
- Passport photo
- Copies of the front and back of the parents’ state-issued ID. Some examples of acceptable state-issued IDs include driver’s licenses, passports and state ID cards.
- Child’s previous passport, if applicable
- Passport fee of $95 for regular service or $155 for rush processing with checks made payable to U.S. Department of State.
- Flight itinerary or proof of travel plans, if a rush passport is needed.
- Statement of Consent if one parent is unable to be present at the Passport Acceptance Agent. This form must be completely filled out and notarized by the parent who is not able to be at the Passport Acceptance Agent.
Passport Acceptance Agent
The passport application must be sealed in an official envelope by the Passport Acceptance Agent. Passport Acceptance Agents can be found at Clerk of the Court offices and primary U.S. Post Offices. The child needs to be accompanied by one or both parents and presented to the Passport Acceptance Agent. Passport applications can be processed be mailed at the National Passport Center, at a U.S. Passport Office found within major cities or by a reputable company that offers expedited processing if that service is needed.