Guide for How to Obtain a Passport for Kids

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A passport for kids is a document that enables minors to travel abroad. Like adults, children need to have their own federal documents in order to travel outside of the United States. Candidates can obtain either a child passport book or card, depending on where they are going and how they are traveling there. Regardless of which credentials these children need, there is a specific application process they must complete in order to obtain their documents.

If you are wondering how to get a passport for a child, remember that this process is slightly more involved than it is for adults to obtain their credentials. This is because children need to prove they have their parents’ consent in order to receive their documents. If you are the parent or guardian, you will likely also need to be present when your dependent goes to apply for a child passport.

How old do children need to be to qualify for a passport for kids?

If you want to obtain a US passport for a child, you must make sure that he or she meets the age requirements to receive this document. Children as young as newborns qualify to apply using this form. However, keep in mind that this passport is for a child under 16 years of age. This means that if your child is 16 or 17 years of age, he or she must apply for an adult passport.

How to Submit a Child Passport Application

If you are wondering how to get a passport for a child, make sure you understand the steps you need to follow when you apply. First, you need to make sure that you know where your child can apply for his or her travel document. Even if your child currently possesses a passport, he or she needs to apply in person at a passport office. Therefore, the first step you need to take in getting a passport for a child is finding an acceptance facility near you. Usually, your local post office is the closest place you can go to apply for your child’s ID.

The US passport application for a child is Form DS-11. You can obtain a blank copy of this document online or at your passport office. Next, you need to confirm whether you need an appointment to apply. Some facilities may require you to schedule an appointment to submit your application. Other offices may allow walk-in applicants. In either case, when you go to the office, make sure you bring:

  • Proof of your relationship to the child. You cannot help your dependent submit a child passport application form unless you prove how you are related to him or her. Acceptable documents include adoption papers or your child’s birth certificate.
  • Proof that your child is a U.S. citizen. Your child cannot receive a passport unless he or she is a U.S. citizen. To satisfy this requirement, bring your child’s birth certificate or naturalization papers. You must also bring a copy of this document.
  • Your government-issued ID. When you go to the office to submit your dependent’s child passport form, make sure you bring your driver’s license, passport or military ID. You must also bring a copy of your ID.
  • A child passport photo. Your child’s photo needs to meet the federal passport photo requirements. Depending on where you apply, you may be able to have your child’s picture taken at the passport office.
  • Payment for the child passport cost. You need to pay a $35 acceptance fee when you apply for your child’s travel document. You also need to pay the application fee associated with the document you are applying for.

Do both parents need to be present for a child passport to be issued?

When you are learning how to apply for a child passport, remember that the simplest way to complete this task is for both parents to be present when the child applies. However, this is not always possible. In these circumstances, it is important that you know how to get a child passport with one parent absent. The exact procedure you need to follow depends on your circumstances. For example:

  • If one parent’s schedule prohibits him or her from attending the appointment, you must bring Form DS-3053 with you. This document serves as a consent form. The child’s other parent must sign this document before you go to the office and apply for travel credentials.
  • If you have sole custody of your child, you must provide legal proof of this arrangement. Depending on your situation, this means you could bring items such as court documents that verify your custody arrangement. You could also bring your child’s other parent’s death certificate, if applicable.
  • If you cannot locate or contact your child’s other parent, you must fill out and submit Form DS-5525 along with your child’s application. This is the Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances form.

How much is a child’s passport?

You may be wondering, “How much are passports for kids?” Regardless of the document you apply for, you need to pay an acceptance fee at the facility you apply at. This costs $35. Additionally, you must pay the child passport fee associated with your application. A child passport book costs $80. A child passport card costs $15. If you want to have an expedited child passport, this costs an additional $60.

How long does a child passport last?

Once you successfully apply for a US passport for a child, the document will be issued. This ID is valid for five years. Once your document expires, you will need to apply for a new one.

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How to Renew a Child Passport

If your dependent’s travel credentials are about to expire, you may wonder how to renew a child’s passport. However, you cannot complete this process for a minor. This is because you cannot renew a child passport in the US. Instead, your dependent must apply for a new travel document whenever his or hers is about to expire. You also cannot complete a US passport renewal for a child who becomes an adult before his or her document expires. These applicants must apply for a new adult ID once they are of age.