Congratulations on making the decision to take your child on a travel adventure somewhere out of the country! This is going to make a major impact in their life, as they will experience so many new and wonderful things!
However, are you ready for them to clear customs with you? You may already have your passport, but have you gone through the process of getting one for your child?
Everyone needs a passport to enter a different country, and to return home, so you will need to start the child passport application process sooner than later if you want to leave as planned!
The passport application for minors process is not that much different than the one for adults, but there is at least one passport requirement for children that most people are not aware of. Therefore, you are going to want to continue reading to ensure that you know all the steps that you need to complete when getting a passport for a minor.
Here are the steps that you must follow when you are filling out a passport application for minors:
1. Fill Out Form DS-11
The form for a child passport application is different than an adult’s, unless the adult is applying for a passport for the first time. The best way to fill this form out is to type the information out online and then print it out. This ensures that there are no questions due to illegible handwriting. It is important that you do not sign this form until you are in front of a professional at the passport application acceptance facility.
2. Gather All Important Documents
There are numerous documents that are needed for when you are getting a passport for a child. You will need to provide proof of citizenship, which is normally an original or certified copy of their birth certificate or their certificate of naturalization. To prove the child’s identity further, both parents must provide a copy of their drivers’ licenses or another form of a valid photo id, like a current passport. The copy of the id must include the information on both the front and the back.
3. A Passport Photo
A photograph of your child is necessary for their passport application, but it needs to be a specific size and must not include tinted glasses, sunglasses, or headwear unless they are necessary for medical purposes or religious reasons. Anyone that needs to wear those items in their passport photo must provide a letter that explains those reasons.
4. Fill Out Parental Consent Section
Not everyone is aware that the government now requires that both parents authorize the passport application form for their child. This is a newer requirement that is needed to ensure that one parent does not take a child out of the country without the other parent’s permission. The easiest way for parents to authorize their child’s passport is for both of them to apply for it in person. However, if that is not possible, a separate form, DS-3053 can be filled out by the absent parent and then notarized. When it is not possible for a single parent to have this form filled out, there are a few things that can be done to try to circumvent this passport requirement for children.
5. Visit a Passport Application Acceptance Facility
You may not think that you have a passport application acceptance facility in your area, but in fact, numerous post offices have these facilities right inside. You can choose to go there or one of the other facilities in your area. Once you have all the requirements listed above, you can take it all to your nearest facility and finalize the process.
6. Have Your Payment Ready
There is a fee required to apply for a child’s passport and you will want to have it ready in the form of a check or money order when you arrive at the facility. Depending on how soon you need your child’s passport returned, you may need to pay extra for expedited service.
Once your child’s passport application is sent off for approval, all you need to do is sit back and wait for it to arrive. After it does, you will all be ready for a vacation of a lifetime!