There are so many times that we hear that parents like yourself want to take their kids on an impromptu adventure halfway around the world, only to discover that they can’t because their passport is expired. In case you haven’t looked at your child’s passport lately, or forgot the small details from when you applied, a child’s passport is only valid for five years.
That means that you will spend more time renewing a child’s passport than you will on yours!
Now, the tricky part about US passport renewal for kids is that they technically cannot be renewed. You are welcome to apply for a new one, but you need to go through the same process that you went through for their very first passport. The age of your child is a factor as well, because there are different requirements for minors compared to those who have reached the age of sixteen.
1. Passport Renewal Under 16
The process for renewing a child’s passport when they are under the age of sixteen should be very familiar for you. You and your child’s other parent will need to take your child to a passport application acceptance facility and go through the application process again. This will require you to fill out the DS-11 form, take proof of citizenship and identification, supply parental consent, and supply an updated passport photo.
Once you have signed all the forms and paid the fee, your child’s passport application will be sent out for approval and you will receive the new passport in the mail.
2. Passport Renewal Over 16
If your child has now reached the age of sixteen, they are now considered a grown-up when it comes to passports, which means that they will be applying for an adult passport. They will need to fill out the DS-11 form one last time, as from then on, they can easily renew their passport using the DS-82 form that all renewing adults use.
Your child will also need to provide proof of citizenship and identity. This is usually their birth certificate and driver’s license. If your child does not have a driver’s license yet, they can use yours instead. Since your child is older, and considered an adult in these circumstances, they only need one parent with them for the parental consent.
The last thing that your older child will need is a passport photo to complete the application, as well as the passport fee.
No matter what the age of your child, you will need to go to a passport application acceptance facility to have all the above information mailed out to be processed. There is an expedited option available to those who need their passport sooner and do not mind paying the additional fee.
You may think that this is a lengthy process since you have already gone through the child passport application before. However, due to the fact that children change tremendously from one year to the next, and that both parents need to consent to a child obtaining a passport, it is no surprise that this rule is in place.
Thankfully, since you have done this before, you know the steps that you need to follow, and it should be easier this time around. And don’t worry, your kids will be ready for the adult passports and the ten-years of validity before you know it!