Child Passport: Make Sure You Know The Regulations

If you have a child for whom you need to acquire a child passport, it is important to know what the regulations are regarding this. Children of any age, even newborns, must have their own passports. In addition, for children of the age 16 and 17, there are additional requirements.

Children under the age of 16 must apply for their passports in person, accompanied by both of their parents/guardians. Proof of U. S. Citizenship must be supplied and will be returned. Acceptable proof includes a previous and undamaged U. S. Passport, official proof of birth or citizenship in the U. S. A social security number must also be provided.

Parents or guardians must show proof of their relationship to the applicant. Evidence can include a birth certificate or report of foreign birth, an adoption decree or a court document establishing either custody or guardianship.

Any documents that are furnished in a foreign language must be translated into English. The translation can be formal or informal. Both original and translation must be turned in along with the passport application.

Prior U. S. Passports may not be used to prove relationship. If a parent or guardian has changed his or her name since any original documents were issued, proof of the legal name change must be submitted. An example of such proof is a copy of a marriage certificate. In addition, both parents/guardians must show current identification such as: undamaged U. S. Passport, certificate of naturalization, driver’s license, government ID or military ID.

For a minor below the age of 16 to get a passport, both parents must consent. Therefore, both must appear with the minor at the time of application. If both cannot appear, one must appear and sign the form in front of an agent while submitting the other parent’s Statement of Consent which has been notarized. Note that this must be consent form must be dated within the last three months.

If only one parent has complete custody, this parent must appear with the minor and sign in front of an agent. This parent must then show proof of being sole authority over the child. Such proof can be the birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad or certificate of birth abroad showing only the one parent’s name. Other proof can be a court order, an adoption decree, an incompetence declaration of the other parent or a death certificate of the other parent.

If necessary, a third party may apply for the minor’s passport. This person must appear with a notarized statement from both parents or guardians. If there is only one parent or guardian, proof of sole custody must also be furnished.

In addition to the passport application itself and the proofs of identification, relationship and custody, you must also provide two passport photos and, of course, the application fee. In the case of minors of age 16 and 17, they should also furnish photo identification. If they have none, then the parents or guardians must present their own photo identification. Whichever photo identification is used, a photocopy should also be provided. As with all passports, it is a good idea to apply for a child passport before it is really necessary.

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