Every once in a while, it just so happens that your pregnancy and travel plans coincide. And sometimes those travel plans require a passport. Many mothers and families wonder how they will obtain a newborn passport for a child that was literally just delivered. They must follow the same rules as other citizens, but with a few notable exceptions. If you find yourself with a due date that is uncomfortably close to your departure date, there are some things you can do. However, being prepared can make things significantly easier when it gets close to travel time.
There are many misconceptions that surround this issue, as every country has a different policy. In the United States, you will need to use a birth certificate in order to verify citizenship. Hospital records or birth notices are not able to be used in place of a birth certificate. These birth certificates generally arrive around a month after birth. However, you can go to the courthouse and obtain one faster. Make sure to figure out what your county’s policy is beforehand.
A social security number, though asked for, is not necessary when completing a passport application for the newborn. A social security number can take months to get, so the government allows for parents to use eight “0’s” in place of a social security number. The time spent waiting on a social security number depends on how the child was delivered, for example, if it was delivered by means of a mid-wife or at a hospital. Passport processing and delivery can also be expedited, even without a social security number. While it may cost extra to get passports expedited, you may need to if your travel date is getting close.
Like adults, you will need to get newborn passport photos. In these photos, the newborn cannot be wearing any head covering and both eyes must be open. At the airport, the custom agent will use the eye color and the hair color in order to distinguish this newborn from a similar looking one. Wherever you’re taking your child to get his or her passport photos taken, be sure to phone in ahead of time. Sometimes special arrangements need to be made in order to accommodate a newborn.
A child’s passport, even if he or she is a newborn, is valid for up to five years. While the child may look drastically different in this amount of time, the passport remains valid. An adult’s passport, on the other hand, is valid for up to ten years. The reasoning behind this is simple. A growing child’s looks change more frequently than an adult, so they have to update their passport photos more often than an adult would have to.
So if you’re planning on traveling in the future, but your travel date is uncomfortably close with your delivery date, you don’t need to panic. Simply preparing yourself and figuring out your county’s policies can make a world of difference. Being prepared means you can make sure you get a newborn passport and arrive at your destination safely and on time.