*The passport fees have recently changed. As of April 2nd, 2018, the passport acceptance fee has gone up from $25 to $35.
Getting a child passport is a bit more complicated of a process than getting a passport for an adult. This is primarily due to regulations enacted to prevent child abduction. To help you through the process, here is a step-by-step breakdown of what is required:
Step 1- Apply in Person
All minors must apply in person to get a passport, either at a passport acceptance facility (like a post office) or a Regional Passport Agency office (for rush passports, requires an appointment).
Step 2: Gather Documents
To apply for a child passport, the following documents are required:
- Proof of identity for you. You will need to bring the original to the passport office and also make a copy to send in with your application.
- Proof of citizenship for your child.
- Evidence of your relationship to your child, such as a birth certificate or adoption decree with your name on it or a court order establishing custody or guardianship. Nope, it doesn’t matter if little Jane or Johnny is the spitting image of you-the government still needs to see proof.
- 2 identical passport photos
Step 3: Establish Parental Consent
In most cases, the consent of both parents is required for a child to be issued a US passport. You have a few different options for proving parental consent:
- Both parents can show up in person when the child applies for a passport
- One parent shows up bringing a notarized statement of consent from the other parent (Form DS-3053). The consent form must have been completed within the past 3 months to be usable.
- One parent with sole custody of the child can bring proof that he or she has sole custody, such as a birth certificate/adoption decree with only that parent’s name on it or a court order.
- If the other parent’s consent cannot be obtained, you must bring a notarized statement explaining why it cannot be obtained. These requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Step 4: Submit Passport Application with Required Documents and Fees
At the passport office, you will need to submit a copy of passport application form DS-11 along with all of the documents listed above. Don’t sign the form until you are instructed to do so by the passport agent. You will also need to pay the appropriate fees, currently $85 for a child passport book plus an additional $60 if you need it expedited. These fees are expected to increase in the near future, so see the Department of State’s web site for current information.
If you need to get a passport for your child in a hurry, the quickest and easiest way to do so is to use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport.com. We’ve helped tens of thousands of people get their passports, with processing times as low as 24 hours.