Did you know that a child passport is only good for five years? Adult passports are valid for ten years, so it’s all too common for families to forget to renew their children’s passports when they expire.
If your child has a passport, do yourself a favor and go check the expiration date. Has it expired already? Is it going to expire in the next six months? If so, you’ll need to get it replaced before traveling. Here’s everything you need to know to renew a child passport.
How to Renew a Child Passport
So, how do you renew a child passport? That’s actually a trick question. You’re only eligible to use passport renewal form DS-82 if you got your last passport after you turned 16.
You can replace your child’s expired passport with a new one, but you’ll have to go to a passport office in person to apply.
The procedure to renew a child passport is slightly different depending on whether or not your child is under the age of 16.
Step 1: Gather your documents
Here’s what you need to renew a child passport if your child is under 16:
- Passport Application Form DS-11. This is the same form you’d use if you were applying for a passport for the first time. Use black ink, and don’t sign it until you’re at the passport office and the acceptance agent tells you to do so.
- Proof of citizenship for the child. You can use your child’s birth certificate or their expired passport for this, as long as it’s in good condition.
- Proof of your relationship to the child. For this, you can use a birth certificate with both parents’ names, a Report of Birth Abroad with both parents’ names, adoption decree with both parents’ names, or a court order establishing custody or guardianship. If you don’t have a copy of your child’s birth certificate, you can visit the US Government’s vital documents website for instructions on how to obtain one in your state.
- Proof of identity for both parents.
- Parental consent: For a child under the age of 16 to get a passport, both parents must consent. But what if both parents can’t go to the passport office? Or what if you’re a single parent? In that case, you’ll need one of the following documents: A notarized statement of consent from the absent parent, or evidence that the parent who brought the child in has sole custody.
- DS-3053 The DS-3053 Passport Application Form is used alongside the DS-11 passport form for child passport applications. The DS-3053 is only necessary if one parent or guardian cannot attend the Passport Acceptance Agency visit. The missing parent can complete this form and have it notarized to be used as a permission slip for the acceptance agent. In the event that one parent or guardian is missing and their notarized consent cannot be obtained, the DS-5525 passport form may be necessary.
- DS-5525 The DS-5525 Passport Application Form is used when consent from a parent or guardian is not able to be obtained. Minor passport applicants age 15 and younger require the consent of both parents/guardians. In the event that there is a missing parent or guardian and their consent cannot be obtained, you will need to provide the DS-5525 alongside the DS-11 passport form. Your statement in the form must explain the reason why you cannot obtain the notarized statement of consent. You must justify that there are exigent or special family circumstances that make two parent/guardian consent unobtainable. Completion of this form does not guarantee passport issuance. Your request may qualify as a special family circumstance if the minor’s family situation makes it exceptionally difficult or impossible for one or both of the minor’s custodial parents/legal guardians to provide the notarized, written consent.
- Recent Passport photo: Make sure your passport photo is government compliant. We recommend the G3 Passport & Visa Photobooth mobile app so you can take a compliant photo that you approve.
If Your Child is 16-17
The application process is slightly different for 16 and 17-year-old applicants, even though they are technically still minors. The adult passport with ten-year validity is issued to everyone aged 16 and older. Here’s what you need to get your teen’s passport renewed before they flee the nest:
- Passport Application Form DS-11.
- Proof of citizenship for the child.
- Proof of identity. Your child can use their own driver’s license. Or, if they don’t have one, they can use a parent’s ID instead.
- Parental consent: For older teens, only one parent has to tag along to give consent.
- Recent Passport photo: Make sure the passport photo is government compliant.
Step 2: Find a passport office.
Most people apply at a post office, but there are often passport offices in libraries and local government buildings, as well. Use this tool from the Department of State for a complete list of passport offices near you. At the passport office, you’ll meet with a passport acceptance agent who will review your documents, take your payment, and watch you sign the application form. Then, they’ll send the completed application to the Department of State for processing.
Step 3: Pay the application fee.
Passport government fees vary depending on the age and speed desired for the passport.
Here’s what you’ll pay for a child under 16:
- Passport book: $100 application fee plus a $35 execution fee.
- Passport card: $15 application fee plus a $35 execution fee.
- Passport book and card: $115 application fee plus a $35 execution fee.
- If you need your passport expedited, you’ll pay an additional $60 government expediting fee.
For children over 16:
- Passport book: $130 application fee plus a $35 execution fee.
- Passport card: $30 application fee plus a $35 execution fee.
- Passport book and card: $160 application fee plus a $35 execution fee.
- $60 expedite fee, if applicable.
Now, all you have to do is wait.
How to Renew a Child Passport Quickly
If you apply at a post office, typical passport processing time is 8-11 weeks for regular service and 5-7 weeks for expedited service. But what if you need it sooner than that? You have two options: find the nearest regional passport agency, or use a private passport expediting service. Both options can get your child a shiny new passport quickly.
A private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport is often a more convenient option for faster service. A regional passport agency will require a visit to your nearest location and an appointment is often required. As a result, you may have to miss work, school or extracurricular activities to get your child to the office at the scheduled time. With a private expediting company, there’s no need for any of that. By express shipping your child’s documents to an expediting company after being verified at the post office, his or her passport application can be processed in as little as one week.
Renew your child’s passport with RushMyPassport.com today!