Expedited Passports For Newborns
It used to be that a newborn baby was permitted to travel on the passport of one of their parents. Now, however, it is a requirement that every US citizen, including a newborn, have their own individual passport. When travelling within approximately two weeks, parents may apply for an expedited passport for newborn. Parents can do this themselves or they may go through a specialized agent.
Applying for an infant’s passport is a little more complicated than obtaining one for a grown-up. The child’s birth certificate is required, along with proof of parental identification and consent for the infant to travel. Also required are the Social Security Numbers of both parents, proof of travel intent, completed application form, two photographs and payment of the necessary fee. There are five urgency levels for an infant passport, 24-Hour, Next Day, Priority, Rush and Expedited. It requires approximately two weeks for processing and the passport is mailed directly to the parent or parents.
Form DS-11 (Application for a Passport), may be obtained from an Acceptance Facility or a passport agency. It is also available online, where it may be completed and then printed or it may be printed out and completed by hand. It is important that the form remain unsigned until instructed by a passport agent.
An infant passport is valid for five years and cannot be renewed. The application cannot be submitted in the mail, it must be in person. The baby must be present at the time of submission of the application.
There are very stringent specifications for the child’s photographs. The baby must be looking directly at the camera against a white or an off-white background. Their head size must be no smaller than one inch and no larger than 1-3/8 inches. The photograph must be less than six months old when the application is submitted.
The expression on the baby’s face must be ‘natural’. This means they cannot be smiling, crying, laughing or screaming. They have to keep their mouth closed and must not be sucking on a pacifier. Only the baby can be visible in the photo and there must be no parental face, hands or arms. There must not even be a car seat. It may be quicker to engage the services of a commercial photographer with experience in taking passport photos for infants.
Proof of United States citizenship of the parents is also required. This may be a valid passport, certified birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth (Form DS-240), Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350) or a naturalization certificate or a certificate of citizenship.