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Learn About The Process To Get A Passport For Kids

You might not want to wait until your family wants to travel to get valid travel documents for your children. Getting a US passport for kids can take some time so it can be helpful to get it done when you don’t yet need it. Since you’re the parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child’s application is done properly.

Minor Documents

For these purposes, a kid is anyone who is not yet sixteen years old. Even for minors who already have their travel document, if it expires before they reach age sixteen, this is still the process that you’ll have to follow for them. The requirements of proof have gotten more stringent recently with the federal government increasing the safeguards against international child trafficking.

Country of Origin

Your first step will be to get documentation that your child is indeed a US citizen. If you have a certified copy of your child’s long form birth certificate, this will do. If you don’t, you can also present a certificate of naturalization, certification of birth abroad, report of birth abroad or their current valid US passport.

Custodial Parent

You’ll also have to show that you have legal standing, either as their parents or legal guardian, to make this application for them. If any of the documents you use to prove US citizenship list both your names as the parents for the child, this document can serve as proof for both issues. However, if both the names of the parents aren’t on the proof of citizenship document, you’ll have to provide something else. This could be a court order that shows custody or guardianship, or it could be an adoption decree.

Requirements

The federal government will also want confirmation that both parents consent to the application. If both parents are legally responsible for the child, the requirements to show consent may be different. There is a table you can consult online that will detail the types of parental consent required if one or neither of the parents has legal custody.

Application

Whatever the family situation, at least one parent or the legal guardian must be present with the child to make the application at an authorized US passport agency. You’ll also need a filled out form of federal form DS-11, which you can get from any number of online sites. However, as the parent, you can’t sign this form before arriving or it won’t be valid. It can only be signed in front of the acceptance agent.

Federal Forms

The DS-11 anticipates that both parents will be at the application appointment and sign the form there. However, if only one parent can be with the child,then you’ll also have to provide federal form DS-3053. This form is a signed and notarized statement that confirms the absent parent also consents to the child’s application.