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Renewing a Child’s Passport

Renewing a passport that was issued to a child age 15 or younger is different from getting a passport that was issued to an applicant age 16 or older renewed. Passports issued to individuals who are older than age 15 are valid for 10 years and can be renewed by mail as long as they are not damaged. A child or a person who was issued a passport when a child must apply as if for the first time. This article will detail the steps required to renew a child’s passport.

What You Need

Several items are required in order to get a child’s passport renewed. First of all, you need to complete the application form DS-11. The form can be completed online at the Department of State website, downloaded and completed offline or filled in at an application acceptance facility. The application should not be signed until an authorized Acceptance Agent asks you to do so.

Supporting documents that must be submitted along with the application form include evidence of U.S. citizenship, evidence of relationship between the parents or guardians and the minor and identification of the parents or guardians. Photocopies of identification documents are also required. Only one passport photo is necessary.

When only one parent takes the child to get a passport renewed, evidence of sole legal custody or notarized consent from the non-applying parent must accompany the other documents. The consent form cannot be more than 90 days old.

Where to Go

The application and supporting documents must be presented to an authorized agent at either an application acceptance facility or a regional agency. Acceptance facilities are located in post offices, public libraries, clerks of court, and other state, county, township, and municipal government offices. There are 25 passport agencies located in major cites of the United States such as Boston, New York, Miami, Houston Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

It is important to understand that both parents or legal guardians must appear with the minor. When only one parent or legal guardian appears, that person must also submit notarized consent from the non-applying parent or guardian or evidence of sole legal custody in order to renew the child’s passport.

How Long It Takes

Renewing a child’s passport takes up to 6 weeks if you apply at an application acceptance facility and do not request expedited service. You can get the passport expedited in 2 to 3 weeks when applying at these locations if you pay the additional fee. It only takes a few days to a little as a few hours when you apply at a regional agency. Of course, you must show evidence of travel within 2 weeks or within 4 weeks if you also need to obtain a visa.

Those who need to get their children’s passports quickly but are unable to visit a regional agency can utilize the services of a registered expediter. They can get passports renewed the same day but there will be additional fees for this.