Apply For Child Passport

You can apply for a passport for children under 16. All applicants must apply in person using Form DS-11. Any passport issued for a child under 16 is only valid for 5 years. When filling out the form you will need to provide your child's social security number. If your child does not have a SSN you then must submit a statement, signed and dated, that includes the phrase, "I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct: (Child's full name) has never been issued a Social Security Number by the Social Security Administration.".

You then will be required to provide evidence of your child's US citizenship. You must submit one of the following documents, it must be an original or a certified copy. Photocopies and notarized copies will not be allowed.

  • Full valid and undamaged US passport, even if expired
  • US birth certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Certificate of Citizenship

You will also need to include a photocopy of evidence your child is a US citizen. The photocopy must be front and back. Any photocopy used must be eligible, on white 8.5"x11" standard paper, black and white and must be single sided. If you choose not to submit a photocopy, then you can submit a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, which they will then keep on their end. If you don't submit anything, it could cause your passport application process to be delayed. You will also need to show proof of your relation as a parent to your child. The following documents may be used to show this parental relationship:

  • US birth certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Foreign birth certificate
  • Adoption decree
  • Divorce or custody decree

Do note, some documents like a US birth certificate will show both US citizenship and parental relationship. These documents are required to be originals or certified copies, not photocopied. Next you will need to provide ID. The parents or guardians must present one of the follow ID documents to the location in which you are applying for the child's passport:

  • In state, fully valid drivers license
  • Valid or expired and undamaged US passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization or citizenship
  • Government employee ID
  • US military ID or military dependent ID
  • Valid foreign passport
  • Matricula Consular

Do note, if you provide an out of state identification, you will then be required to present an additional ID. From there you will need to show proof of parental consent. Both parents or guardians must authorize the issuance of the child's passport. The best way to do this is for the parents or guardians to join the child when going to apply in person for the passport. Below is information for when the parents or guardians cannot appear in person:

You have sole legal authority You must submit evidence of this with the application. Examples include:
  • Certified copy of an adoption decree listing you as the only parent
  • Complete court order granting you sole legal custody of the child, such as a divorce decree or other custody order
  • Certified copy of the judicial declaration of incompetence of the parent that cannot appear in person
  • Certified copy of the death certificate of the parent that cannot appear in person
  • Complete court order specifically permitting you to apply for your child's passport (photocopy is acceptable)
  • Certified copy of the child's birth certificate listing you as the only parent
One parent unable to appear If one parent/guardian cannot go with the child to apply for the passport, they can give permission by completing Form DS-3053 "Statement of Consent." You must submit the completed form with the child's passport application. The parent that cannot go with the child must:
  • Sign and date Form DS-3053 in the presence of a certified notary public, and
  • Submit a photocopy of the front and back side of the ID that they present to the notary public with Form DS-3053
You cannot locate the other parent You must submit Form DS-5525 "Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances."
  • They ask that you complete the form with as much details as you can possibly provide
  • They may ask for additional information, such as custody order, restraining order etc, to protect against international parental child abduction
Neither parent able to appear A third party may apply for the child's passport with a notarized statement from both parents/guardians giving that third party permission to apply for the child.
  • The statement must include a photocopy of the parents/guardians identification.
  • When the statement is from only one parent/guardian, the third party must present evidence of sole custody of the consenting parent/guardian

If one of the parent or guardian cannot make it then the written authorization needed from them must be less than 3 months old. The next step is to provide a photo of the child for the passport application. Do not attach your photo to the form before submitting it to the agent. If you do not have a photo to use, then some locations do offer passport photo services on site, for a fee. We recommend to call the location first to verify if they offer this service. If you plan on taking the photo yourself, then check out the tips for taking passport photos, including what is required.

At this point you have all the information needed to submit your child's passport application. The next step is to contact your local passport acceptance facility to setup an appointment. In some cases your child may be eligible to apply in person at a passport agency, depending on how soon you need to travel. If you need to get this done quickly, then check out the passport expedite service.

You will need to calculate the passport fees you will need to pay when applying in person for your child's passport. Below is a list of passport fees. Both the application fee and execution fee will need to be paid separately. To view fees and any additional applications or services, check out the full list of passport fees.

Product Form Application Fee Execution Fee
Passport Book DS-11 $80 $25
Passport Card DS-11 $15 $25
Passport Book & Card DS-11 $95 $25

Do note, you will not be able to mail in your child's passport application, or apply online. You will be required to apply in person for any child under the age of 16. In most cases, you will need to call and setup an appointment to get the passport application process started. To find out if this is required, it is recommended to call the passport facility ahead of time and ask. Also, if you and your child have different last name, that is ok, as long as you have documentation that shows the parental relationship to the child. You will also need to show proof of your legal name change, such as marriage certificate or court order.

Some states state it is illegal to make photocopies of your child's birth certificate. In this case you can submit a second certified copy of your child's birth certificate, they will simply keep the second copy for their records.

This page provided information for applying for a new passport for children under 16. You can also check out how to apply for passports for adults and apply for passports for teenagers ages 16-17.

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Passport Processing Times

Routine Service: 4-6 weeks
Expedited Service: 2-3 weeks

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