Every minor traveling outside the U.S. needs to be in possession of a valid U.S. passport. Applications for a child passport must be submitted in person. It involves providing substantial documentation in order for a passport to be issued. Below are the necessary requirements when applying for a passport on behalf of a minor or child under the age of 16.
Evidence of Citizenship
The following documents meet the official criteria for primary evidence of U.S. citizenship:
U.S. Birth Certificate
This certificate must:
- list the child’s full name
- date of birth
- place of birth issued by the city, county, or state in which the child was born
- full names of the parent or parents
- must have been filed with the registrar’s office within one year of the birth
- it must contain the seal of the registrar
- it must contain the date of the registration
- Passports that have been previously issued but have expired as acceptable as primary identification as long as they are not damage in any way.
Other acceptable documents are:
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Proof of Parental Relationship
Documentation proving parental relationships must also be presented at the time of child passport application. Certain documents, such as a certified birth certificate, can also be used to meet this requirement. Documents that can be used to prove parental relationships are:
- U.S. Birth Certificate
- Divorce/Custody Decree
- Adoption Decree
- Foreign Birth Certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S.Citizen
The passport issuing agency will also require that parents provide photo identification. Acceptable documents are:
- A valid U.S. drivers license. A secondary piece of identification will be necessary if the license is issued in a state other than the one in which the passport is being applied.
- A valid, undamaged U.S. passport that is less than five years old.
U.S. law requires that both parents or guardians be present at the time of the child passport application. They must both provide proof of parental relationship or legal guardianship. If one parent cannot be present, the other parent must provide a notarized Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent from the other guardian or parent.
If only one parent or guardian exists, that person must provide official proof of sole custody. Acceptable documents for evidence of sole custody are:
- A court order granting sole custody to the applying parent or guardian.
- A death certificate for the non-applying parent.
- A judicial declaration of parental incompetence concerning the non-applying parent.
- A U.S. or foreign birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or adoption decree listing only the applying parent or guardian.
- A court order specifically allowing the applying parent to travel with the child
The passport photo should be 2″ by 2″ and in color.