All children require a need a valid passport regardless of age. Children or minor passports are valid for 5 years and is issued to children ages 15 and under. When a child reaches 16 years of age, an adult passport is issued to the child and is eligible for renewal when it expires in 10 years.
Child passports that were issued to a minor when the person was 15 years or younger are not eligible for renewal. These passports are issued for only 5 years and must be surrendered when requesting a new passport.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to process a minor’s passport application.
Eligibility for Child Passport Applications
For children age 0 to 15 years old are required to have a passport when traveling outside the United States.
An approval must be given by parents or legal guardian which can be proven in person at the Passport Acceptance agent (Step 2), and the child must be present with both parents during this visit. If only can go with the child, a notarized government form in a written consent by the other can be carried and presented. This is called a DS-3053 consent form.
Step-by-Step Guide for a Child Passport
- Prepare all requirements
- US citizenship proof – such as a birth certificate, must be original or certified copy of a “long form” that has both parent’s names
- DS-11 Application Form for a Minor Passport – completely filled out at https://pptform.state.gov and printed. Same application form for adults and minors.
- One passport photo
- Front and back photocopy of both parent’s driver’s license or any state-issued ID
- For rush passports: flight itinerary or proof of travel
- Previous passport (if any)
- Notarized “Statement of Consent” form (DS-3053) – in cases where one parent cannot accompany the child, this must be completed, signed and notarized.
- Minor passport fee – A check for $80 ($140 if you need expedited service for your child’s passport) made payable to “US Department of State.”
- A Passport Acceptance Agent should have your application sealed in an envelope officially, you can find one at main branch US Post Offices as well as at offices of Clerk of the Court.
For instances where one parent cannot join the other and the child, the “Statement of Consent” must be presented.
- Your passport application should be processed through the following:
Via mail – your envelope will be sent by the Passport Acceptance Agent to the National Passport Center for processing.
Through a Passport Agency – for expedite new passport, major US cities have passport agencies where replacement passport can be processed on the site.
Through a Passport Expediting Company – a replacement for a lost passport can be processed by a passport expediting company for faster process. They will personally bring your application to the Passport Agency in your behalf.
How to Get a Child Passport Expedited
Application for a new passport via mail can take up to 8 weeks, 2-3 weeks for expedited service for minor by mail is available with an additional $60 government fee. A Passport Agency or a passport expediting company can get your child a new passport as fast as 24 hours.
26 major US cities have Passport Agencies but you have to call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 for an appointment. A passport expediting company will make your child’s application faster and easier.