Details about Getting a Passport for a Child

3 years


Generally, it is a lot of work to acquire a passport or to renew an adult passport. The government has made numerous reforms over the last few years and has included many new requirements to deter child trafficking. So, now getting a passport for a child is a lot more work. Even though these new changes have increased more parental work, it provides the child with protection. It is important to start early and pay careful attention to specifics to make it through the process without a hitch. If the applicant meets all the criteria and provides all the required documentation, the process of obtaining a child’s passport is simple. We have included the full information about getting a passport for a child in this article.

Hand for tourist holding passport to authorities

Steps for getting a passport for a child

You need to follow the below-given steps for getting a passport for a child,

  1. Complete the child passport application form
  2. Gather required documents
  3. Visit the passport application acceptance facility.
  4. Pay the child passport fee.
  5. Submit the completed DS-11 Form
  6. Track the status of the application

Application form for getting a passport for a child.

Parents need to fill out Form DS-11 for getting a passport for a child. You can fill out the DS-11 form in two ways.

  • Fill the Form DS-11 offline
  • Fill the Form DS-11 online

Fill the Form DS-11 offline:

You should fill out the application offline after downloading and printing. Applicants need to fill in the details clearly using black ink. It will make errors in the new passport if the passport facility agent has trouble reading what you wrote. Until an approval agent asks you to do so, the application paperwork should not be signed. Parents can download the Form DS-11 from the below link

Fill the Form DS-11 online:

Visit the below given online DS-11 From site and fill the all required details,

After completed it online, print the application form. Some applicants have complained of link issues or that the online form will not approve some of their responses. In such a scenario, print the DS-11 From offline and fill in the details.

Just 22 questions are on 2 pages. Child name, date, and place of birth, sex, phone number, travel plans, and emergency contact are included in the personal details. Although the expected time to fill the application form is within 90 minutes, you can most likely complete the form faster.

How to fill Form DS-11 for getting a passport for a child?

With each application, instructions are provided. It is very important that you watch them carefully. When completing the DS-11 application form offline for getting a passport for a child, you can use black ink and write as legibly as possible. Illegible writing can lead to errors in printing that would require you to apply for corrections. Without making any false claims, you can complete the form as fully as you can. The first page of the guidelines clarifies that false claims are punishable by fine and/or incarceration that is made knowingly and voluntarily on the application. Incomplete DS-11 forms can lead to delays and/or your child’s passport being rejected.

There is nothing complex about completing a United States passport application. It needs only a little bit of time and attention to detail. The form states that you should expect the application to be completed in up to 85 minutes. Most individuals will fill it out in a lot less time, however.

Gathering documents for getting a passport for a child

You must either present several documents to the passport office when you submit the DS-11 application or send it to the application center with the form. The following are included in the list:

  • US citizenship proof of the child
  • Parent’s or Guardian relationship proof to the child
  • Parents/guardians or children’s Photo ID
  • Identification documents photocopy
  • Passport size photo

US citizenship Proof of the Child:

A parent can submit any of the below documents as proof of child US citizenship,

  • Undamaged previous passport
  • Birth certificate issued by state/country or city and the certificate should be certified. It is possible to make approved copies at the registrar’s office of the state where your child was born. Be sure that the “long-form” is obtained.
  • Certification of birth or Consular Birth Report Abroad
  • Certificate of naturalization
  • Citizenship Certificate

Parents or Guardian relationship proof to the child:

  • U.S. certificate of birth
  • Foreign certificate of birth
  • Decree adoption
  • Divorce / Decree of custody
  • A United States Citizen’s Consular Record of Birth Abroad (FS-240)

Parents/guardians or children’s photo ID:

If the child does not have any ID, the parent(s) or guardian(s) applying for the child’s passport must provide their photo ID. An undamaged passport or a legitimate driver’s license is an appropriate identity document you can submit as your ID.

Identification documents photocopy:

It is also important to submit a photocopy of all identity documents. The copy must be 8 ½ x 11 “in size on plain white paper. Only one side of the paper should have images.

Passport size photo:

For each child, a passport picture that is 2×2 inches in size and was taken within the last six months must be submitted.

Additional Documents for certain situations:

If Minors have only one guardian/parent:

Evidence of the sole authority to apply for a minor must be provided with the request in the form of a:

  • U.S. or international certificate of birth, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or decree of adoption, naming only the parent applicant.
  • Court order granting the requesting parent sole legal custody (unless the movement of the child is limited by that order).
  • Court order expressly approving the application of parental travel with the infant.
  • Judicial statement of the non-applicant parent’s incompetence.
  • Certificate of death of a non-applying parent.

If One Parent/Guardian is not able to appear:

A signed, notarized Form DS-3053: Declaration of Consent of the non-applicant parent/guardian shall accompany the DS-11 application.

If One Parent/Guardian is not able to come and cannot be found:

Type DS-5525: Declaration of Exigent / Special Family Circumstances must be made by the requesting parent. The declaration must explain in detail the unavailability of the non-applicable parent or guardian and recent attempts to contact the non-applicable parent.

Proof (e.g., custody order, imprisonment order, restraining order) may also be required from the claimant parent to record his/her assertion of particular or demanding circumstances. In order to protect against foreign parental child kidnapping, if the statement is determined to be inadequate, the Passport Agency processing the application can ask for additional information.

If Both Guardian/Parents of the child is not available:

A third party can apply for a minor’s passport with a signed, notarized, written declaration or affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing the minor’s application by a third party. A photocopy of the name of the parents or guardians must accompany each declaration. The affidavit declaration is from only one parent/guardian; proof of sole custody of the applying parent/guardian must be submitted by the third party.

NOTE: The written permission of the non-applicant parent preceding a new passport application must be less than three months old. Newly written permission from the non-applicant parent must be obtained and submitted with the minor’s future passport application under the age of 16.

Visit the passport application acceptance facility.

Contact the nearest application approval facility once you have Form DS-11 completed and all the documentation together. Roughly 9,000 passport offices are located throughout the United States. They are mainly found in post offices.

Pay the Child passport fee.

Finally, you need to pay for the child’s passport application fees. There are execution and application fees. The first need to be paid to the Department of State and the second to the attending agent.

  • For Minor Passport Book: Pay 115 USD (Application fee: 80 USD + Execution fee: 35 USD).
  • For Minor Passport Card: Pay 50 USD (Application fee: 15 USD + Execution fee: 35 USD).
  • For Minor Passport Book & Passport Card: Pay 130 USD (Application fee: 95 USD + Execution fee: 35 USD).

All minor applicants aged 15 or younger, including those who are a replacement for a previous passport, must apply at the passport application acceptance facility, Regional Passport Agency, or Embassy/Consulate of the United States in person.

Submit the completed DS-11 Form

After the payment of the application form, submit the fully completed SD-11 form along with all the required documents in the passport acceptance facility located near your house.

Track the status of the application

It takes up to six weeks to process applications sent to a passport office unless you request expedited service, in which case it could arrive in 2 or 3 weeks. You need to apply to a US passport agency for quicker service.

How long does the new child passport application take to process?

It can take between 4 and 6 weeks for the normal processing of a child’s passport application. This is an approximation, and it’s not accurate. Candidates who need to get a passport faster will apply for expedited service. You can get your child passport application to be processed within 2-3 weeks in expedite service. Those who need to get a new passport quickly should first arrange a visit to a regional US passport agency or use an express passport expediter service, in case visiting a regional passport agency is not a possibility.

How to apply for getting a passport for a child?

In the US and its territories, more than 7,000 passport application acceptance facilities are located. The overwhelming majority can be found in local post offices. A few decades ago, the U.S. Postal Service started providing these programs because of the large rise in American citizens applying for their passports. There were 15,556,216 passport books issued in 2015 alone via post offices. If you intend to enter this team for the first time to get your passport or need a new one since your last one was given more than 15 years ago, you can apply at a post office for a good change. There are a few tips below to ensure you get it done without a hitch.

  1. First Call the Post office: We also get correspondence from people who have visited a post office to request a new passport application only to find out that they need an appointment. Another explanation of why it is advised to call first is that the post office may have discontinued the service and will no longer accept passport application forms. The extremely high demand, sadly, has made it almost difficult to keep up with acceptance facilities. Furthermore, from an 8,400-passport acceptance facility, the number of facilities has decreased dramatically. We suggest that you look for a walk-in passport office near you, given this situation.
  2. Wisely Choose Your Time: For applicants who live in large cities and expect to visit a very busy post office, this tip is particularly relevant. Getting an appointment does not guarantee that at that precise moment, you will be present. Maybe you’ll still have to wait in line. For this mission, be sure to arrange ample time in your day. Select a time when there is less traffic, if possible. For advice, contact the nearest facility.
  3. Double-check your files: Arriving at the post office and waiting for your turn can be frustrating while being told that there is an issue with the application form, one of your supporting documents, or the passport photo. Make sure that the latest passport requirements are checked and ensure that your passport photo meets the requirements. Unacceptable photos are one of the main reasons for the delay in passport applications.
  4. Additional: Take your passport-sized photo in the post office: Not every post office provides this service, but many do. Ask if there is an on-site passport picture service available at the post office you intend to apply. If they do, you can save yourself a trip to get them taken to some other place.

How long does it take to process the child’s passport application form at the post office?

It is estimated that normal processing takes 4-6 weeks. Expect to wait 6 weeks during peak travel times, or even more. Demand is very high from January through the summer months. The total time to get a passport will dramatically increase, particularly if there are any issues with your application form or supporting documentation. You may order expedited service at the post office where you are applying to ensure quick processing of your passport application. Although there is an extra fee of USD 60, the processing time will decrease to 2-3 weeks. Even for overnight delivery of your new passport, you can add an extra fee to your passport application bill.

You will have to bypass the post office and make an appointment at the nearest regional agency if you need a passport more quickly. If there is no time for you to visit a regional agency, or the nearest one is too far away, what can you do? Through a registered passport expediter, you may apply.

May I post my child’s application in the mail?

No, Applicants under the age of 16 are not entitled to mail their passport applications.

Do I need to make an appointment at an acceptance facility to apply?

Some acceptance facilities need appointments, and others don’t. To check their hours, appropriate forms of payment, and appointment criteria, we suggest calling the acceptance facility in advance.

How am I going to be given the completed passport book and/or passport card?

It is recommendable to add your name to the “In Care Of” part of the Mailing Address section on Form DS-11 when completing your child’s passport application.

  • Only Passport Book: In two different mailings, you may obtain your newly issued passport and your citizenship papers. Please contact the NPIC (National Passport Information Center) If within 10 business days of receiving the first, you do not receive a second mailing. Your passport book will be shipped by the passport office via a 1-2-day delivery service.
  • Only Passport Card: In two different mailings, you may obtain your newly issued passport and your citizenship papers. Please contact the NPIC if you don’t receive a second mailing within 10 days after receiving the first one. The passport department will only send a card via First class mail.
  • Both Passport Card and Book: Three separate mailings may be sent to you, one with your citizenship papers, one with your newly issued passport book, and one with your newly issued passport card. Please contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) if the second or third mail is not received within 10 days after the first.

Our address was transformed. How do I update the same in the application of my child?

If you have changed the mailing address you given on the application for your child and you are waiting for his or her U.S. passport book, passport card, or return of proof of citizenship papers, please contact the U.S. NPIC. If your address is updated after you have obtained your child’s passport, you do not need to contact the NPIC.

May I pay for my passport and that of my child with one payment?

Families should write a single check or money order to the US State Department for their passport processing fees if they are applying at the same time in person. The check or money order must include each applicant’s name and date of birth. All other candidates must apply to the United States individual checks or money orders. Please add the name and date of birth of the applicant in the check or money order.

What if there are different last names for my child and me?

As long as your full name is listed in the parental relationship document, you and your child may have different last names. Please submit evidence of your legal name change (e.g., marriage certificate or court order) if your name has changed from that on the parental relationship document.

What is CPIAP (Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program) for children under 18?

In the Children’s Passport Issuance Warning Program (CPIAP), one of the most critical instruments of the Department of State for preventing foreign parental child abduction, parents can enroll their U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 in this program. If a passport application for a child who is enrolled in CPIAP is submitted, the US passport office will attempt to notify the parent(s) to check if they are authorizing the issuance of passports.

On my child’s U.S. birth certificate, it specifies that making a copy is illegal; what am I supposed to do?

You may provide a second certified copy of the birth certificate for your child’s application if you choose not to submit a photocopy. For the records, the US passport office will keep this second certified copy.

What is the procedure of getting a passport for a child of age 16 and 17?

Using Form DS-11, most applicants aged 16-17 must apply in person at the passport application acceptance facility near your area. You can use Form DS-82 if you are eligible for a Passport Renewal by Mail. For applicants aged 16 and older, passports are valid for 10 years.

When will be the type DS-82 form used by a 16-17-year old?

You might use FormDS-82 to renew your passport if you had already had a full-validity (10-year) passport issued to you when you were 16 years of age or older. Refer to Renewing a Passport by Mail Blog to see whether you are eligible to apply using Form DS-82.

How do you apply for a passport for children outside of America?

Applying outside the United States for a U.S. passport is different from applying within the United States. There are different processes for each U.S. embassy and consulate to send and process the final documents. In most countries, for all passport facilities, you must apply in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate. You may be able to use certain services by mail in a limited number of countries. For more details, search the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate.

May I call the National Passport Information Centre’s toll-free number from outside the United States for any passport application related question?

Oh, no. Please visit your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate website for information if you have questions while you are outside the United States.

Will the permanent address be the same on the application as the mailing address?

It might be it. If you live outside the US indefinitely, so it will be the same. Mailing services may or may not be provided by your U.S. embassy or consulate. Put your current address as your mailing address and your U.S. address as your permanent address if you are temporarily residing or traveling outside of the United States.

Does anybody in the United States have to be my ‘Emergency Contact’?

Oh, no. Especially if you live permanently outside the United States, your emergency contact does not have to be anyone in the United States. Note: The online Form Filler does not allow you to enter an address outside of the United States of America. Please leave this field blank if your emergency contact lives outside the United States.

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