Child Passport Instructions
American children 15-years-old or younger must hold a US child’s passport in order to travel internationally. Parents or legal guardians must obtain a passport on behalf of a child. Every five years children must re-apply for a new child’s passport until they are old enough to obtain an adult passport.
Purchase Child Passport on PassportCenter.com
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Complete the Child Passport Application Forms
Parents or legal guardians must complete form DS-11 on the child’s behalf.
For emergencies and special circumstances, where one custodial parent/legal guardian is temporarily unavailable, form DS-5525 must also be included with the child’s passport application.
Form DS-11 (DS-5525, if applicable)
- Please print 2 copies of the DS-11 form. (print single-sided)
- Do Not sign form now
- Do Not mail form to the government passport office. FedEx it to us so that we can deal directly with the government to expedite your passport
- Note: If your child was issued a US passport in the past and cannot find it, in addition to the DS-11 Form you must complete form DS-64. After completing and printing this form, please close the window and return to the passport instructions.
Important: For the purposes of child safety, BOTH parents listed on the child’s birth certificate MUST provide a signature of consent and a copy of state ID. If the second parent has been absent and cannot be found, the primary parent must attain proof of sole custody of the child through a legal court order.
Follow Checklist of Required Items
Carefully review the list below to ensure that you have all the necessary documents.
- Form DS-11
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship (click here for list of examples)
- Proof of parents Identity (click here for list of examples)
- Proof of relationship to parents (click here for list of examples)
- Proof of Travel (click here for list of examples)
- One Passport Photo(click here for a sample picture)
- Government Fees/Payments; Check payable to "US Department of State" for $140 if applying for a Passport Book Only and $155 if applying for a Passport Book and a Passport Card.
- Authorization Letter
Important: Because you are applying for a passport on the behalf of a minor, there are several special circumstances that might arise where additional documentation is required.
- When one parent/legal guardian is not available at the time the passport is executed, a completed and notarized DS-3053 consent form must be included.
- Form DS-5525 must be included if one parent/legal guardian is unavailable and cannot sign consent form DS-3053 when applying for a child’s passport.
- If one parent has sole custody of a child they must provide legal documentation showing sole custody.
- If neither parent is able to appear, a third party may apply for a child‘s passport with a notarized statement from both parents/guardians giving that third party permission to apply for the child.
- If a child doesn‘t have a social security number, a signed and dated statement must be provided. The statement must say: “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."
Visit a Passport Acceptance Agent
After completing your passport application and collecting all the items from the checklist you must take it to a Passport Acceptance Agent (AA), who will review it and witness your signature. Passport Acceptance Agents are very common and easy to find in your area, they are usually located at US Post Offices or Courthouses.
Inform the Acceptance Agent that you are using an expediting service to "Hand Carry" your passport application to the government for processing.
The AA will then:
- Ask you to sign the DS-11 (DS-5525, if applicable).
- Add his/her signature to the DS-11.
- Check your ID.
- The agent will collect all of your supporting documents and seal them into an envelope with the signed DS-11 Form using an official seal or stamp.
Important: Make sure the (AA) returns the sealed envelope to you so that you can mail it directly to PassportCenter. Send the sealed envelope to PassportCenter as soon as it is sealed. The seal on the envelope expires after four business days.
Ship us your passport application package using FedEx
- Write applicant's first and last name, date of birth, and date of departure on the sealed envelope.
- Place the sealed envelope in a FedEx envelope or box.
- The second copies of your supporting documents and DS-11 form should be placed in the FedEx box/envelope alongside (but separate from) the sealed envelope. This allows us to review everything for accuracy before delivering your application for processing. Submitting error free documentation will eliminate delays.
- Ship the FedEx envelope to our office using the FedEx airbill provided by PassportCenter.
We’ll take it from here.