Discover how to easily understand the process of applying for a child passport and the 2012 requirements. In-depth travel guide and FAQ from other travelers along with child passport application instructions for children 15 years old or younger.
It's important to know that a minor passport is not renewable and will expire in five years. If your child is 15 years old or younger and has an expired passport, then you will have to apply again as if it was the first time.
Follow along below for a step by step guide on all of the requirements that have to be fulfilled. After reading the child passport guide, check the frequently asked question FAQ section if you have questions about the process.
Get Your Child Passport Application Here
Click here to get started with the online application. You will be able to fill out the application through the website of the US Dept. of State. Be sure to check the disclaimer approval box there before proceeding through the steps.
It should only take you a few minutes to complete the application as it is pretty straight forward. You will be able to securely fill in personal information including date of birth and social security number.
The next step will ask whether you would like regular processing or if you need it expedited. Read the requirements section below to know more about quickly expediting a child passport.
Once you get to the last step, it can be confusing for some people. You are presented with different options towards the top of the page but you will need to scroll down. On the bottom left, check the acceptance box and then click the "Create Form" button. Once the form has been created, print it out immediately before losing your work.
2012 Minor Passport Requirements
I wish I could tell you otherwise but unfortunately applying for a child passport can be a bit of a hassle. But if you take it one step at a time it isn't too bad. Print out this page if needed to double check to make sure you have all the requirements.
A passport-style photograph is required and you can have it done at the post office. You will need to be at the post office to have the application package reviewed anyway so you can take care of this at the same time.
The applying parent will need to submit a copy of their driver's license along with the rest of the documents.
You can disregard this step if both parents are present while the application is being reviewed. If one of the parents will not be available then that parent will need to fill out the ds-3053 statement of consent. That will be available to you while you are filling out the child application form above.
Also while filling out the online application, you will be presented with more options if neither parent is available. Or if one parent cannot sign the ds-3053, there is a list of alternatives available there.
If your child was born in the US, you will need to include the original or certified birth certificate. You will receive it back when you get the passport. If your child was not born in the US, you will need to submit an original document that shows proof of citizenship.
The regular processing fee is $80 and you can pay with your personal check payable to the US Department of State. There is also a $25 execution fee that you can pay while at the post office.
If you are in a hurry to get the child passport, you have the option of paying $140 instead of $80. This will ensure you receive the passport within 2-3 weeks. If you need it faster then that, inquire with the passport expedite services listed below so they can help you out.
Last but not least, you will have to take everything listed above to your local post office. An acceptance agent will look over all the documents to make sure they are accurate. You will then sign the application there before they seal the application package.
Travel Passport Expedite Services
There are numerous passport expedite services available. Take some time to read reviews to make sure you are hiring a reputable company to handle your travel documents.
I recommend FastPort Passport Service. Since 2003 Fastport has provided online passport expedite service. They are a registered courier service with the U.S. Department of State, foreign consulates and embassies which enables them to secure passports and visas for U.S. citizens nationwide as needed.
If my child turns 16, does that mean the passport needs to be replaced? No that is not the case. It can be a bit confusing but as long as the child passport has not expired then it is still valid. Even if the holder is now 16 years or older.
Can I apply for my child if the other parent refuses to sign the ds-3053? Yes you can BUT the solution depends on your exact situation. It is best to contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to ask them on the exact procedure for your circumstances.
International Travel Reviews
I highly recommend TripAdvisor to seek out travel reviews after reading the reviews of past travelers here.
There are quite a few websites out there that have extensive listings of fun, well-received tours. But after spending time on all of them, I would have to say that Viator is tops.
Viator.com has an amazingly wide range of travel adventure tours all over the world. It's quite staggering to discover how many highly rated tours are available there.
International Flight Comparisons
After applying for your child passport and planning out your upcoming thrilling vacation, comparing flights can be a daunting task. But if you keep the following in mind, it is actually quite easy finding the right airline.
If you are traveling internationally, most likely you will be on a long flight. So even though you are going to want to compare prices, also take into consideration the total time between departure and destination. Especially if you have to stop to transfer. It can be pretty frustrating having to wait around to start your vacation.