The 411 on Child Passports 2022

It is difficult enough to travel with children. It can become overwhelming to plan your travels before you leave. We make it easy for you to understand obtaining a child passport. Is a passport necessary for international travel? Are children and minors required to have a passport? A passport is required for any citizen of the United States, regardless of age, who travels outside the United States via air. When a minor travels by sea or land to Canada or Mexico, confusion can occur. Minors may be allowed to travel to Canada or Mexico with their birth certificates. The U.S. Department of State advises that all international travelers have a valid passport. In an emergency, you won't be able to fly home if your passport book is not valid. These requirements are required to obtain a child passport.

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What are the Requirements to Obtain a Child Passport?

Passport Application

Fill out the passport application form DS11. It is possible to download the form in advance or get it at the passport office. You should not sign the application unless an Acceptance Agent asks you.

Social Security Card

A Social Security Number is required for passport applications. Please enter this information and bring your Social Security card (and a copy) to the passport office. To ensure that the passport office accepts your application, contact them in advance if you do not have one. You can enter any zeros in the passport application if your newborn baby does not have a social security number.

Birth Certificate

It is a good idea to rush your child's birth certificate if you plan to travel within the first few weeks after they are born. Talk to the staff at the hospital or your midwife (for home births) about how to do this. When you have received your birth certificate and are waiting for your copy, you should call the Registrar of Vital Statistics. They will issue birth certificates. The original birth certificate must be submitted with the raised seal. All original documents are returned along with the new child's passport.

Child Passport Photo

You must submit two identical photographs along with your application.

Make Your Copy

  • Keep both the originals and copies:
  • Birth Certificate for the Applicant (or Child)
  • Social Security Card
  • Photo ID of Mother (front and Back)
  • Father's photo ID (front and Back)
  • Additional documents are required for special circumstances (sole custody or Proof of Live Birth)

Minors Must Apply in Person

Do not leave your child behind! At the time of applying, they must be there. The acceptance agent will verify the identity of both the applicant and the guardians.

Both Parents

Both parents must be present when the application is made. If one parent is granted sole legal custody, they must show proof. This could be the birth certificate, a court order giving sole custody, or a photocopy of an official court order. There are parental consent forms that can be used if a guardian or parent cannot consent.

Processing Time for Child Passports

From the date of your application, it takes between 6-and 8 weeks for a passport to be issued. However, you can expedite the processing of your child's passports. RushMyPassport expedites child passport processing to ensure you don't miss your next trip.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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