If you have a child under the age of 16 that needs a passport, some of the rules have changed in the past few years. Here is the step by step instruction for filing for a passport for a minor child who is under 16:
DS 11 Form Completion
The first step for anyone, including children under 16 is to fill out a Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport. Be sure not to sign it until you show the completed form to the passport office acceptance agent. The child, plus both of the child’s parents or guardians have to come to the passport office to turn in the application.
Provide U.S. Citizenship Evidence
When you turn in the application for a passport, you must also provide proof of U.S. citizenship for the child. You will get all of your documents returned along with the issued passport. Documents need to have a raised seal.
You can use any of these documents to prove citizenship:
- Previously issued passport
- Certified birth certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Certification of Birth
- Naturalization Certificate
- Certificate of Citizenship
If for some reason your child doesn’t have one of the above documents, then he/she can turn in secondary evidence of U.S. citizenship. These will include:
Evidence of relationship includes items such as: an adoption degree, or a court order that establishes custody or guardianship. These items must have the names of both parents or guardians on them. If any of these documents are not in English, they must be accompanied by a translation into English.
Parent’s or Guardian’s Documents
Both of the child’s parents or guardians also must show proper identification. This can be one of the following documents:
- Previously issued passport
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Valid Driver’s License
- Valid Government ID Card
- Valid Military ID Card
Be sure to have two examples of ID if you are applying in a different state than shows on your identification. These must be presented along with the child’s documents. If you have to apply for more than one child, you are allowed to make copies of the parent’s documents.
Rules for copies include:
- Be on plain, white 8 and a half by 11 inch regular paper with one image on a side only
- Show both sides of your identification cards
- No marks can be on the copy
- The actual image on the copied page can be larger than it actually is if desired.
Consent is needed by both parents or guardians
Both parents or guardians have to agree to the child being issued a passport. They have to sign any applications in front of the passport office acceptance agent. If this is no possible, a notarized statement of consent has to be supplied by the absent parent or guardian (Form DS-3053).
If only one parent has legal custody, then they must show the documentation to prove it before they will be allowed to get the child a passport. This can be one of these documents:
- Child’s certified birth certificate listing only the one parent.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad listing only the one parent.
- Court order showing sole custody that shows no travel restrictions
- Adoption degree showing sole parent.
- Court order saying child is allowed by the absent parent to travel abroad.
- Court order of declaration of incompetence regarding the other parent.
- Death certificate of absent parent.
All of these must be three months old or less or a new document is needed to apply for the child’s passport.
Fee and Photos
One photo of the child must be supplied with the application. The photo must meet passport requirements. You must also pay the appropriate and current passport fee.
All in all, these are the basic steps to get a passport for a minor under the age of 16 years old. For more information, go to: www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.