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09/04/2012

Passport Requirements & Services for Children


Passport Requirements & Services for Children

Traveling abroad with kids and teenagers can be complicated. While Passport Visas Express can process passports for both you and your children, here’s some handy information so you know what’s necessary.

When traveling by air, all minors under 18 require passports, but the process differs between those age 15 and under, and those age 16­ and 17. Please note that all original documents will be returned to you.

Fifteen and under

  • Your child must apply in person.
  • S/he must have one passport photo.
  • S/he must have one original document proving US citizenship:
    • Previous US passport;
    • Certified US birth certificate, as issued by state, county, or city; certified means a registrar signed and sealed certificate within the year of birth;
    • Consular report of birth abroad (applicable to child born to US parents abroad);
    • Naturalization certificate;
    • Citizenship certificate.
  • Original and a photocopyof parents’ or guardians’ ID:
    • Previous US passport;
    • Naturalization certificate;
    • Current driver’s license
    • Current government employee ID (federal, state, city)
    • Current military ID (for military and dependents)
      • Please note that you will need one photocopy per application; if you are applying for three children, you will need three copies.
        • Copies must be on white 8 ½ by 11” standard-weight paper;
        • You must copy the front and back of your ID;
        • These images must be on the same side of the page or on two separate pages;
        • Please do not mark or write on this page(s);
        • Images may be enlarged, but must not be shrunk.
  • You must provide parental or guardian’s consent:
    • Both parents must appear and sign the DS-11 form in front of appropriate staff (the assistance agent);
    • One parent must do as above, with a notarized statement of consent from the other parent (see form here);
    • One parent with sole legal custody must appear, sign the DS-11 form in front of appropriate staff (acceptance agent), and provide evidence of sole custody:
      • Your child’s US or foreign birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad, certification of birth abroad, or adoption decree that bears only your name as parent;
      • Court order that permits applying parent or guardian to travel with child;
      • Judicial declaration of incompetence of the non-applying parent;
      • Death certificate of non-applying parent.
    • A third-party entity must provide:
      • A written statement or affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing his/her presence.
        • This must be less than 3 months old.
        • If this is from one parent or guardian, evidence of sole custody is required as well (see “evidence of sole custody” above).
  • (NOTE: Children ages 16–17 do not require the following.) You must provide one original document proving relationship to guardian or parent:
    • US birth certificate with both parents’ names;
    • Foreign birth certificate with both parents’ names; this must be translated to English;
    • Report of birth abroad with both parents’ names (applicable to child born to US parents abroad);
    • Adoption decree with adopting parents’ names;
    • Court order of custody;
    • Court order of guardianship;
      • Please note that if a parent’s name was legally changed, evidence, such as a marriage certificate, must also be provided.

Sixteen or Seventeen
If your child is sixteen or seventeen years old, the requirements for a passport are essentially the same as an adult’s, which are posted here. However, some of the documents required for those fifteen and under apply here, too:

  • Your child must apply in person;
  • S/he must have one passport photo.
  • S/he must have one original document proving US citizenship (see above).
  • Parents or guardians must present original ID and photocopy (see above). s
  • Parents or guardians must provide consent (see above).
  • Your child must provide her/his own original ID and photocopy:
    • Previously issued US passport;
    • Naturalization certificate;
    • Current driver’s license;
    • Current military ID (dependents).
        • Copies must be on white 8 ½ by 11” standard-weight paper;
        • You must copy the front and back of your ID;
        • These images must be on the same side of the paper or on two separate pages;
        • Please do not mark or write on this page(s);
        • Images may be enlarged, but must not be shrunk.

When traveling by land or sea, requirements differ if you are traveling to Canada or Mexico. Children fifteen and under may present an original or copy of a birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad, or naturalization certificate, instead of a passport. This is due to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). 

These requirements are lengthy, but with more than 15 years of passport experience, Passport Visas Express is ready to assist in the application procedure for you and your children. Check out our website for all available services for visas and passports for your family. Spend your time planning and packing for your family vacation. Leave the legwork to us!




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