Applying for infant passports or a passport for kids is not uncommon with the number of families who travel now.
All passengers traveling by air internationally are required to carry their own passports – yes, even newborns and infants. Kids may be little, but they need their own passport.
All of our children have received passports as infants, and the process hasn’t been too painful. Here are the basic steps for getting a passport for kids.
How To Apply for a Passport for Kids
1. Fill out and submit the Application for a US Passport. Be sure you have other documentation required for the application. Also, be aware that the minor (under age 16) must apply in person with both parents/guardians.
2. Prove your US citizenship. This can be done with a passport, birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Naturalization Certificate, or Certificate of Citizenship.
3. Parents/Guardians have to submit evidence of their relationship to the minor. This can be done by presenting: a birth certificate or report of birth abroad with both parents’ names, or a court order proving custody/guardianship.
4. Parents must show ID. You must also have a photocopy of your proof of identification. This ID can be one of the following: a valid passport, valid driver’s license, or current government or military ID.
5. Both parents must provide consent for the minor to receive a passport. This requires parents/guardians to appear in person to an Acceptance Agent and to sign the Application for a US Passport there.
6. Pay the application fee. Check out this site for current fees.
7. Provide 2 identical passport photos. Be sure to read the photo guidelines carefully before submitting your photos with your application. If the photos aren’t acceptable, you will prolong the processing time.
8. Take the child, parents, application, photos, and other necessary documents to your nearest post office.
I recommend starting the application process well ahead of the time you plan to travel to alleviate the stress of waiting on a passport or incurring fees to change airline tickets.
This process will be a little bit different if you need your passport in a hurry. Contact your nearest passport agency if you need to expedite your passport process.
Another important thing to remember when submitting government applications is to read directions carefully and fill out the application legibly. You don’t want to be denied a passport simply because you carelessly wrote the application, or you forgot some important documentation.
Remember that a child’s US passport is only valid for 5 years. It is kind of funny traveling with my 3 year old whose passport shows him at 5 days old. Really, it looks like it could be any baby in that picture! I guess we’ll be renewing our passports for our kids every few years so we can keep doing the traveling we love to do.