Traveling with your family can be an exciting adventure. However, before embarking on an international trip with your children, it’s crucial to obtain a valid passport for them. The process may seem daunting, but with some knowledge and preparation, you can efficiently apply for a passport for your minor child.
Step 1: Gather Required Documents
To apply for a minor’s passport, you’ll need the following documents:
- Proof of citizenship, such as a certified birth certificate or a previous U.S. passport
- Proof of identity for the parent(s), such as a valid driver’s license, passport, or ID card
- Passport photo of the child meeting the U.S. Department of State’s photo requirements
- Social Security number of the minor child
Step 2: Complete Form DS-11
Obtain and complete Form DS-11 provided by the U.S. Department of State. Ensure that you fill out the form accurately, providing information about the child and the parent(s) or guardian(s).
Step 3: Both Parents’ Consent
Parents or legal guardians must provide consent for a minor’s passport application by either:
- Appearing in person with the child at a passport acceptance facility or
- Submitting a notarized Form DS-3053 (Statement of Consent) if one parent is absent.
Additionally, you must submit evidence of your relationship to the minor, such as a certified birth certificate, adoption decree, or court order.
Step 4: Submit the Application and Pay the Fees
Locate a passport acceptance facility near you, such as a post office, courthouse, or specialized passport agency, and make an appointment if necessary.
Bring the accomplished DS-11 form, required documents, and a check or money order to pay the passport application fees. As of May 2021, passport fees for minors under 16 years old are $130 for a passport book, $40 for a passport card, and $170 for both book and card.
Step 5: Wait and Receive the Passport
Typically, it takes 6-8 weeks for your child’s passport to be processed and mailed to you. Expedited services are available for an additional fee, shortening the waiting time to 2-3 weeks. If you need your child’s passport urgently, check if you are eligible for an appointment at a passport agency or center.
Remember, a minor’s passport is only valid for five years, so ensure that you renew your child’s passport periodically to avoid any travel hiccups. If you need professional assistance, seeking help from a trusted passport agency in Atlanta can make the process a breeze.
Applying for a minor’s passport requires patience and preparation, but the process is fairly straightforward. Gather all required documents, complete the DS-11 form, provide consent from both parents or legal guardians, submit the application and fees at a passport acceptance facility, and wait for your child’s passport to arrive in the mail. Additionally, by knowing how often I have to renew my passport and the steps required, you can help ensure a safe, stress-free international travel experience.