How To Apply Passport For Child

See how to apply for a US passport for minors. This page provides the passport requirements for children under 16 years old. Please note, passports for children are only valid for 5 years. Any child under 16 who needs to get a passport must apply in person. The first step is to download Form DS-11 and fill it out.

Evidence to prove US Citizenship

You will need to submit one of the following documents as evidence of US citizenship for your child. The document must be an original or certified copy. Notarized or photocopies will not be accepted.

  • Fully-valid, undamaged US passport (may be expired)
  • US birth certificate that was issued by the city, county, or state of birth, lists applicant's full name, date of birth, and place of birth and lists the parent(s)' full names. It also needs to have the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth), have the registrar's signature and have the seal of the issuing authority
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Certificate of Citizenship

If you cannot submit one of the above acceptable documents for your child, then please review the Citizenship Evidence page for more details.

Photocopy of US Citizenship Evidence

You will also need to submit a photocopy of the front (and back, if there is printed information) of the US citizenship evidence you're submitting. Photocopies must be:

  • Legible
  • On white 8.5"x11" standard paper
  • Black and white
  • Single-sided

If you prefer not to submit a photocopy of your citizenship evidence, then you may submit a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, which they will keep for their records. If you don't submit a photocopy or a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, your passport processing could be delayed.

Provide proof of parental relationship

You must submit documentation that lists the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child applying for a passport. The following may be used to show parental relationship:

  • US birth certificate (also evidence of US citizenship)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (also evidence of US citizenship)
  • Foreign birth certificate
  • Adoption decree
  • Divorce/Custody decree

Please note, some documents, for example a US birth certificate, show both US citizenship and parental relationship. For these documents, you must provide the original or certified copies. They will not accept photocopies.

Provide photo Identification

The parents/guardians are required to provide one of the following IDs to the acceptance agent:

  • In-state, fully-valid driver's license
  • Valid or expired, undamaged, US passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  • Government employee ID (city, county, state or federal)
  • US military ID or military dependent ID
  • Valid foreign passport
  • Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular Identification, commonly used by a parent of a US citizen child applicant)

If you cannot present one of the IDs above, please review the photo identification page for more information. Please note, if you provide an out-of-state ID, you then must provide an additional ID.

Submit a photocopy of Identification

You will need to provide a photocopy of the front and back of each ID that you submit along with your application to the acceptance agent. The requirements are:

  • Photocopy must be on plain white, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper.
  • Photocopy cannot be double-sided
  • Do not decrease the image size (although you may enlarge it)

Show proof of parental consent

In order for a child to apply for a passport, both parents or guardians must authorize the issuance. The preferred way to do this is for both guardian or parent to go with the child to apply for the passport in person.

For the question, what if both parents/guardians cannot appear in person? Please review the information below. Please note, written authorization from the parent that cannot appear in person must be less than three months old.

  • If you have sole legal authority

    You are required to provide proof that you have sole legal authority. Examples include:

    • Complete court order granting you sole legal custody of the child, such as a divorce decree or other custody order
    • Complete court order specifically permitting you to apply for your child's passport (photocopy is acceptable)
      Certified copy of the child's birth certificate listing you as the only parent
    • Certified copy of an adoption decree listing you as the only parent
    • Certified copy of the judicial declaration of incompetence of the parent that cannot appear in person
    • Certified copy of the death certificate of the parent that cannot appear in person
  • If one parent is unable to appear

    If one parent/guardian cannot go with the child to apply for the passport, they can give permission by completing Form DS-3053, which is a statement of consent. You must submit the completed form with the child's passport application. The parent that cannot go with the child must:

    • Sign and date Form DS-3053 in the presence of a certified notary public, and
    • Submit a photocopy of the front and back side of the ID that they present to the notary public with Form DS-3053

    Please note, in some countries, a DS-3053 must be notarized at a US embassy or consulate and cannot be notarized by a local notary public.

  • If you cannot locate the other parent

    You must submit Form DS-5525 "Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances." They ask that you complete the form with as much detail as possible. They may ask for additional information (e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to protect against international parental child abduction.

  • If neither parent are able to appear

    For a third party to apply for the child's passport, a notarized statement from both parents or guardians will be required to give the third party permission to apply for that child. The notarized statement must have a photocopy of the parents or guardians identification. When the statement is from only one parent or guardian, the third party must present evidence of sole custody of the consenting parent or guardian.

Provide a passport photo

You are required to provide a photo to use for the child's passport application. Please note, they do not want you to attach the photo to the form before submitting it to the acceptance agent. Some passport acceptance facilities provide photo services for an additional fee. Below are some tips for taking photos of newborns and infants:

  • Lay the child on its back on a white blanket or sheet to ensure its head is supported without the aid of a hand
  • Alternatively, cover a car seat with a plain white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat
  • No other person should be in the photo
  • Though preferred, it is not required for the child to look directly at the camera

We recommend you review the passport photo requirements to make sure there are no delays in processing your child's passport application.

Child passport application fees

Below is a list of services for applying for a child's passport along with the cost associated with that service. Please note, the application fee and the execution fee are paid separately. For information on forms of payment and a full list of fees and services, please see a list of US passport service fees.

Product Form Application Fee Execution (Acceptance) Fee
Passport Book DS-11 $80 $35
Passport Card DS-11 $15 $35
Passport Book & Card DS-11 $95 $35

Submit passport application

If you are inside the US, then you and your child must submit your completed application, including citizenship evidence, photocopy of ID, photo, and fees, in person at a passport acceptance facility. If you are traveling soon, your child may be eligible to apply in person at a regional passport agency. To find out more, please review the getting a passport in a hurry page.

If you are applying from outside the US, then you will be required to contact your US Embassy and Consulate for how to submit your child's documents, since processes vary.

For any Special Circumstances

If any of the below categories apply to you, you may have additional requirements for your US passport application. Please click a link below that is relevant to you.