Obtaining a passport for your child can be somewhat confusing. The rules and steps that you need to follow are different from getting an adult passport, and it’s important that you’re familiar with these differences in order to avoid any complications down the road. To make the process a little easier for you and your family, we decided to put together a guide to help answer any questions you may have regarding obtaining a child passport.
Ready to get some clarity? Here’s everything you need to know about obtaining a child passport:
Do Both Parents Need to be Present For a Child Passport Application?
To get your child a passport, you will first need to fill out all of the required information and gather all the necessary documents listed on our website. You will then need to make an appointment to bring all of that information to a Passport Acceptance Agent.
One of the requirements the Passport Acceptance Agent will need in order to approve your child’s passport application is proof of consent from both parents. In most cases, the easiest way to satisfy this requirement is to have both parents present at the appointment with the Passport Acceptance Agent.
Can I Get a Child Passport With One Parent Absent?
If you have sole legal custody of the child and are appearing in front of a Passport Acceptance Agent, the other parent does not need to be present for the appointment, or give consent at all. It’s important to note that sole custody is different from full custody.
If you don’t have sole legal custody, your child can still get a passport if their other parent can’t be present for the appointment with the Passport Acceptance Agent, but you may need to take some additional steps.
Check out our guide on how to get a child passport with one parent absent for more details.
Does the Child Need to be Present For the Passport Application?
When you get to the step of seeing a Passport Acceptance Agent, you may be wondering if your child will need to be present for the appointment. The answer is yes. Your child must be present while visiting the Passport Acceptance Agent to obtain their passport. If your child is not present, you will not be able to get their passport.
Can a Child Get a Passport With Divorced Parents?
Yes! A child with divorced parents can absolutely get a passport.
The same rules for getting a passport for a minor apply regardless of the marital status of the child’s parents – whether the parents are divorced, separated, or were never legally married.
If a family is trying to obtain a child passport, but the parents are divorced, there are a few options available.
- If both parents CAN appear in front of the Passport Acceptance Agent…
- Gather all necessary documents, make an appointment with the Passport Acceptance Agent, and continue the process as usual.
- If both parents CAN’T appear in front of the Passport Acceptance Agent…
- If one parent appears and they have sole custody of the child, they can proceed with the process as usual.
- If one parent appears and they don’t have sole custody of the child, the appearing parent will need to provide a notarized DS-3053 from the non-appearing parent, and a photocopy of both sides of the non-appearing parent’s driver’s license or state ID.
If you have additional questions about obtaining a child passport as divorced parents, contact your local Passport Acceptance Agent for more information.
Can a Legal Guardian Get a Passport For a Child?
A legal guardian can get a passport for a child, as long as they can provide proof of parental relationship. Please note that no matter if you are a child’s biological parent or are their legal guardian, to get your child a passport, you’ll need to provide proof of parental relationship.
The following documents can be used to show proof of parental relationship:
- U.S. birth certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
- Foreign birth certificate
- Adoption decree
- Divorce/Custody decree
- Another court document showing legal custody of the child
How Can I Find a Passport Acceptance Agent Near Me?
Finding a Passport Acceptance Agent is very easy. There are many Passport Acceptance Agents located all over the United States, with many of them located at post offices, city clerks, county clerks, and even public libraries. To find a Passport Acceptance Agent near you, use the Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Child Passport?
Child passport processing times can vary based on the processing service you decide to go with. If you aren’t in a hurry to obtain a child passport, you can choose standard service and get the passport in approximately 10-12 weeks. If you need a child passport in a hurry, you can choose to expedite the process and obtain a child passport in about 7-10 business days. Please note that you will need to call us ahead of time if you want to expedite your child’s passport.
Where Can I Get the Passport Process Started For my Child?
If you plan on traveling internationally as a family and need to obtain a passport for your child, you can get the process started on the Swift website. The application process is simple to follow, and before you know it, your child will have their very own passport. If you have any questions about obtaining a passport for your child, please contact our team. We’d be happy to help! As always, no matter where you plan on going, we’ll get you there!