The passport application for minors is a bit different than it is for adults, so if you have upcoming travel, you’ll want to understand the process.
With summer coming up, you and your family are probably making plans for a great vacation. Whether you’re hoping to hop down to Mexico for some family time on the beach or want to head across the pond for a European getaway, make sure that your kids have all the travel documents they will need to get wherever you’re going this summer.
The passport application for minors is a bit different than it is for adults. If you have kids under the age of 16, you’ll have to be present with them at their passport application to confirm their identity. Their original birth certificate will be necessary in order to confirm the identity of your child, and you will also have to present in order to show that you are aware that your child is receiving a passport. Ideally, both parents should be present to make the whole process easier, but if only one parent can be present, the non-appearing parent can provide a notarized consent form (please see swiftpassportservices.com for details).
Parental awareness is usually not very difficult to prove, but it’s an important part of the child passport application process. Unfortunately, the US State Department needs to worry about children being abducted by one of their parents and taken to a foreign country to live. This happens hundreds of times every year, and confirming parental awareness is an important step in the prevention process.
Technically, if your child is 16 or 17 years old and has their own form of identification like a driver’s license, he or she can apply for a passport themselves. However, your child will still need to show that one or both parents is aware of his or her application. The easiest way to do this is to have one parent come with the young adult to submit the application, and to co-sign the application. Other ways to prove parental awareness include listing a parent as the emergency contact on an application, using a parent’s check to pay for the passport fees, or bringing a signed statement of consent to include in the passport application.
Remember that even if you obtained passports for your children at some point in their lives, a child passport is only good for five years, not ten. Before taking any international trip, be sure to check that your child’s passport is valid for at least six months past your travel dates to any country. It’s also important to keep in mind that your child will need a valid passport to visit either Canada or Mexico.
Contact Swift Passport Services today to ask any questions you may have about child passports. We can help you complete the application and ensure that your children obtain their travel documents well before the summer begins.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.