Children Under Age 16

Requirements


All applicants, including children, must appear in person. U.S. passport applications for children under age 16 require both parents’ signatures as provided by public law 106-113, section 236 effective July 2, 2001.
Picnics 2008

Both Parents

Present


Both parents or a child's legal guardian must:
  • Present evidence of child’s U.S. citizenship
  • Present evidence that they are the parents or guardian (i.e., certified U.S. birth certificate including parents’ names)
  • Show valid personal identification
  • Sign and take an oath before an authorized passport acceptance agent

One Parent Present


If the second parent is not available to sign, the appearing parent must submit evidence that he/she has one of the following:
  • Sole legal custody of the child
  • Notarized written consent of the absent parent for the issuance of the passport. This must include a photo copy of front and back of absent Parent's ID.
  • The Birth Certificate of the child that only lists the applying parent.

No Parents Present


If no parent is available to sign, the third-party representing the parents must:
  • Appear with a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or custodial parent(s) authorizing the third-party to apply for the passport. A copy of both parent’s IDs must be included with the affidavit.
  • When the statement or affidavit is from only one parent, the third-party must present evidence of sole custody of the authorizing parent
The law requires that all applications be signed under oath under penalty of perjury.

For more information contact the Office of Children’s Issues at:
  • Ph: (202) 736-7000
  • Fax: (202) 312-9743

The most efficient way to apply for a child under age 16 is to


  1. Present the required documentation
  2. For both parents to appear at the time of application
  3. If only one parent can apply, that applying parent/guardian has the additional documentation required for a single-signature application at the time of application

For questions

  • Call the National Passport Information Center, toll free, at (877) 487-2778
  • Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs at travel.state.gov
  1. For children under age 16, citizenship, relationship, and identification documentation are required

    Born in the United States Born Outside the United States
    • Certified U.S. birth certificate
    • Previous fully valid U.S. passport
    • Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240)
    • previous fully valid U.S. passport
    • Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization from INS
    • Certificate of Birth Aboard (Form DS-1350)
    • or other evidence for first-time documentation
  2. Evidence of child’s relationship to parents/guardian (one of the following):

    Born in the United States Born Outside the United States
    • Certified U. S. birth certificate including parent(s)’ names
    • Certified foreign birth certificate including parent(s)’ names
    • Report of birth abroad (Form) FS-240
    • Certification of birth abroad with parent(s)’ names (Form DS-1350)

    • adoption decree including adopting parent(s)’ names
    • court order establishing custody
    • court order establishing guardianship and authority to apply for passport
  3. Parental identification (such as one of the following)

    • Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship from INS with recognizable photo
    • Permanent Resident Alien identification from INS
    • Valid driver’s license
    • Valid government (Federal, State, local) employee ID
    • Valid official U.S. military ID
    • Valid U.S. or foreign passport with recognizable photo
  4. Parental Application Permission: Appearance and Signature Documentation Required

    1. Both parents appear together and sign
      Or
    2. One parent appears, signs, and submits second parent’s written statement consenting to passport issuance for child (consent form/statement must be notarized)
      Or
    3. One parent appears, signs, and submits primary evidence of sole authority to apply, such as one of the following
      • Adoption decree (listing only the applying parent)
      • Child’s certified U.S. or foreign birth certificate listing only applying parent
      • Court order granting sole custody (unless child’s travel is restricted by that order)
      • Court order specifically permitting applying parent’s or guardian’s travel with the child
      • Judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent
      • Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (DS-1350) listing only one parent.
    4. One parent appears, signs, and submits a written statement explaining why non-applying parent’s consent cannot be obtained
    5. Third-party in loco parentis appears with notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or custodial parent(s) authorizing the third-party to apply for passport. When the notarized statement or affidavit is from only one parent, the third-party must present evidence of sole custody of the authorizing parent.

Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) Separate from the two-parent signature requirement of U.S. passport issuance, parents may also request that their children’s names be entered in the U.S. Passport name-check system. The Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program provides:
  • Denial of passport issuance if appropriate court orders are on file with the CPIAP
  • Notification to parents of passport applications made on behalf of their minor children

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