It’s common sense that a valid passport is needed for adults to travel internationally. What about babies, though? Well, the rules don’t cut our little sweethearts any slack: they also need their own passport!
How can you get a passport for your newborn? Here we’ll explain the steps and tips to make sure you successfully apply for a passport for your child.
Complete the DS-11 form
Yes, you’re gonna need to fill out the same form that an adult uses to apply for their first passport. Your baby won’t need to fill out the form themselves, obviously, but the baby will need to be present when you submit the application form.
Provide all the baby’s personal data and supporting documents as required in DS-11.
Don’t sign the form before instructed!required in the form
Provide proof of citizenship
While it seems obvious to you that your baby is born as a US citizen, you’ll still need to show proof of their citizenship when applying.
These are the documents accepted to be proof of the baby’s US citizenship:
- Official birth certificate, issued by the appropriate authorities, with the registrar’s seal.
- If your baby was born abroad, a consular report of their birth.
Provide proof of relationship with the child
Unfortunately, the fact that your child is comfortably snuggled in your arms in a way only babies in their own parent’s embrace can, does not constitute official proof that you’re the parent of your child. We get your frustration!
But if all your baby’s documents are in order, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Usually, a birth certificate in which both parents’ names are written is enough to prove this relationship. If your child was born abroad, their foreign birth certificate combined with the consular report with the parents’ names are enough.
If your baby is adopted, then you will need to provide the adoption decree. If you’re a guardian, provide the court order that shows this status.
If you hold custody of this baby, a court order serves as proof of this status. If you’re the sole custodian, the court order has to confirm this specific status, or you could get the other parent to sign a form DS-3053 to explain the circumstances. If you’ve changed your name after the split, you will need to show proof of the change, such as a marriage certificate. An old passport does not constitute valid proof for a name change due to divorce.
You will need to show official identification documents to apply for your newborn’s passport. This can be your valid passport, driver’s license, certification of naturalization, military, or government ID.
You will also need to provide a copy (or copies) of the identification document you present. If you’re applying for more than one passport (that is, for more than one child), then you’ll need to attach a copy of your ID with each application.
The copy has to be on one side of a standard letter-sized paper (don’t use both sides of the paper). You may increase the copy’s size to fill the paper and increase legibility, but downsizing the copy is not allowed.
How many of you are coming to apply?
If both parents are coming to submit and sign the document, skip this part. Otherwise, read on!
If only one parent comes
Besides being present with your baby, you’ll need to sign the form in front of the agent and show the form DS-3053 from your partner as proof that they consent to this application.
Applying through a third party
The third-party applicant has to prove that they’re here to represent the parents. So they will have to show a notarized statement or affidavit that proves authorization from the parents to apply for the passport. If only one parent is in the picture, there must be official proof of this status along with the affidavit.
If you hold sole custody of the baby
The requirements are practically the same as the case above, where only one parent comes even though both are in the picture. Except you will need to provide documents to explain why this is the case.
We have no doubt that pictures of your baby doing silly things are truly adorable and priceless. Sadly, the passport office doesn’t grant passports based on adorableness!
You’re going to have to take pictures of your baby according to the requirements, with the baby looking proper and all. This might be the trickiest part of all, so good luck!
Pay the fee
It costs $100 to apply for a passport book for the baby, $15 for a passport card, and $115 for both. The execution (acceptance) fee for all is $35. Application and execution fees are paid separately.
It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for the office to process your application. It is possible to expedite this process by paying a $60 fee.