details on how to get a US passport for a minor
- Your —unsigned until asked to— Passport Application, Form DS-11
- A proof of US citizenship
- Evidence of child's relationship to parents or guardians
- Parental identification
- Parental permission (if not traveling with both parents)
- Two passport photos
- The application fee
- Your Social Security Number
How to get the Application for Passport Form DS-11
Download your Passport Application, Form DS-11 here or at any Passport Acceptance Facility. Fill it in but do not sign it until requested by the representative of the passport agency.
How to prove your citizenship
For his US passport application, a minor can prove his citizenship with:
- a certified US birth certificate
- a fully valid passport
- a Consular Report of Birth (Form FS-240)
- a Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350)
- a certificate of citizenship or naturalization
NOTE: A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, Impressed or multicolored seal, registrar's signature, and the Date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth.
If the birth was registered after, the above-mentioned documents may be acceptable for the application for a US passport if it:
- list the documentation used to create the record; and,
either of the following:
- the attending physician or midwife signs it
- it lists an affidavit signed by the parents
- it shows early public records.
If he does not have any of those documents available, you will be able to prove his citizenship with:
- a Certificate of No Record by the Office of Vital Statistics, indicating the name, date of birth and years in which a search was conducted and no birth record was found; and,
as many of the following documents as you can bring:
- Baptismal certificate
- Hospital birth certificate
- Census record
- Early school record
- Family bible record
- Doctor's record of post-natal care
How to evidence the child's relationship to his parents or guardians
For his US passport application, a minor can prove his relationship to his parents or guardians with:
- the child's certified US birth certificate with the names of his parents
- a certified foreign birth certificate with the names of his parents (translated, if necessary)
- a Consular Report of Birth (Form FS-240) with the names of his parents
- a Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350) with the names of his parents
- his adoption decree (translated, if necessary)
- a Court Order establishing custody
- Court Order establishing Guardianship
Take into account that if the parents' or guardians' names have changed since the issuance of one of the above-mentioned documents, proofs of those legal name changes have to be submitted.
How to prove parental identity
Each parent must prove his or her identity showing either of the following documents:
- A valid driver's license
- A valid government ID
- A valid US military ID
- A valid US or Foreign Passport with a recognizable photo
- His naturalization or citizenship certificate from USCIS with a recognizable photo
- His alien resident card from USCIS
If you do not have any of the above-mentioned documents available, each parent will need to file a set of signed documents and to ask any American citizen or permanent resident with a valid ID to vouch for him or her, filling in a form DS-71 before the representative of the passport agency. You must know this person for at least 2 years.
If both parents do not appear together to sign the application, one of them must appear to sign and then provide a notarized statement from the second parent expressing his or her consent to the issuance of a US passport to the name of his child. The parent can do this either with:
- a notarized Form DS-3053; or,
- a notarized written statement with the same information from the non-appearing parent.
If only one of the parents is to sign, he or she may prove his or her parental exclusiveness with either of the following documents:
- The child's certified US or foreign birth certificate (translated, if necessary) listing the only one parent
- The Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth Abroad listing only one parent
- A court order granting the parent sole custody over the child (unless travel is restricted by that order)
- An adoption decree (if the applying parent is the sole adopting parent)
- A court order, specifically authorizing the applying parent or guardian to travel with the child
- A judicial declaration of incompetence of the other parent
- The death certificate of the non-applying parent
If none of the above documents is available, the applying parent or guardian must submit a Form DS-3053, authorizing the issuance of a US passport to a minor.
In addition, if a third party in is processing the US passport application on behalf of a minor or his parents, this third party must file a notarized affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing him to apply for a US passport for their minor on their behalf. If the statement or affidavit is from a sole parent or guardian, the third-party must also present evidence of the parent's or guardian's sole custody over the child.
In order to be valid for the US passport, the passport photos must:
- 2 x 2 inches size, color, identical passport photos
- taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- not more than six months old
- showing a front view of your current appearance
- between 1 and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
- wearing casual clothes
- wearing no hats, no dark sunglasses, no colored-contact lenses, no head gears covering your hair or hairline and no uniforms, except for your daily religious attire (if applicable)
- showing your normal prescription glasses, hearing device or other (if applicable)
For a minor, the application fee is $52 and the execution fee is $30. This includes a $12.00 Security Surcharge. Both fees and the surcharge ($82) are combined into one payment to the "U.S. Department of State".
To pay the passport services, you can use either a credit/debit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), checks (personal, certified, cashiers', travelers'), money orders (US Postal, international, currency exchange) or a bank draft. The payment can be made in any of the government's passport agencies or acceptance facility.
If you are requesting an Expedited Service, please add $60 per application.
Funds are not refundable.
Providing your Social Security Number (SSN) is mandatory for these procedures. A $500 penalty may be imposed to you if you do not comply. Please, call your nearest Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office for further information.
These documents must be early public records showing the date and place of birth, preferably created within the first five years of your life.
You may also submit an Affidavit of Birth, form DS-10A, from an older blood relative, i.e., a parent, aunt, uncle, sibling, who has personal knowledge of your birth. It must be notarized or have the seal and signature of the acceptance agent.
The following are NOT proof of citizenship:
- Voter registration cards
- Army discharge papers
If you travel extensively, you may request a larger, 48-page passport at no additional cost. To do so, please attach a signed request for a 48-page passport to your application.
Your Social Security Card does NOT prove your identity.
Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable.
If you choose to submit digitized photos, they must meet the same requirements.