How to Obtain a U.S. Passport for Children

How to Obtain a U.S. Passport for Children thumbnail
Even minors need passports to travel internationally.

Children, whether they are 15 or just a few months old, need a valid U.S. passport to travel internationally. Children’s passports are obtained much the same way as adults' — by filling out an application for them and sending the required documentation to the U.S. Department of State. When applying for a minor’s passport, identification is needed for both parents/guardians — or just one depending on custodial issues — as is a parent's signature on the application.


    • 1

      Complete the application for a U.S. passport, form DS-11. Do not sign the application until you have gathered all of the pertinent documentation required to apply for a minor’s passport and are at your local Passport Acceptance Facility submitting your child’s application.

    • 2

      Acquire proof of your child’s United States citizenship. The U.S. Department of State accepts birth certificates, consular reports of birth abroad, naturalization certificates and certificates of citizenship.

    • 3

      Gather proof of your relationship to your child. The U.S. Department of State considers birth certificates, reports of birth abroad, adoption decrees, court orders that establish custody and court orders that establish guardianship acceptable. The document you submit must list your name as the parent(s) of the minor applying for a passport.

    • 4

      Visit your local Passport Acceptance Facility to submit your child’s application, proof of citizenship, your proof of citizenship and two passport photos. Photos must meet all mandatory guidelines implemented by the U.S. Department of State.

    • 5

      Present the agent at the Passport Acceptance Facility with your identification. You may present a driver’s license, military or government ID, naturalization certificate, or current U.S. passport as proof of identity.

    • 6

      Sign your minor child’s passport application in the presence of the Passport Acceptance Facility agent. Pay the fee using whatever method of payment is accepted at your local Passport Acceptance Facility — all facilities are free to accept or decline any type of payment method they choose. As of 2011, the fee for a minor’s passport is $105 and the minor’s passport will arrive six to eight weeks after the application is submitted. For an additional $60, you can expedite the handling of the passport application and receive your child’s passport no later than three weeks after the date of submission.

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