How to Apply for a Newborn Passport

All family members need passports when traveling abroad.
All family members need passports when traveling abroad. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A good preparation is half the work when planning on traveling abroad with your newborn baby. Regardless of your baby's age, he still needs a passport to cross the border. Applying for your baby's passport has to be done in person and requires you to provide various documents. Unless you are willing to pay extra for the expedited processing service, which gets your baby a passport in approximately three weeks, you will have to wait four to six weeks to receive your baby's passport.

Find and complete the passport application form, also referred to as form DS-11, on the website of the U.S. Department of State. Fill out all the requested information but refrain from signing the form because this has to be done in front of the acceptance agent.

Use the search feature on the website of the U.S. Department of State to find your nearest acceptance facility. Enter your zip code and the distance you wish to search. You can also submit your application at a passport agency or at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Go to the acceptance agency. Both parents or guardians and the newborn have to be present when submitting the application. If you have sole custody of the baby you have to present proof of this. Proof of sole custody can be a birth certificate with only your name on it as the parent, a court order or death certificate of the other parent.

Submit your baby's certified birth certificate as proof of his U.S. citizenship together with the application. The birth certificate will also serve as proof that you are the parents or guardians of the child.

Show your identification and submit photocopies of your ID. Both parents or guardians have to identify themselves by showing a valid form of identification such as a driver's license, naturalization certificate or U.S. passport. Photocopies of your identification will be required.

Hand over one passport photo of your baby. On the photo your baby face has to be clearly visible and free of shadows. The background has to be white or off-white. Lay your baby down on a sheet or sit him up in a car seat covered with a white sheet. To avoid bringing an incorrect photo, have a professional passport photographer take the photo.

Sign the application when instructed by the acceptance agent. Both parents or guardians have to sign the application.

Pay the passport and processing fee. As of May 2011, the application fee for a newborn passport is $80 and the processing fee is $25.

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