Does child need to be present for passport application

Does child need to be present for passport application? Based on the current IS Federal law for passport applications, all children applying for a passport with the help of their parents or guardians must appear before the passport officer to obtain a passport. 

Not only that, they must be in the company of both parents or guardians unless this is impossible for one reason or another. If one of the parents is absent, the parent who is present must present a declaration of consent on their behalf or a death certificate in the case of their demise.

Child Passport Validity and Renewals

Child passports are valid for 5 years but cannot be renewed. The State Department does not allow for the renewal of child passports for one main reason. When renewing a passport, the applicant doesn’t necessarily have to be present at the passport office since they can send their documents to the agency for processing along with the DS-82 form.

Since the Department of State insists that children must be present for any passport application, applying for a renewal of an existing passport in absentia is not allowed. So, therefore, all passport applications for children are for fresh ones with the DS-11 application form of the US government.


Documents For Child Passport

So what are the documents you must provide for a child's passport? Let’s have a look.

Form DS-11: This is the application form for all new passport applicants, which must be completed. As the parent, you may fill it out online using an online wizard or print it out in PDF format and fill it out by hand. The choice is yours, depending on the option you choose. Endeavor to fill out all the fields and leave no field empty. Furthermore, you must not sign the form unless the passport officer asks you to do so.

Citizenship Proof: The authorities want to be sure that you are a US citizen, so they will demand proof of citizenship document. You can use your birth certificate or naturalization certificate to prove your citizenship.

Proof of Parental Relationship: A birth certificate for parents and child can be used to prove that you and your spouse are indeed the parents.

Consent Form: A declaration of consent form is required if one of the parents will be absent for the application submission.

Proof of Custody: This is required for those who are guardians of the child in the absence of both parents.

Passport Photo: A recent passport photograph of the child.

Application Fee: There is an $80 application fee for processing the application and a $35 execution fee payable to the receiving passport agent.

Where To Submit A Child Passport Application?

There are two ways to submit a passport application for your child; you either submit it at a passport agency if you live within the US or at the US embassy in your host country if you live abroad.


Important points To Take Note Of

  • When completing the application form by hand, endeavor to fill out the space for Address Line 2 as “in care of” and then include your name or the name of the other parent, so the passport is not returned if the delivery service doesn’t recognize your child’s name.

  • Do not sign the application form until the passport agent instructs you to do so

  • If the child has been issued a Social Security Number, please provide it.

  • If they don’t have a Social Security Number, submit a signed statement with this phrase “I declare under the penalty of perjury that the following is correct that the child (include the name) does not have a Social Security Number.”

  • Do not staple the photo to the Child's passport application form. The receiving agent will do this.

Passport Booklet vs. Passport Card

So which one do you get for your child; a passport Booklet or a Card?

While you can apply for both, if you had to pick one, we recommend a passport booklet as it is accepted for air, sea, and land travel, while a card can only be used to cross the US-CANADIAN or US-Mexico border. A passport Booklet is better for trips abroad, but it costs more.


Processing Time

The processing time for a passport is 6-8 weeks, but it may take more time in special cases. If you have an emergency and need to make the trip with your child as soon as possible, you can file for an expedited service which can shorten the waiting time to 2 weeks or less. The two conditions under which an expedited service can be filed are urgent travel and life-or-death situations, and the service will cost you an extra $60.

Does child need to be present for passport application? Yes, they do for security vetting.

Apply for US Passport Child Online
Apply for US Passport Child online
This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.