Can you get a US passport for baby? Yes, you can, as long as you are an American citizen. One of the surest ways to get citizenship is through ones parent, so if you are a citizen of the United States, your child automatically becomes one and is entitled to a US passport should you want one for them. No age restriction is placed on passport acquisition, so even a few months-old babies can get a passport.
The only difference is that the parents will have to apply for a passport on their behalf.
When To Get A US Passport For a Baby
If you have an upcoming trip planned and would like to bring your baby along you need to get the child a passport; otherwise, you will not be allowed onboard with the child. Airlines companies demand a passport from all passengers coming aboard, including babies.
You may also need a passport if you plan to travel to a foreign country that requires visas from US nationals. To apply for a visa, you will need to submit your passport and that of your baby.
Unfortunately, many parents don’t see the need to apply for a passport for their child until there is a need to travel. Only then do they take it upon themselves to apply for one under duress, which will take several weeks before it is ready.
So the best time to apply for a passport for your baby is at any time in the child’s infancy, or if you suspect, you may have to travel out of the country with the child at any time.
How Long Does A Baby Passport Last?
A baby passport lasts five years, after which you must apply for a new one. Passports issued to individuals under 16 cannot be renewed based on US Law. So once your baby’s passport expires or is about to expire, it is best to apply for a new one with Form DS-11.
Rules Governing Passport Applications For Babies
While the application for an adult passport is quite straightforward, the same cannot be said for baby passports. To combat child trafficking, the Department of State places several strict rules regarding passport issuance to babies. Let us do a quick rundown of the rules.
Both Parents Must Be Present: Based on long-standing rules, both parents must be present during the passport application process, and they must provide proof of parental relationship, among other documentary proof. If one parent is absent for any reason, the parent who is present must explain the reasons for the other parent’s absence with evidence such as a declaration of consent signed by absent parents, a death certificate, or any other valid certificate, depending on the situation.
The Baby Must Be Present: No matter how little the child may be, both parents must present the child to the agency for the application. You can’t apply for a passport for a child in their absence.
Baby Passports cannot Be Renewed: Babies are classified as minors, and all children under the age of 16. If your baby once had a passport that has expired, you must apply for a new one as if they’ve never held a passport before instead of renewing it. Only passports belonging to adults can be renewed.
Passport By Mail is Not Allowed: Since the baby must be present at the facility for the application, a passport by mail is not allowed by the Department of State.
These are the major rules governing child passport applications. So before you start the application process for your baby, ensure that you are willing to meet these compliance guidelines.
How To Apply For A US Passport For Your Baby
You must book an appointment with the US embassy if you live abroad or with a passport acceptance facility of the Department of State if you live in the US. When going to the embassy or agency on the appointed day, ensure you go with your partner and the baby and bring the following original or certified copy of the following documents.
DS-11 application form – Proof of Citizenship – Parents ID Cards, Baby Passport Photo, Birth certificate, Application Fee, Proof of parental relationship
These valid documents must be presented to the passport officer on duty. Note that the application form must be correctly filled out but don’t sign it unless the officer instructs you to do so. After you are done with the process, you will be asked to go and wait for the passport to be issued. Passports are mostly sent to your mailing address, or you may be asked to come back to pick them up at the embassy if you live abroad.
The application fee for a baby passport is $80, including a $35 execution fee. If you want to speed up the process, you may apply for an expedited service for the US passport for the baby if you need to travel urgently. For this, there is an extra $60 charge.