What age does a child need a US passport

What age does a Child need a US passport? If you have a young child, this is one question you may want an answer to, especially if you plan to travel together in the near future. The answer to this question is that your child can get a passport at any age. There is no age restriction placed on when an individual can obtain a passport. Everybody including children traveling outside the US must possess a valid child's passport for a loop cruise by boat from the US to Canada.

So your child may be a few months old or up to 15 years old; it doesn't matter. As a parent, you can apply for a passport on their behalf. The passport application process takes about 6-8 weeks before it is ready, but you can speed up the process if you apply for expedited processing. For an expedited process, the passport agency will charge an extra $60 for the services aside from the normal application fee.

Do Both Parents Need To Be Present?

Unlike the case of adults, where they utilize the mailing option to apply for a passport renewal, children must be accompanied by their parents to the passport agency or center to apply for a US passport. The law states that both parents must be present during the child's passport application process as there are sections for them to sign in the DS-11 form.

The signing of the document has to be done in front of the passport agent, however, if both parents cannot appear, one of them must, and they must bring a signed consent form from the absent parent authorizing the agency to issue the child a passport.

It Is important to reiterate once again that you can't use the mailing service to apply for a passport for your child. The mailing option is only available for children who are 16 years and above. Infants, adolescents and teens under 16 they have to be physically present.

Conditions For Passport Application

A passport for children is only given under the following consideration

  • That the child is a US citizen through his/her parents or born in the US

  • The child is under 16 years of age

  • The child is physically present for the verification process at a passport agency

  • That the parents or guardian can prove their relationship with the child

These are the conditions under which a passport can be issued to a child.

How To Apply For A Child Passport?

There are two ways to apply for a passport for your child;

Passport Agency: You may visit a passport agency or center anywhere in the US. The Department of State has several offices and agencies spread across the states in the Union; some states also have multiple agencies and centers where passport applications are handled. 

Before you visit an agency, you must book an appointment with them over the phone to get a date. On the set date, visit the agency with your child and bring all the required documents along for vetting.

Embassy: If you live abroad and have your child in another country, you can still obtain a passport; just like with an agency, you must book an appointment with the embassy. The embassies' application process may differ from agencies, but the documentation is similar. The only difference is that they may ask for additional support documents.


Documents Required For A Child Passport Application

Form DS-11: This is the application form that must be filled in on your child's behalf. It contains their details as well as the parent's detail. You can fill it online with a wizard or print it out and fill it with ink. Endeavor to fill the details with block letters and don't sign it yet; it should only be signed in the presence of the passport officer.

Citizenship: You can prove citizenship using a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or passport.

Relationship Status: The authorities want to be sure that you are related to the child by blood as a parent. For this, your birth certificate and theirs are required if you are not their parent, and proof of custody as a guardian is needed.

Application Fee: An application fee must be paid for processing. Fees differ depending on the type of passport you want. Passport cards cost $30, but they can only be used for land travel, while passport booklets cost $130 and are viable for land, air, and sea travel.

Passport Photograph: Passport photos are required for the child. Ensure that it is a recent one with a 2x2 dimension printed on a white background.

Photocopies of these documents must be included in the document list. In case one parent is dead, or both parents are divorced, a death or divorce certificate must be included.

What age does a child need a US passport? Your child can get a US passport at any age, as there are no age restrictions.

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 Reviews.io, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.