A passport is not only your child’s ticket to world travel, but also serves as a primary form of photo identification for the rest of his/her life. Plus, as one mom noted, “Now our little frequent flyer has official identification whose benefits for us are twofold: peace of mind when encountering TSA and a pass for our future globetrotting.” (Read the rest of Sara’s story here)
Applying and renewing your children’s passports is simple but there are some things you need to be aware of before you begin the process.
All minors regardless of age, including newborns and infants, must have their own passport when traveling internationally by air. U.S. citizen children under age 16 arriving by land or sea from Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean may present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.
For a complete list of required forms and documents visit the Minors Under Age 16 section
1) You will need one 2”x2” photo of your child
2) Parents cannot appear in the photo with their child*
3) Visit the photograph requirements page
*Tips for taking pictures of your baby—Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby's head is supported and provide a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby’s face, especially if you take a picture from above with the baby lying down. You can also cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported.
The Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) is one of the Department’s most important tools for preventing international parental child abduction. The program allows parents to register their U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 in the Department’s Passport Lookout System. If a passport application is submitted for a child who is registered in CPIAP, the Department contacts and alerts the parent or parents.
• Tips for Traveling Abroad – Extensive information on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website.