Children Under 16
All passport applicants under 16 must apply in person using Form DS-11.
Please note: Passports for children under 16 are only valid for 5 years.
How to Apply
1. Fill Out Form DS-11
- Do not sign your child's application until instructed to do so by the acceptance agent.
- All applicants, including children under 16, must provide a Social Security Number (SSN) in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 2714a and 22 C.F.R 51.60(f). If your child does not yet have a SSN, enter zeros in box #5 of the passport form.
- You may request a larger passport book with 52 pages for your child, at no additional cost, by checking the '52 page' box at the top of the DS-11.
2. Provide U.S. Citizenship Evidence
You must submit one of the following U.S. citizenship documents for your child. Photocopies and notarized copies are not acceptable.
- Fully-valid, undamaged U.S. passport (may be expired)
- U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
- Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
- Lists applicant's full name, date of birth, and place of birth
- Lists the parent(s)' full names
- Has the date filed with registrar's office (must be within one year of birth)
- Has the registrar's signature
- Has the seal of the issuing authority
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
- Certificate of Citizenship
If you cannot submit one of the above acceptable documents for your child, or for more information, please see Citizenship Evidence.
3. Show Parental Relationship
You must submit documentation that lists the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child applying for a passport.
The following may be used to show parental relationship:
Please note: Some documents, like a U.S. birth certificate, show both U.S. citizenship and parental relationship. These documents must be originals or certified copies (not photocopies).
- U.S. birth certificate (also evidence of U.S. citizenship)
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (also evidence of U.S. citizenship)
- Foreign birth certificate
- Adoption decree
- Divorce/Custody decree
4. Present ID
The parents/guardians must present one of the following identification documents (IDs) to the acceptance agent:
- In-state, fully-valid driver's license
- In-state, fully-valid non-driver ID
- Valid or expired, undamaged, U.S. passport
- Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
- Government employee ID (city, county, state or federal)
- U.S. military ID or military dependent ID
- Valid foreign passport
- Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular Identification, commonly used by a parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant)
If you cannot present one of the IDs above, or for more information, please see Identification.
Please note: If you present out-of-state identification, you must present an additional ID.
5. Bring a Photocopy of ID
Submit a photocopy of the front and back of each ID that you present to the acceptance agent.Requirements:
- Photocopy must be on plain white, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper.
- Photocopy cannot be double-sided.
- Do not decrease the image size (although you may enlarge it).
6. Show Parental Consent
Both parents/guardians must authorize the issuance of the child's passport. The best way to do this is for both parents/guardians to go with the child in person to apply for the passport.
What if both parents/guardians cannot appear in person?
You have sole legal authority You must submit evidence of this with the application. Examples include:
- Complete court order granting you sole legal custody of the child, such as a divorce decree or other custody order
- Complete court order specifically permitting you to apply for your child’s passport (photocopy is acceptable)
- Certified copy of the child's birth certificate listing you as the only parent
- Certified copy of an adoption decree listing you as the only parent
- Certified copy of the judicial declaration of incompetence of the parent that cannot appear in person
- Certificate copy of the death certificate of the parent that cannot appear in person
One parent unable to appear
If one parent/guardian cannot go with the child to apply for the passport, they can give permission by completing Form DS-3053 “Statement of Consent." You must submit the completed form with the child's passport application. The parent that cannot go with the child must:
- Sign and date Form DS-3053 in the presence of a certified notary public, and
- Submit a photocopy of the front and back side of the ID that they present to the notary public with Form DS-3053.
You cannot locate the other parent
- Please complete the form with as much detail as possible.
- We may ask for additional information (e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to protect against international parental child abduction.
Neither parent able to appear
A third party may apply for the child's passport with a notarized statement from both parents/guardians giving that third party permission to apply for the child.
- The statement must include a photocopy of the parents/guardians' identification.
- When the statement is from only one parent/guardian, the third party must present evidence of sole custody of the consenting parent/guardian.
Please Note: Written authorization from the parent that cannot appear in person must be less than three months old.
7. Provide a Photo
You must provide one photo of the child with the application.Please note:
Tips for taking photos of infants and newborns:
- Do not attach your photo to the form before submitting it to the acceptance agent.
- Some passport acceptance facilities provide photo services for an additional fee.
To avoid processing delays, be sure the photo meets all photo requirements.
- Lay the child on its back on a white blanket or sheet to ensure its head is supported without the aid of a hand.
- Alternatively, cover a car seat with a plain white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat.
- Please make sure no other person is in the photo.
- A photo with the child looking at the camera is preferred, although not required.
8. Calculate Fees
9. Submit Your Completed Application
You and your child must submit the completed application, including citizenship evidence, photocopy of ID, photo, and fees in person at a passport acceptance facility.
Your child may be eligible to apply in person at a passport agency if they are traveling soon. Please see Get a Passport in a Hurry for more information.
Can I mail in my child's application or apply online?
No, children applicants under 16 are not eligible to mail in their passport applications. Additionally, the Department of State does not currently have the option to submit passport applications online.
Do I have to make an appointment to apply at an acceptance facility?
Some acceptance facilities require appointments and others do not. We recommend calling the acceptance facility ahead of time to verify their hours, acceptable forms of payment, and appointment requirements. Find your acceptance facility.
Will my and my child's passports be mailed back together?
No, your passports will be mailed back separately. In addition, your citizenship evidence generally will be mailed back separately from your new passport.
Newly-issued passport books are delivered using Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, unless you pay for Priority Express return service when you apply.
All passport cards are mailed using First Class Mail. Passport cards cannot be delivered using Priority Express.
Can I pay for my and my child's passports with one payment?
Families may write one check or money order to the U.S. Department of State for their passport application fees if they are applying in person at the same time. The check or money order must include the name and date of birth of each applicant.
All other applicants must submit individual checks or money orders to the U.S. Department of State for their passport application fees. Please include the applicant's name and date of birth on the check or money order.
What if my child and I have different last names?
You and your child may have different last names, as long as the parental relationship document lists your full name. If your name has changed from that on the parental relationship document, please submit proof of your legal name change (e.g. marriage certificate or court order).
What is the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP)?
Parents may enroll their U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP), one of the Department of State’s most important tools for preventing international parental child abduction. If a passport application is submitted for a child who is enrolled in CPIAP, we attempt to alert the parent(s) to verify whether the they approve passport issuance.
DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport
DS-3053: Statement of Consent - Issuing a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16
DS-5525: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances - Issuing a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16
Routine 4-6 Weeks
Expedited 2-3 Weeks
Applying for your child’s U.S. passport? Watch this video!