Apply for a Child Under 16

  • All children under age 16 must apply for a passport in person with two parents or guardians using Form DS-11.
  • You cannot renew your child's passport using Form DS-82.
  • Passports for children under age 16 are only valid for 5 years. 
  • Use our Form Filler tool to fill out your child's form and then print it.

February 2024: Forms for Special Situations

Please note that we are working to update the forms on this site. You may continue to use all forms on this site, including the ones with an expiration date that has passed. 


Steps to Apply

1. Fill Out Form DS-11

DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport

Use our Form Filler tool to fill out your child's form online and then print it. The Form Filler will save time and reduce errors caused by handwriting. If you are experiencing technical issues with the Form Filler, download a PDF. Do not sign your child's form until instructed to do so by a passport acceptance agent or employee. 

Fill Out Form DS-11 OnlinePrint PDF Form DS-11

Please note:

  • The Form Filler will create the correct form for your child based on the data you enter. Double check the information you entered for your child's date of birth if you did not get the form you expected to receive.
  • Note: Include on Address Line 2 "In Care Of" your name or the name of the child's other parent or legal guardian. By providing “In Care Of” information, you will ensure that your child's passport is not returned to us if the delivery service does not recognize your child's name as someone who normally gets mail at your address.
  • Do not sign your child's application until instructed to do so by the acceptance agent.
  • You must provide your child's Social Security number, if they have been issued one. 
    • If your child does not have a Social Security number, you must sign and date a statement that says, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct: (Child's full name) has never been issued a Social Security Number by the Social Security Administration.”
  • You can apply for a passport book, a passport card, or both documents.
  • You may request a larger passport book with more visa pages for your child, at no additional cost, by checking the 'large book' box at the top of the DS-11.
  • In the Emergency Contact field, list a contact who is not traveling with your child. 

2. Provide U.S. Citizenship Evidence

Your evidence must be an original or certified, physical copy. A certified copy is any document that has the seal or stamp of the official issuing authority. You must submit one of the following documents for your child:

  • Full validity, undamaged U.S. passport (expired passports are accepted). Full validity means the document is/was valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children under 16.
  • 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 or stamp of the city, county, or state which issued it
  • 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.

Paper only: You cannot submit digital evidence of U.S. citizenship such as a mobile or electronic birth certificate. You must submit physical evidence of U.S. citizenship and a photocopy of the document. 

Returning your child's document: You will need to provide your child's evidence of U.S. citizenship to the acceptance agent or passport employee. We will return your child's document in a separate mailing up to 8 weeks after you receive the new passport.

Sample U.S. Birth Certificate
An image of the sample features of a U.S. birth certificate

3. Bring a Photocopy of U.S. Citizenship Evidence

In addition to the original or certified copy of your child's citizenship evidence, you must submit a photocopy of the document. 

Photocopies must be:

  • Legible
  • On white 8.5”x11” standard paper
  • Black and white
  • Single-sided

If you don't want to submit a photocopy of your citizenship evidence, you may submit a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, which we will keep. If you don’t submit a photocopy or a second certified copy of your citizenship evidence, your passport processing could be delayed.


4. Show Parental Relationship

You must submit documentation that lists the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child applying for a passport. Examples include:

  • U.S. birth certificate (also evidence of U.S. citizenship)
  • Foreign birth certificate
  • Adoption decree
  • Divorce or custody decree
  • A court order

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).

You and your child may have different last names, as long as the document showing your relationship to your child lists your full name. If your name has changed from the name on the parental relationship document, please submit proof of your legal name change (example: marriage certificate or court order).


5. Present ID

The parents or guardians must present one of the following identification documents (IDs) to the acceptance agent: 

  • Valid or expired, undamaged U.S. passport book or passport card 
  • In-state, fully valid driver's license or enhanced driver's license with photo
  • Certificate of Naturalization 
  • Certificate of Citizenship 
  • Government employee ID (city, county, state, or federal)
  • U.S. military or military dependent ID
  • Current (valid) foreign passport
  • Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular ID) - commonly used by a parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant
  • U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) - commonly used by a parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant
  • Trusted Traveler IDs (including valid Global Entry, FAST, SENTRI, and NEXUS cards)
  • Enhanced Tribal Cards and Native American tribal photo IDs
  • Note: you may be asked to present an additional ID when presenting one of these three documents: 1) In-state, fully-valid learner's permit with photo, 2) In-state, fully-valid non-driver ID with photo, or 3) temporary driver's license with photo. 

If you cannot present one of the IDs above, or for more information, please see Identification.

Please note:

  • Some states now issue digital ID documents (also known as mobile driver's licenses or mobile IDs). We cannot accept these digital IDs when you apply for your child's U.S. passport. You must continue to submit your physical, photo ID and a photocopy of the ID.  
  • If you present an out-of-state ID, you must present an additional ID.

6. Bring a Photocopy of ID

Submit a photocopy of the front and back of each ID that you present to the acceptance agent.


  • 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).

7. Show Parental Consent

  • Both parents or guardians must approve that we can issue a passport to a child under age 16.
  • Both parents or guardians should go with the child to apply in person. 
  • If one or both parents or guardians cannot apply in person with their child, you will need to provide additional documents with your child's application: 
If... Then...
You have sole legal authority You must submit evidence of sole legal authority 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
  • If the legal guardian of the child is an office or private institution, provide:
    • A certified copy of the court order which says the office or institution is the child's guardian.
    • Written approval from the office or institution that the individual applying for the child can act on behalf of the office or institution. Include a complete Form DS-3053.
    • The employee ID of the individual applying to show they work for the office or institution.
  • 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
  • Certified copy of the death certificate of the parent that cannot appear in person
One parent unable to appear

If one parent or guardian cannot apply with their child, submit Form DS-3053 with the child's passport application. The parent that cannot apply 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 of the photo ID that they provided to the notary public.

Please note: In certain countries, a DS-3053 must be notarized at a U.S. embassy or consulate and cannot be notarized by a local notary public. Go to the U.S. embassy or consulate webpage for more information. 

You cannot locate the other parent

You must submit Form DS-5525 “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances."

  • Please complete the form with as much detail as possible.
  • We will ask for additional evidence. Examples include: a custody order, an incarceration order, or a restraining order to protect against international parental child abduction
  • If the non-applying parent is deployed by the military, that parent should provide a notarized Form DS-3053 in most cases. In the rare case that the non-applying parent cannot be contacted, you must provide either military orders with a Form DS-5525 showing the non-applying parent cannot be contacted because they are on a special assignment for more than 30 days outside of their duty station OR a signed statement from the non-applying parent's commanding officer that they can't be reached. 
Neither parent able to appear

A third party may apply for the child's passport with a Form DS-3053: "Statement of Consent" or a notarized statement from both parents or guardians giving that third party permission to apply for the child.

  • The statement must include a photocopy of the parents or guardians' identification. 
  • When the statement is from only one parent or guardian, the third party must present evidence of sole custody of the consenting parent or guardian.

Note: Written authorization from the parent or guardian that cannot appear in person must be signed within 90 days before you submit the child's application.  


8. Provide a Photo

You must provide one photo of your child. To avoid processing delays, be sure the photo meets all our requirements.

  • Do not attach or staple your photo to the form. The acceptance agent or passport employee accepting your child's form will review the photo and staple it. 
  • Some passport acceptance facilities provide photo services for an additional fee.  
  • We have special tips for taking photos of infants and newborns on our Photo Requirements page



9. Calculate Fees

You must pay fees for passport services. When applying using Form DS-11, you will pay two separate fees - an application fee and an execution (acceptance) fee.

Child Applicants:

Product Form  Application Fee Execution (Acceptance) Fee
Passport Book DS-11 $100 $35
Passport Card DS-11 $15 $35
Passport Book & Card DS-11 $115 $35

Expedited service costs an additional $60. For information on forms of payment and a full list of fees and services, please see Passport Fees.

*How to fill out your check and pay the application fee to the U.S. Department of State. Please note you must pay a separate execution (acceptance) fee. 

Families may write one check or money order to the U.S. Department of State 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.


10. Find Location to Apply and Submit Your Completed Application

Inside the United States:

  • You and your child must submit the completed application, including supporting documents, photo, and fees, in person at a passport acceptance facility. Check with the facility to see if you need to make an appointment.
  • Your child may be eligible to make an appointment to apply in person at a passport agency if you are traveling soon. Please see Get My Passport Fast for more information. 

Outside the United States:

Contact your U.S. embassy or consulate.


11. Track Your Application Status

You can subscribe to email updates about your application status, and learn more about each status update.

Note: It may take 2 weeks from the day you apply until your child's application status is “In Process.” During these 2 weeks, your child's application is delivered to a mail facility, your payment is processed, and your child's application is scanned and sent to us. If your passport status update says “Not Available,” your child's application and supporting documents are safely on their way to us.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to make an appointment to apply at an acceptance facility?

Some acceptance facilities (which include post offices, local government offices, and libraries) require appointments. We recommend contacting the acceptance facility to confirm hours, forms of payment, and appointment requirements. 


How will you send my passport and supporting documents?

When completing your child's passport application, we recommend you add your name in the “In Care Of” part of the Mailing Address section on Form DS-11. After we print your child's passport, we will send it to you and return your child's supporting documents. How we send your child's passport and supporting documents depends if you applied for a book and/or a card and if you paid an additional fee for 1-2 day delivery.

After we print your passport, we will send it to you and return your supporting documents. How we send your passport and supporting documents depends if you applied for a book and/or a card and if you paid an additional fee for 1-2 day delivery.    

I applied for a passport book only: You may receive your newly-issued passport and your citizenship documents in two separate mailings. You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport before you receive a second mailing with your citizenship documents. We can send your passport book via a 1-2 day delivery service.

I applied for a passport card only: You may receive your newly-issued passport card and your citizenship documents in two separate mailings. You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport before you receive a second mailing with your citizenship documents. We only send the passport card via First Class Mail. We do not send cards via 1-2 day delivery services.

I applied for both a passport book and passport card: You may receive three separate mailings; one with your citizenship documents, one with your newly-issued passport book, and one with your newly-issued passport card. You may wait 8 weeks after receiving your passport book before you receive a second and third mailing with your passport card and citizenship documents.


Our address has changed. How do I update my child's application?

If the mailing address you provided on your child's application has changed and you're waiting the U.S. passport book, passport card, or return of citizenship evidence documents, please contact the National Passport Information Center. You do not need to contact us if your address changed after you received your child's passport.

When completing your child's passport application, we recommend you add your name in the “In Care Of” part of the Mailing Address section on Form DS-11. 


What countries require Form DS-3053 "Statement of Consent" to be notarized at an embassy or consulate?

In certain countries, a DS-3053 must be notarized at a U.S. embassy or consulate and cannot be notarized by a local notary public. Currently, these countries include:












Saudi Arabia






Sierra Leone




Central African Republic



Cote d'Ivoire



Dominican Republic






Equatorial Guinea


Trinidad and Tobago









United Arab Emirates








North Korea



Last Updated: February 15, 2024

How to Apply for your Child's Passport

Watch this video to learn how to apply in person for your child's U.S. passport!