Children 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.

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How to Apply

1. Fill Out Form DS-11

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

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

Please note:

  • The Form Filler will select the correct form for you based on the information you input. It may generate a different form from what you expect.
  • Note: When completing your child's form by hand, please list 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, in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 2714a and 22 C.F.R 51.60(f)
    • If your child does not have a Social Security number, you must submit a statement, signed and dated, that includes the phrase, “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.”
    • For more information, please see Frequently Asked Questions.
  • You can apply for a passport book, a passport card, or both documents.
  • You may request a larger passport book with 52 pages for your child, at no additional cost, by checking the 'large book' box at the top of the DS-11.
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2. Provide U.S. Citizenship Evidence

You must submit one of the following U.S. citizenship documents for your child. Your evidence must be an original or certified, physical copy. 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.

Please note you cannot submit digital evidence of your child's 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. 

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

Submit a photocopy of the front (and back, if there is printed information) of the U.S. citizenship evidence you’re submitting.

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.

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4. 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).

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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
  • Other 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. Note: you may be asked to present an additional ID when presenting one of these three documents. 

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.
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6. 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).
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7. 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?

If... Then...
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
  • Certified 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.

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, he or she should be able to 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 can't 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/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.  

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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

 

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9. Calculate Fees

Child Applicants:

Product Form  Application Fee Execution (Acceptance) Fee
Passport Book DS-11 $80 $35
Passport Card DS-11 $15 $35
Passport Book & Card DS-11 $95 $35


Please note: The application fee and the execution fee are paid separately.

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 

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10. Submit Your Completed Application

Inside the United States:

  • You and your child must submit your 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 you are traveling soon. Please see Get My Passport Fast for more information. 

Outside the United States:

Please contact your U.S. Embassy and Consulate for how to submit your child's documents, since processes vary.

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11. Track Your Application Status

You can track your child's application status online.

Note: It may take 4 weeks from the day you apply until your child's application status is “In Process.” During these 4 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.

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FAQs

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. 

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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.

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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.

I applied for a passport book only: You may receive your newly-issued passport and your citizenship documents in two separate mailings. Please contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) if you do not receive a second mailing within 4 weeks of receiving the first. 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. Please contact NPIC if you do not receive a second mailing within 4 weeks of receiving the first. 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. Please contact NPIC if you do not receive the second or third mailing within 4 weeks of the previous mailing.

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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 for his or her 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. 

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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:

Afghanistan Indonesia North Korea
Algeria Iran Pakistan
Angola Iraq Panama
Bangladesh  Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire)  Saudi Arabia
Bulgaria Jamaica  Senegal
Cambodia Kenya Sierra Leone
Cameroon Laos Somalia
Dominican Republic Lebanon Sudan
Egypt Libya Syria
Equatorial Guinea Mali Trinidad and Tobago
Ethiopia Mauritania Uganda
Gabon Mauritius Ukraine
Guatemala Moldova United Arab Emirates
Guinea Nepal Venezuela
Haiti Nicaragua Vietnam
Honduras Nigeria Yemen
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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.

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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).

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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 they approve passport issuance.

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It states on my child's U.S. birth certificate that it is illegal to make a copy. What should I do?

If you choose not to submit a photocopy, you may submit a second certified copy of your child's birth certificate. We will keep this second certified copy for our records.

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!