Apply for a Child Under 16

  • Both parents or guardians must approve that we can issue a passport to a child, and go with the child to apply in person.
  • If one or both parents or guardians cannot apply with their child, you will need to show us more documents.
  • 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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Steps to Apply

1. Fill Out Form DS-11 and Print It

Use our Form Filler tool to fill out your child's form on a desktop or laptop computer and then print it. If you are experiencing technical issues with the Form Filler, download a PDF

Fill Out Form DS-11 Online

Tips to complete your child's form:

  • Do not sign your child's form until asked to do so by a passport acceptance agent or employee. 
  • You can apply for a passport book, a passport card, or both documents.
  • You may ask for a larger passport book with more visa pages, at no extra cost, by checking the 'large book' box at the top of the DS-11.

 

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2. Get Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (and a photocopy)

Your evidence must be an original or replacement copy. The document must have the official seal or stamp of the office which issued it. You must submit one of the following documents for your child:

  • 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
  • Full validity, undamaged U.S. passport
    • Please note you must also provide a document, such as a birth certificate, that lists the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child. Full validity means the document is or was valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children under 16. 

If you cannot submit one of these documents, go to our Citizenship Evidence page for more information.

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: We will return your child's document in a separate mailing up to 8 weeks after you receive the new passport.

Tips for making a photocopy:

  • Black and white (no color)
  • Use 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper
  • Use a single side of the paper

If you do not submit a photocopy, you must submit a second copy of your citizenship evidence. We will keep this copy for our records.

Sample U.S. Birth Certificate
An image of the sample features of a U.S. birth certificate
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3. Show Your Relationship to Your Child

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

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

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 is different than the one on the document showing your relationship to your child, submit proof of your legal name change.

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4. Get a Photo ID (and a photocopy)

Both parents or guardians must bring a physical, photo ID and a photocopy of it. If your photo ID is from a different state than the state in which you are applying, bring a second photo ID. 

You must show at least one of these photo IDs:

  • 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) used by a parent of a U.S. citizen child applicant
  • U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) 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 need to show another ID when presenting one of these three documents: 
    • In-state, fully-valid learner's permit with photo
    • In-state, fully-valid non-driver ID with photo
    • Temporary driver's license with photo

If you do not have one of these photo IDs, go to our Identification page for more information.

Tips for making a photocopy:

  • Black and white (no color)
  • Use 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper
  • Use a single side of the paper
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5. Show More Documents (if both parents or guardians cannot apply)

  • Both parents or guardians must approve that we can issue a passport to a child, and 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 show more documents.
If... Then...
One parent can't go in person (but both of you have custody) Submit a Statement of Consent: Form DS-3053. The parent that cannot apply with the child must:
  • Sign and date Form DS-3053 in front of a certified notary public, and
  • Submit a photocopy of the photo ID provided to the notary public.
You have sole legal custody, or you are the only parent

Submit one of these documents:

  • A court order granting you sole custody, or giving you permission to apply for your child's passport
  • Certified copy of the child's birth certificate or adoption decree listing you as the only parent 
  • Certified copy of the death certificate of the parent that cannot appear in person
  • 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 apply. 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 judicial declaration of incompetence of the parent that cannot appear in person
You cannot find the other parent (but both of you have custody)

Submit a Statement of Special Family Circumstances: DS-5525

  • We may ask you for more evidence such as 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. 
Neither parent able to appear

Submit a Statement of Consent: Form DS-3053 or a notarized statement from both parents or guardians giving that person (example: grandparent) permission to apply for the child.

  • Include a photocopy of the photo IDs for both parents or guardians.
  • If the statement is from only one parent or guardian, you must also show proof that that parent or guardian has sole custody of the child.

Important: Submit Form DS-3053 and other notarized statements within three months of signing them.

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6. Provide a Photo

You must provide one photo with your child's application. Go to our Passport Photo page for photo requirements and to see examples of photos. 

  • Do not attach or staple your child's photo to the form. The acceptance agent or passport employee will review the photo and staple it to your form.
  • You can get a photo at:
    • Some passport acceptance facilities
    • A company which offers photo services
    • Home. Ask your friend or family member to take your child's photo. Print it on glossy or matte photo quality paper. 

 

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7. Calculate Fees

When applying using Form DS-11, you will pay two separate fees - an application fee and an execution (acceptance) fee. You will pay the application fee to the U.S. Department of State, and the execution (acceptance) fee to the facility which takes your application. 

  • Add $60 to your application fee if you want expedited service.
  • Add $21.36 to your application fee if you want us to ship your completed passport in 1-2 days after we issue it.  

Child Applicants:

Document 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

For more information on how to pay and a full list of fees, go to our Passport Fees page.

*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 at the same time. The check or money order must include the name and date of birth of each applicant.

An image of a sample check
This image shows a sample check which you use to pay your application fees.
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8. Find Location to Apply

In the United States:

  • Traveling in more than 3 weeks? Go to a passport acceptance facility such as a post office, library, or local government office. Check with the facility to see if you need to make an appointment. 
  • Traveling in less than 3 weeks? Make an appointment to apply at a passport agency or center.

In another country:

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9. Track Your Application Status

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

It may take 2 weeks from the day you apply until your child's application status is “In Process.” 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How will you send my child's passport and supporting documents?

You will get multiple mailings. The number of mailings depends on what document(s) you asked for.

Passport Book: You may get your new passport and citizenship documents in two mailings. You may wait 8 weeks after getting your passport before you get a second mailing with your citizenship documents. We will return the passport book using a trackable delivery service.

Passport Card: You may get your new passport card and your citizenship documents in two mailings. You may wait 8 weeks after getting your passport before you get a second mailing with your citizenship documents. We only send the passport card via First Class Mail. We do not send cards using 1-2 day delivery services.

Both a Passport Book and Card: You may get three separate mailings:

  1. New passport book
  2. New passport card
  3. Citizenship documents

Contacting Us: If you have been waiting more than 8 weeks for your documents, call us at 1-877-487-2778 to report that you have not received your documents. 

If you want us to reimburse you for a lost supporting document, you must contact us within 90 days of the date which we mailed your passport. You will also need to provide a receipt to show the cost of replacing the document. 

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Can I pay for faster delivery and return shipping?

Yes. You may choose one or both of the following shipment options:

  • Delivering application to us: Pay for Priority Mail Express for faster shipping. The price for this service varies depending on the area of the country.
  • Returning the passport to you: Pay $21.36 for 1-2 day delivery. This means you will receive your passport 1-2 days after we send it. Include this fee with your check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State. Do not submit a return envelope to us with postage pre-paid. 

You may receive your passport and supporting documents in separate mailings. If you are renewing a passport card, we will send it to you via First Class Mail. We do not use 1-2 day delivery services if you only applied for a passport card.

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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

Pakistan

Algeria

Iran

Panama

Angola

Iraq

Philippines

Bangladesh 

Jamaica

Saudi Arabia

Bulgaria

Kenya

Senegal

Cambodia

Kuwait

Sierra Leone

Cameroon

Laos

Somalia

Central African Republic

Lebanon

Sudan

Cote d'Ivoire

Liberia

Syria

Dominican Republic

Libya

Tajikistan

Egypt

Mali

Tanzania

Equatorial Guinea

Mauritania

Trinidad and Tobago

Ethiopia

Mauritius

Uganda

Gabon

Moldova

Ukraine

Guatemala

Nepal

United Arab Emirates

Guinea

Nicaragua

Venezuela

Haiti

Nigeria

Vietnam

Honduras

North Korea

Yemen

 

Last Updated: June 28, 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!