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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

How to Apply for a Passport for Your Child

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How to Apply for a Passport for your Child Austen with her new passport

As an avid single traveler - I have visited 13 countries across 5 continents. During my journeys, I met people that have changed the fabric of who I am. Not only did I learn some of the nuances of other languages, cultures and topographies, traveling abroad altered my view of the myself, the world, and my place in it.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better education. And now that I'm a mother of two, I cannot wait to share the world with my kiddos. If you’re ready to take an international family trip, one of the first steps in the planning process is to make sure that everyone in your family has a passport – that includes the smallest members as well.

Getting a passport for a minor is a bit more nuanced than the adult application process. So, here’s a quick guide on how to apply for a passport for your child:

  1. Go to and Select “U.S. Passports”
  2. Select “Apply For or Renew My Passport"
  3. Select the option “Children Under 16” from the menu on the left-hand side or click here
  4. If your child is 16 or 17 years old, click here.
  5. Print off and complete the DS-11 Application for a U.S. Passport.
  6. There is also an option to complete the online fillable version and print it off once complete.
  7. Make an appointment at your local Passport Acceptance Facility. If you’re not sure where to find one near you, you can check here.

What You will need for your Passport

  1. Go to a local pharmacy, Costco, Walmart, or post office to have passport pictures taken. The pictures must be “2x2” in size. You can try to take the photos yourself but I found that it wasn’t worth the effort.
  2. Provide Evidence of U.S. Citizenship: Bring proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship. A birth certificate should be sufficient as proof of citizenship and it also establishes the parental relationship with the child/applicant, which also a required step of the application process. If you do not have a birth certificate, click here for acceptable alternatives.
  3. Have a photocopy of the Proof of U.S. Evidence
  4. Show Parental Relationship: The passport application for a minor is easiest if both parents can be present when applying for the passport. It is required that the parental relationship to the child applying for the passport be proven.
  5. Present ID: Each parent will be required to present a form of ID and provide a photocopy of the ID.
  6. Show Parental Consent: If both parents cannot be present, parental consent of the absent parent must be submitted by completing a Form DS-3053 “Statement of Consent.” This form must be signed and notarized.
  7. Submit one 2x2 photo to the passport processor.
  8. Calculate the passport fees. Passport and Execution Fees are two fees that must be paid separately.
  9. Click here to calculate Passport Fees.
  10. Submit Your Completed Application

[caption id="attachment_620" align="aligncenter" width="3508"]How to Apply for Passports for your kids Austen posing for her first passport.[/caption]

* Passports for children under the age of 16 are only good for 5 years. * Please use the official United States Government Website,, to answer any additional questions.

Now, that you have the low down on how to get a passport for a child, you’re ready to take on the world.

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