The One Guide You Need to Get Your Child a U.S. Passport
Traveling overseas can be an awesome adventure and be a great way to create family memories and learn much about cultures, history and other people, but to get there can sometimes be a hassle if you or a family member do not have a passport. Especially a child’s passport. Below are the resources that have helped me and the step-by-step guides on where to find what you need to get your under 16 child a passport so that the family can embark on their next overseas adventure.
Department of State has a list of where you will need to visit to drop off the necessary documents to obtain a passport for your child. Minor passports are issued to children under 16 years old and adult passports are issued to children 16 years old and older. OF NOTE: if this is the child’s first passport the application packet has to be submitted in person with the child and both parents or guardians should be present. The following website has all the details and where else to find other documents:
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/under-16/under-162.html. This is the parental site focusing on what you need to do to apply for your child’s passport.
The complete list of documents for obtaining your child’s passport is found at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/under-16.html.
For those with children ages 16 and 17, information on obtaining their passports can be found at the following Department of State website: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/16-and-17.html. Children 16 and 17 can apply by themselves (must be in person for initial passport) but having at least one parent or guardian there is recommended to show parental awareness. However, the passport may be denied if parent or guardian with custodial rights over the child writes to the Department of State expressing their objections to their child having a passport.
Individuals 18+ are considered adults and go through the regular adult applications for a passport found at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/first-time.html
The Center for Disease Control has a website that lists all the U.S. states and how you can obtain a vital record (birth certificate, death certificate, marriage or divorce certificates). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/index.htm
OF NOTE: If you use a third party to obtain a copy of your child’s birth certificate, be very careful of who you are dealing with as their are a number of frauds for this. Ensure they are reputable (recommended on the State’s website or a part of the Better Business Bureau - bbb.org).