Everything You Need To Know About Applying For Your Child’s Passport


passport for childHave big plans for international travel this summer? Here are some quick tips on how to obtain your child’s passport quickly and efficiently.

Set up an appointment at a U.S. Postal Service location.

You can get passport photos taken at other places, but the easiest option is to take it at the post office because they will take your child’s picture and accept all your paperwork in one stop. We scheduled the appointment and were in and out in under 30 minutes for two kids! This is the first step because it can sometimes take a few weeks to find an appointment time. You can find the most convenient location here. If you decide to take your picture somewhere else, be sure to read the requirements here.

Fill out the D-11 form.

You cannot submit this electronically, so make sure to fill it out ahead of time, print it out and bring it with you. You will need to know your child’s social security number.

Gather all the forms you need, which includes:

  1. Your child’s birth certificate – both the original and a black and white copy. Heads up – they do staple the original birth certificate to the application, so be prepared. You will need this even if your child has already been granted a passport previously.
  2.  Both parents’ driver’s licenses (or other forms of ID) as well as a black and white copy of each. Be sure to bring one copy for each child. I brought only one copy total and didn’t realize that each child submits a separate application so each child needs their own copy.
  3. A previous passport if your child has one
  4. Passport photos (if you took them in advance)

Bring your checkbook.

It’s a hefty fee. For us, it was $80 per child for the passport, plus a $50 U.S.P.S. fee per child for the photo and service. Yikes! You can only pay the passport fee with a check or money order, so be sure to have that with you. And, again, each child needs a separate check, so bring more than one!


This is because you both have to prove you are the parent and sign the paperwork. If one parent absolutely cannot be present, then you need to do the following:

Bring the second parent’s notarized written statement or Form DS-3053 (including the child’s full name and date of birth) consenting to the passport issuance for the child. The notarized statement cannot be more than three months old and must be signed and notarized on the same day, and must come with a photocopy of the front and back side of the second parent’s government-issued photo identification.


Second parent’s death certificate.


Primary evidence of sole authority to apply, such as a court order


A written statement or Form DS-5525 (made under penalty of perjury) explaining in detail the second parent’s unavailability.

Here are some other tidbits:

Wait times:

  • Routine: 4-6 weeks from time of application
  • Expedited: Within 3 weeks door-to-door
  • Expedited at agency: Within 8 business days from the time your application is received

If your child is 16 or under, their passport will expire in 5 years. Once they turn 16, then the passport expires in 10 years.

Have more questions? Find the answers here.


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Meredith is a transplant to the Bay Area and has fallen in love with the weather, gorgeous scenery, and plethora of local wineries. A wife and mother of two, she works part-time as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She hails from Texas, where she attended the University of Texas and will always bleed orange. She then moved to Washington DC to attend Georgetown's School of Medicine, where she fell in love with her future husband, a fellow student, and has been happily married for almost a decade. She and her husband lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for several years for their medical training and found it the perfect place to start a family. She relocated to the Bay Area a few years ago and has quickly adapted to West Coast living. Meredith enjoys the balance of part-time working and full-time parenting and loves to write about this ongoing struggle. In her persistent drive to find more "me time", she actively pursues her interests in reading, running, soccer, baking, and wine tasting.


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