Are you planning an international trip with your family? If you’ve realized your child’s passport is expiring soon, it’s time to apply for a new one. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled this comprehensive checklist of documents that you’ll need to gather before the renewal appointment.
This checklist details the documents required for passport renewal for children under 16. U.S. passports issued for children under the age of 16 are valid for 5 years. There are some differences in the documents needed for passport renewal for 16-year-old and 17-year-old children. More details about these requirements for older children are listed later in this article.
Completed Passport Application Form
The first thing you should do is complete the application. While adults use the renewal application (DS-82) to renew their passports, children must use the application form (DS-11). You can find form DS-11 at Travel.State.Gov.
Complete the application before your appointment with your passport renewal agency. Be sure to answer all the questions completely and accurately. The emergency contact person you list on the application form must be living in the United States. Do not sign the application until instructed to do so in person. After completing the application, print the form and bring it with you to your passport appointment.
For any child who does not have a Social Security number, the parent must submit a signed and dated statement along with the passport application form that includes the following specific phrase:
<em>”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.”</em>
Child’s Current Passport or Other Proof of Citizenship
The application form is just the first step. You’ll also need several other passport renewal documents. When renewing a child’s U.S. passport, you’ll be asked to submit their current passport along with a photocopy.
If your child’s passport has been lost or destroyed, you must still submit the documents to prove the child’s citizenship. An older, expired U.S. passport is acceptable, but it must be undamaged.
A U.S. birth certificate is also commonly used to verify citizenship. The certificate must be issued by the city, county, or state of the child’s birth. It must list the applicant’s full name, birthday, place of birth, as well as the parents’ full names.
Additionally, the date in which the birth certificate was filed with the registrar’s office must be within one year of the child’s birthdate, and the birth certificate must include the registrar’s signature. To be accepted, the birth certificate must also feature the seal of the issuing authority. To prove citizenship, it cannot be a photocopy or a notarized copy, nor can it be laminated, as that could be grounds for instant rejection.
For those kids not born in the U.S., a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth is acceptable to prove citizenship. A Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship can also be used.
Document to Show Parental Relationship
Another one of the documents required for passport renewal is a document that shows the parent-child relationship. It must list the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the child that needs the passport renewal. The original document plus one photocopy must be turned in with the passport application. The following documents may be used to establish a parental relationship:
- U.S. birth certificate.
- Adoption decree.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad CRBA).
The parental relationship documents must be original or certified copies.
Document to Prove Parental Identity
Parents or guardians must also prove their own identities with one of the following documents needed for passport renewal:
- Undamaged U.S. or foreign passport.
- Original Naturalization Certificate.
- Current government employee ID.
- Current military ID.
You need to bring both the original documents proving parental identity as well as one photocopy to your appointment. You should also be aware that if the parent’s name on his or her ID does not match the name on the document used to establish the parental relationship, you may need to submit additional documentation to establish a name change for the parent or guardian.
Parental Consent for Issuance of the Passport
Parents also need to provide consent for their child to get a new passport. The best way to show parental consent is for either parents or guardians to appear with the child in person at the appointment. However, if both parents/guardians cannot be there, there are several other options to show consent, depending on your situation.
If you have sole custody of the child
You must submit evidence such as a complete court order, granting you sole legal custody of the child or specifically permitting you to apply for the child’s passport. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate or adoption decree listing you as the only parent will also be accepted. A certified copy of the other parent’s death certificate and a judge’s declaration of the other parent’s incompetence are also acceptable options.
If one parent is unable to appear
The parent or guardian who cannot appear to apply for their child’s passport renewal can grant permission by completing Form DS-3053 “Statement of Consent.” The form must be signed, dated, notarized, and submitted along with the application. Notarized consent is only valid for 90 days.
If you cannot locate the other parent
Along with the passport application and other documentation, you must submit Form DS-5525 “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances.” The form needs to be completed with as much detail as possible. Bring additional supporting evidence if possible.
If neither parent is able to appear in person A third party can apply for the child’s passport renewal if neither parent/guardian can appear. The third-party must have a notarized statement from either parents or guardians granting the third-party permission. They must also have a photocopy of the parents’ or guardians’ identification.
One Passport Photo
Of course, your child’s picture is one of the key components of the passport. One photo must be submitted with the child’s passport renewal application. The photo must be in color and must have been taken within the last six months. It needs to be a clear, natural image of the child’s face – no filters or enhancements. It must use a white or off-white background. The photo should not be a selfie. Both eyes must be open, and the expression should be neutral or a natural smile. The angle should be face-forward and the full face in view.
The child cannot wear eyeglasses, hats, head coverings, or headphones in the photograph. If hats or head coverings are worn continuously for religious or medical purposes, a signed statement from the parent (for religious) or from the doctor (for medical) needs to be submitted with the application. The child should not wear any type of uniform or camouflage attire. They should simply wear everyday clothing. The photo should be high resolution – not blurry or pixelated. It should be printed on photo quality paper with a matte or glossy finish. It shouldn’t be smudged or damaged in any way. The correct passport photo size is 2 x 2 inches with the child’s head between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the chin to the top of the head. Do not attach the photo to the application.
Documents Required for Passport Renewal for 16- and 17-year-old Children
If you have older kids, the passport renewal process can be a little different. Passports issued for applicants 16 and older are valid for 10 years. Many older kids can handle renewing their passports on their own with just a little help from Mom and Dad.
Children who are 16 and 17 years old should fill out form DS-11 and provide citizenship evidence along with one passport photo as detailed above. However, 16- and 17-year-olds do not necessarily need to bring their parents with them to renew their passport. They must only show that one parent or guardian knows they are renewing their passport. If a parent or guardian submits a written objection, the renewal application can be denied.
To show parental awareness, teens should ask one of their parents or guardians to appear with them when applying for passport renewal. The agent will then ask the parents or guardians to sign Form DS-11. If they cannot come along, the applicant can bring a signed, notarized statement of consent from a parent or guardian, along with a photocopy of their identification.
An ID, original and photocopy, is one of the necessary passport renewal documents when applying to renew a passport for ages 16 to 17.
Acceptable types of identification include:
- Fully valid, in-state driver’s license (out of state ID requires an additional form of identification).
- Fully valid, undamaged U.S. passport (expired is acceptable).
- Valid foreign passport.
- Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship (only if the photo looks like you).
- Current government employee ID.
- Current U.S. military (or military dependent) ID.
- Mexican Consular Identification (Matricula Consular).
Gathering all the documents required for passport renewal of a minor can seem like a hassle. However, preparing the passport renewal documents months ahead can make the renewal process more convenient and hassle-free!