Is it time for your family to renew their passports? Keeping in mind the State Department’s requirements for different age groups will make the process go more smoothly for each member of the family.
Passport Renewal for Adults
Adults are eligible to renew their passports by mail as long as all of the following conditions are met:
The current passport was issued when the adult was 16 years or old or older
The current passport was issued less than 15 years ago
The current passport has not been lost, stolen or damaged.
Legal proof can be provided for any name changes since the last passport was issued.
To renew by mail, send in your old passport, one photo and a completed renewal application form, along with the appropriate fees.
Passport Renewal for Children Younger Than 16
Children younger than 16 are not eligible to renew by mail, and must appear in person at a designated passport acceptance facility (like a post office). To get your child’s passport renewed, both parents need to appear in person with proof of identity, proof of their relationship to the child and proof of the child’s US citizenship. For most families, a birth certificate can be used for proof of relationship and proof of citizenship. However, other options for proof of relationship include an adoption decree or court order establishing guardianship. For proof of citizenship, children adopted from a foreign country will need a certificate of citizenship.
If both parents cannot appear in person, the parent who takes the child in will need a notarized consent form from the child’s other parent.
If the other parent is not in the picture, proof that the parent has sole custody or guardianship must be provided.
In addition, you’ll need to provide one passport photo of your child, complete an application form on his or her behalf and pay the appropriate fees.
Passport Renewal For Children 16 and 17
Children age 16 and 17 must also appear in person to apply for a passport renewal, provide proof of citizenship and proof of parental consent. If your teen has a driver’s license or ID card, he or she can submit it as proof of identity. If not, you’ll use your own driver’s license or ID card instead.
One important fact to keep in mind: adult passports are good for 10 years, but child passports expire after only 5!
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.
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