How to Get an Expedited Child Passport
When it comes to traveling with children, there are always going to be more considerations to make than when one is traveling solo or even with a group. While the application process for children’s passport is different, getting an expedited child passport is surprisingly similar, provided all the paperwork is in order and the parent is willing to pay the appropriate fees.
What’s involved in getting a children’s passport?
The documents involved in getting a child’s passport, whether it’s the first time or for a renewal, are the same with one exception. Parents bringing in proof of US citizenship may choose to do so by providing the child’s expired US passport. Otherwise, a birth certificate or Certificate of Citizenship may be used.
In addition, both parents should be present at the passport agency or consulate and bring proof of their relationship and current identification, e.g. their US passports. Both parents’ permission is necessary for the child to travel abroad, but there are some exceptions; one parent may present the application alone or neither, instead entrusting the application with a third party like Travel Visa Pro.
Naturally, a current passport-sized photo is required with every application. If the child’s last passport was issued when he or she was under five years old, additional photos must be provided (one per year, at least) showing age progression.
Getting an expedited child passport
Children’s passport may have to go through additional checks and balances once they’re in the system, but the application process isn’t too difficult for those who have had experience renewing adult passports.
Unlike passports for those over 16 which cost $110, children’s passports start at $80 for a 52-page book. However, no applications for expedited child passports can be submitted through the mail. As a result, the US Department of State requires an “Execution Fee” of $25 in addition to the expedite fee of $60. All passport renewals submitted in person at an agency require this Execution Fee.
Using your child’s passport
Despite the plethora of paperwork required to even obtain an expedited child passport, it’s not always wise to leave it at home once the trip begins. Immigration officers can be remarkably scrupulous, and even with a valid US passport for a child sharing the same surname as a parent, it never hurts to bring a few age progression photos and proof of your relationship with the child… just in case.
What else do you want to know about taking your children traveling?