Child passport renewal can be tricky. Passports for children under 16 are only valid for five years, so renewing your child’s may be necessary if you’re planning an international trip with your family in the near future. If your child is under 16, he or she still qualifies for children’s travel documents with the US Department of State. Both parents will have to be present with their child, and no applications by mail are accepted. Trust the experts at Travel Visa Pro to assist you with the paperwork related to your child’s passport renewal.
Traveling by yourself can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Having children of your own can bring great satisfaction. Yet when we put these two together, the experience isn’t always full of sunshine and roses. Getting passport renewals for minors combines some of the more stressful aspects of travel with the “fun” of dealing with government applications.
Renew Expired Child Passport
Getting your own passport for your first international trip as an adult is chocked full of surprises. Even long-standing requirements do sometimes change; glasses are no longer allowed to be worn in passport photos. When it comes time to get a new passport book after 9-10 years, many seasoned travelers are surprised at how tricky the process can be. Not all of us live a stone’s throw from an official passport agency or a US consulate abroad, nor do we all have the expertise to navigate the intricacies of government forms.
As a result, renewing a child’s passport for the first time can leave one feeling like she needs a helping hand, whether it’s understanding the processing time in relation to one’s departure date, getting all the documents needed to ensure there are no delays, or just having a travel expert talk through the application.
While US citizens typically have ten-year validity on their adult passports, minors under 16 are only allowed five years. In addition, having the surname match (assuming it legally does) can save travelers a bit of a headache at immigration checkpoints. More than a few stepparents – yet legal guardians – have been stopped and asked to prove the child with whom they’re traveling is theirs. Documentation asserting one’s status as the legal guardian of the child traveling may be necessary.
Before that, however, is the issue of replacing or renewing a child’s passport. In the eyes of the US Department of State, a “child” is any US citizen under 16 years old. Both parents need to provide documentation with their child when applying for a passport renewal. If one parent is not able to attend, Form DS-3053 (Statement of Consent) may be used in lieu of their presence. Applications by mail are not allowed, but the child may apply by himself or herself under special circumstances, e.g. immediate travel. As with adult passport renewals, your children will need to bring their most recent US passport and one 2”x2” passport-sized photograph.
Online Passport Renewals for Minors
U. S. Birth Certificate Required
To combat identity theft and fraud, if your child had his last passport issued before the age of 5, you’ll need to provide 1-2 photographs clearly showing his or her face from each year starting from when the last passport was issued to the present. In addition, as with the original passport application, a US birth certificate listing the names and nationalities of both parents is required, or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad in the case of someone born outside the United States.
Parents of children applying for a passport renewal should carry their state driver’s licenses or other valid government ID and copies of their passport information pages.
Unlike adult passport renewals, which use Form DS-82, children’s passport renewals and first-time applications need to be registered with Form DS-11; assuming your children start their international travels early on, that could mean using this form as many as five times in their lifetime (e.g. birth, 5 years old, 10 years old, 15 years old, and as an adult applying for a first-time passport).
After that, the only thing left to do is pay the $105 fee. Viola. Your child is now eligible to travel.