Traveling with children is a wonderful thing; after all, it exposes them to new destinations, sounds, foods, languages, cultures, and more. Taking your children out to see other parts of the world is a particularly educational and rich experience.
In the last few years, TSA added new requirements in an effort to combat the child abduction and trafficking. The new requirements mean a lot of work to acquire passports for your children. But the worthy purpose of these requirements to protect your kids from the risk.
This process can be a frustrating and daunting task because it’s difficult to remember the government’s rules and regulations. So, to make it through the process without a hitch, it is important to begin early and pay close attention to detail.
There are some points that you have to keep in mind:
- Your child must apply with either parents or guardians.
- Remember the validity period.
- Prepare all the documents of you and your child.
- Follow the government documents rules.
Children applicants, who are under 16 cannot renew their passport by mail. So, children whose current passports have expired or are near the expiration date must apply in person as if for the first time.
- Fill out the DS-11 form
There are two ways to fill the application form:
Complete Form DS-11 Offline: Some applicants have complained about connection problems so you can fill it offline by downloading. So, after download, print the application forms according to your particular country site.
- Applicants should write with legibly in black or blue ink.
- Do not sign the application form until the agent of passport office says to do so.
Complete Form DS-11 Online: You have to no need to download the application form if you are familiar with the online form. Print the form once you have completed it online.
- Register through the Passport Portal.
- Login with the registered Login Id.
- Ensure that the details you enter in the entry field of your child are correct because once it is submitted you cannot edit it.
General information that is required for both:
- Provide a social security number to your child.
- Fill the required field in the form and then submit it.
- Applicants have to select the correct form which is based on the information you input.
Mention all the personal information that is requested to fill such as the full name, date, place of birth, sex, phone number, and emergency contact number of the applicants.
- Gather supporting documents
There are several general documents that you must submit at the passport office or send with the form to the processing center. The following are:
Child’s citizenship evidence or certification of citizenship: You must submit one of the following citizenship documents of your child. Your evidence must be an original or certified.
- The birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
- That is issued by the city, county, or state of birth, where you actually belong.
- Have applicant’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth.
- Parents full name.
- The seal of the issuing authority.
- Certificate of citizenship.
- Consular report of birth abroad.
Bring a photocopy of citizenship evidence: Submit a photocopy of the citizenship evidence. Photocopies must be:
- On white 8.5”x11” standard paper
- Black and white
If you do not have a photocopy of your citizenship evidence, you may submit any other certified copy of citizenship evidence. If you do not submit a photocopy or other certified copy of your Citizenship Evidence, your passport processing can be delayed.
Documentation of parents/guardian’s relationship to child:
You must submit documentation of the parents or legal guardians of the child applying for a passport. The following are:
- Birth certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Foreign birth certificate
- Adoption decree
- Divorce/Custody Decree
Parent’s Identification documents:
The parents/guardians must have one of the following identification documents:
- In-state, fully valid driver’s license
- Valid or expired, undamaged, Passport
- Government employee ID (city, county, state or federal)
- Valid foreign passport
Bring a photocopy of ID:
Submit a photocopy of the front and back of each ID that you present to the acceptance agent. Requirements are:
- Photocopy must be on plain white, standard paper.
- The photocopy cannot be double-sided.
- Do not decrease the photocopy size.
One passport size photo:
You must provide one passport size photo of the child with the application form.
- Do not attach photo yourself to the form until acceptance agent staple the photo to the form.
- Some passport acceptance facilities provide photo services for an additional fee.
- Visit application acceptance office
- Once you have completed the DS-11 from attached all the documents together, contact to the nearest application acceptance facility.
- Once you get in front of the person accepting the passport application, they staple the photo to the form. Take your child with you so; the acceptance agent can get the confirmation about your child.
- There are an application fee and an execution fee that you have to pay separately. The first is paid to the Department of State and the second to the attending agent.
- Sign the form in their presence and you pay applicable fees.
- Passport office takes up to six weeks to complete the whole process.
So, now gather all the documents required, and get to the passport office easily with your child without any hectic.