With the time for spring break quickly approaching, many parents are starting to plan family vacations and beginning to wonder how they can go about obtaining a child passport, especially in cases where the parents are separated. Since your family vacation should be a time of happiness, NHPSC has generalized the U.S. passport application process to help you eliminate stress.
Considerations When Applying For A Child Passport
For children under the age of sixteen, child passport applications must be completed in person. When you go to your local agency, make sure you have all the proper documentation, such as the child’s social security number and proof of citizenship. You also must show a legal document proving that you are the child’s parent, or guardian.
In a lot of cases, both parents must authorize the passport application. Since it is easiest, it is recommended that the parents go to the agency together. However what happens when both parents cannot appear? If one parent provides the sole custody, than that parent will need to provide legal documentation showing sole custody. Examples of this situation would be if the child’s birth certificate only lists one parent, if there was a judicial declaration stating that one parent was incompetent, or death.
In situations where none of these three examples are relevant, but one parent still cannot appear at the agency, the absent parent needs to give permission by completing the Form DS-3053, which is also known as the “Statement of Consent.” If the absent parent cannot be located, the parent applying for the child passport must submit a completed form showing exigent family circumstances.
Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, passports for children are only valid for five years. In contrast, adult passports can be used for twice as long. However, the passport for your child will be cheaper. If you are outside the United States and need to apply for a child passport, contact the local U.S. Embassy and Consulate. They will be able to give you specific instructions.
Continue to check the NHPSC’s website and blog for other helpful parenting and relationship articles.