How to Get a Child Passport in 2020

The child passport is required for all US citizens ages 15 and under that plan to travel outside of the US, including Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The child passport application process for 2020 is still the same. Passports for children are only valid for 5 years, and the child passport cannot be renewed. It is considered a new child passport each time until the applicant is 16 or older. Once the applicant is 16 or older, they must then apply for a new adult passport. This page will explain the required documents for a child passport in 2020, as well as the processing times and how to get a fast passport for your child.

How to Get a Child Passport in 2020

Minor passport applicants will need both parents to be present at the signing of the documents at the acceptance agent. An acceptance agent is required for all child passport applications. What is an acceptance agent? An acceptance agent is usually located at your local post office or county clerk. The agent is authorized by the US Department of State to verify the identity of the applicant, parents, and documents. The passport acceptance agent will put all of the documents in an adjudicated sealed envelope. This envelope cannot be opened or tampered otherwise the application is considered invalid.

Processing Times for a Child Passport

The processing times for all passport applications are the same, regardless of the passport type needed. Routine processing takes 6-8 weeks or longer, and expedited processing through the post office is around 3 weeks (not guaranteed though). Our expediting service offers a wide range of options. Through Fastport Passport, you can have your child passport processed as fast as 24 hours. Our processing times are based on when we get the documents from you. When you order our service, we will provide you a Checklist for a Child Passport. Our processing times are very accurate so you can be assured to have your child passport in time for your upcoming trip. Click here to place your expedited child passport order.

Required Documents for a Child Passport

The child passport application process requires many important documents. The DS-11 is the passport application. Letters of Authorization are required if you are using our expedited service. You will also need proof of identity of the parents. You must also have the birth certificate or proof of citizenship documentation. If you do not have the birth certificate and you need it fast, we recommend using an express birth certificate service. Travel plans are also required for expedited child passport applications. Passport photos are required. All original documents will be returned to you with the new child passport.

Parental Consent for a Child Passport

The requirements for parental consent have not changed in 2020. The rules are still the same as before: both parents or guardians must give consent for the child to get a passport. The parents or guardians must appear in person with the child passport applicant at the Acceptance Agent. In cases where one parent or guardian is unable to appear in person, notarized consent is required. The Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent will be filled out and completed by the unavailable parent or guardian. The consent form DS-3053 must be notarized and the notary cannot hand write the expiration date (the date must be part of their stamp). You must sign and notarize on the same date otherwise your application will be rejected.

If one parent or guardian is not available to give consent, you can submit the Form DS-5525: Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances.

If the minor only has one parent or guardian, you MUST submit evidence of sole authority.

  • U.S. or foreign birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or adoption decree, listing only the applying parent
  • Court order granting sole legal custody to the applying parent
  • Court order  permitting applying parent’s travel with the child
  • Judicial declaration of incompetence of the non-applying parent
  • Death certificate of the non-applying parent