A U.S. passport allows citizens to travel in and out of the United States. There are some differences between passports for adults & kids, and we want to make sure you have the info you need to plan for your families travels!
Getting a passport for children, ages 15 and under, requires both parents to be present, unless one has sole custody. Both parents will need to provide proof of citizenship (i.e., a birth certificate or naturalization document) and valid photo identification (i.e., driver’s license or government-issued ID).
The cost for a child’s passport is $100 (plus a $35 execution fee) for the passport book. You will also need to provide two passport photos of your child, taken in the last 6 months. We went to AAA to take our photos which are free of charge if you’re members, but you can also have them done at the post office for a small fee.
After you have all the necessary documents, you will need to make an appointment with a passport acceptance facility. You can expect the passport to arrive by mail in 10-13 as of weeks or 7-9 weeks if you expedite (additional charge to do so).
Once you have a child’s passport, you will need to make sure that it stays valid. Every child’s passport has an expiration date that can usually be found on the data page at the front of the passport. In the U.S. child under the age of 16 must get a new passport every 5 years.
Unfortunately, you cannot simply “renew” either. You have to completely reapply as if it’s their first passport until they are above the age of 16. Make sure to keep it stored in a safe place and to check its validity before any international trips. The US Department of State recommends that parents of minors sign the inside of the passport in the designated space as an additional security measure. This will alert any officials of the passport’s legal ownership.
I highly recommend having passports for your kids as you never know what might come up in life that allows you to travel abroad with them. In my opinion it’s definitely worth the effort!