Regardless of your age, a passport is a document you won’t leave home without, especially passports for infants and minors.
Passports for Infants and Minors
All U.S. citizens (including infants) must possess their own valid passport when traveling internationally.
When a child is too young to sign his or her name in a passport, the parent or guardian may sign instead.
Importantly, only a mother, father or guardian may fill out, sign and submit passport documents for children under 15 years old. Simply print your child’s name, sign in the space provided and write in your relationship to the child.
NOTE: Also, your child must be present at the passport acceptance facility with his or her current ID.
Passport Validity For a Child Passport
Your child’s first passport will be valid for 5 years from its date of issue.
When it expires, you’ll need to apply for a new minor passport until he or she may apply for an adult passport on his or her 16th birthday. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a minor ‘renewal.’ Accordingly, each time your child must apply for a new minor passport.
How to Apply for a Baby Passport
To apply for a baby passport you will need
- A completed Application for a U.S. Passport (Form DS-11).
- An original copy of your child’s full birth certificate (i.e., ‘Long Form Birth Certificate’ ).
- The Department of State will return this copy with the passport.
- If you do not have the birth certificate, see Missing Birth Certificate.
- 2 passport photos.
- Proof of one (1) parent’s nationality or immigration status (e.g., passport, birth certificate or a certification of their registration).
- If you do not have the birth certificate, apply for an Express Birth Certificate.
Child Passport Photo Requirements
Photos must be ‘professionally printed’, 45mm in height / 35mm in width.
Next, photos must be taken against a plain, off white, light grey or cream background so that your baby’s features are easily distinguishable.
It must present your baby on his or her own with no dummies, toys or people in view. TIP: Cover a white towel over a baby seat to position your baby to blend with the background.
Lastly, the whole of your child’s face must show in the photos. Infants over 6 months of age must have their eyes open. If possible, your baby’s eyes should look towards the camera with a closed mouth. The State Department will sometimes make exceptions.
SPECIAL NOTE: Prior to 1998, parents or legal guardians could have an infant on the same passport. This is not the case anymore. Your baby must possess a personal passport. Save some space in the diaper bag!