Child Passport Application Process

Children's Passports

Child passport applications have a two stage security process. The first entails the applicant meeting with a government employee known as an Acceptance Agent whose job is to verify the identity of the applicant, collect the paperwork and forward it to the US State Department (unless using a private passport expediting company). The second stage is the State Department verification process.

Although rare, in some cases the State Dept will have trouble verifying information for a new passport application and may delay issuance and request additional information.

Child Passport Requirements

Prerequisites for New Passport:

    • Applicant is a US citizen over 18 years old, AND;
    • Applicant has never had a U.S. Passport issued before, OR;
    • Applicant was under 16 years old when most recent passport was issued OR;
    • Applicant has not had a U.S. Passport issued for over 15 years.
  1. Process Overview
    An Acceptance Agent is a government employee who will verify the identity of the applicant.

    Applicant and both parents or legal guardian(s) must gather documents listed below and make a personal appearance in front of an Acceptance Agent.

    Acceptance Agents are available at most Post Offices and Court Houses (you can check the Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page)

    Acceptance Agent will review the documents, ask some basic questions, have the applicant sign the new passport application, collect fees and seal documents in an envelope.

    If applicant is using a passport expeditor, applicant must indicate that he/she is using a hand carry service to process their new passport application. Acceptance Agent return the sealed envelope to the applicant which is sent to the expeditor (they will provide you with a FedEx or other shipping label).

  2. Proof of Citizenship
    To obtain a new passport for a child, applicant must bring an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, naturalization papers or old passport. Birth certificates must be “long form” as opposed to "short form". While there are several data points that must be listed including being issued by the city, county, or state (as opposed to hospital) and include parents full names, registrar's signature, seal and more, generally speaking a certificate smaller than 8.5” x 11” will not be accepted.

  3. Parental or Legal Guardian's Proof of Identification
    Parent or guardian will be required to show one of the following pieces of identification issued more than six months ago:

    Valid Driver’s License (plus a second ID if issued in a different state than where you apply)
    Current, undamaged U.S. Passport (if issued less than 15 years ago)
    Certificate of US Naturalization
    Valid Government Employee ID (city, state, or federal)
    Valid Military ID (military or dependent)

  4. Parental and/or Legal Guardian's Proof of Relation to Child
    Parents and/or legal guardians must prove their relation to the applicant. Generally this is done by matching the name on a driver's license or state-issued identification to the original birth certificate.

    Other acceptable documents are Certified Foreign Birth Certificate of the applicant (translated, if necessary); Report of Birth Abroad of the Applicant: Form FS-240; Certification of Birth Abroad of the Applicant: Form DS-1350; Adoption Decree of the Applicant (with adopting parents' names); Court Order Establishing Custody of the Applicant; Court Order Establishing Guardianship of the Applicant; or similar legal documents.

    Note: If the name of the parent/guardian is other than that on the document, evidence of legal name change is required.

    Note: Although discourage, when only one parent or legal guardian is available to appear in person, the other parent or legal guardian may provide a notarized consent statement and photo copy of identification. Only original copies are accepted. This requirement is strictly enforced to protect children. See link below to download Consent Form 3053 (must be notarized). Note: If only one parent is listed on the birth certificate or court order of full custody, then the second parent or legal guardian requirement is waived. Click here to download Consent Form 3053 (must be notarized).

  5. Passport Photos
    Applicant must submit one (1) color, passport style photograph. Applicant may not wear eye glasses. Photo may be obtained at many post offices, Kinko’s, Mailboxes Etc or similar locations. Please Note: Effective November 1, 2016 the State Department will NOT accept photos of applicants wearing glasses (except under undefined “special conditions”).

  6. Proof of Travel
    If applicant is traveling in the near future, it is recommended they submit a computer-generated itinerary from a travel agency or online booking tool (such as an e-confirmation) showing departure from the U.S. If using a passport expediting service this will likely be required due to the regulations they have to follow with the State Dept.

  7. New Passport Application (DS-11)
    Applicant must submit one completed passport application form (New Passport Application Form DS-11). This can be done in advance using the US State Departments online passport “wizard” or on site at the Acceptance Agent by completing the form by hand. Note that passport expediting companies are required to use applications completed using the online wizard program and will generally not accept hand written applications. DO NOT SIGN the completed application until instructed to do so by Acceptance Agent.

  8. Government Fees
    This part gets a little tricky because there are a series of fees and services you may combine, so we’ll provide all the possible fees and then show you how they combine. What is important to understand is that if the payment is incorrect it will delay the new passport issuance – even if you overpay.

  Service Fee  
  Child Passport Book (6-8 week processing) $80.00  
  Child Passport Card (in conjunction with Child passport application) $15.00  
  Child Passport Expedite (2-3 week processing upgrade) $60.00  
  Acceptance Agent $25.00  
  US Postal Money Order $1.20  
  Overnight Return Shipping (with tracking) $15.45  
  File Search Fee $150.00  
  *fee schedule as of July 2017. Fees subject to change  

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That’s a lot of fees! Here are the most common breakdowns:

New Child Passport in 6-8 Weeks
$ 80.00 New Adult Passport Book
$ 15.45 Overnight Return Shipping (with tracking)
$ 95.45 TOTAL + $25.00 Acceptance Agent Fee

Acceptance Agent Fee New Child Passport in 2-3 Weeks
$ 80.00 New Adult Passport Book
$ 60.00 New Passport Expedite
$ 15.45 Overnight Return Shipping (with tracking)
$155.45 TOTAL + $25.00 Acceptance Agent Fee

The “TOTAL” is the amount that the check or money order made payable to the State Dept will be for. If paying by check, starter checks are not acceptable. Indicate the child’s name and DOB in the memo line. The Acceptance Agent fee is paid separately and can be paid in any form (cash, credit card, check, etc).

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