Baby Passports for Newborns

Different countries have different travel policies. But in the U.S every citizen is required to have a passport – even newborns. The guidelines in applying for a passport have become stricter. For newborns, mail applications are not accepted. A guardian or parent must apply in behalf on the newborn in person.

Where to apply? You can apply at the nearest Office of Passport Services designated by the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. You can search the outlet that is nearest to your location on the internet. There are over 9,000 passport acceptance outlets all over the country. It is better to call in advance to ascertain what time and days they are open. You can also obtain this information online.

Who must be present? Since minors under age 16 are required to be present during application both parents and the child must be there. If you are the sole parent or guardian you must bring evidence that you have legal authority over the newborn. If the other parent can’t make it, let the absentee spouse sign a Statement of Consent.

What form must you fill up? The applicant must fill up a DS-11: Application for a US Passport. Do not sign the application until the Acceptance Agent tells you to do so. You can download this form online. In filling up the form take care that you put in all the right information.

What are the other requirements? First, aside from the application form you must submit evidence of US citizenship. This can be in the form of a certified birth certificate or certificate of citizenship. Second, parents or guardians must submit evidence of relationship. This can be in the form of the newborn’s birth certificate containing the names of both parents, adoption papers or a court order establishing guardianship. Third, both parents are requested to give consent authorizing the issuance of a passport for a minor.

How long will the passport be valid? For minors (those under 16 years) a passport is valid for 5 years.

Photo requirements. Your passport photo must be 2×2 inches in size in full color and taken in the last 6 months. The background must be plain white and the applicant should be facing directly towards the camera with both eyes open and a neutral expression.

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