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Minors (under 16 years)
 
Photo Specifications

Photo Specifications


Minors under age 16 wishing to renew an expiring or expired passport should follow this process. If you are filing a Consular Report of a Birth Abroad, you may submit it together with this application.

1.  Make an appointment online and print the appointment letter. Appointments are available for American citizens Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. We are closed on American and Indian holidays.

2.  Complete the DS-11 passport application online.

     Online application tips:       

  • Complete the address fields completely. If you are in India, your passport will not be sent back to the United States. When you drop off your application, you can designate if you wish to pick it up or have it sent to you by registered mail to an address in India.
  • If completing an application without a social security number, you may enter all zeroes as a placeholder.
  • Expedite fee: You do not need to select the "expedite fee" option; passports printed for citizens abroad are automatically expedited.
  • Please fill out the emergency contact information even though it is not required.
  • Print the form but do not use two-sided printing.

3. Print the application and bring it plus the required documents to the interview.  Do not sign the application for your child. You will do so in the presence of the consular officer.

Except in the exceptional circumstances described below, the child and both parents must appear in person.
  

Required Documents

  • Current Passport
  • One studio-quality color photograph taken within the last six months measuring 2" x 2" (5cm x 5cm) with a white background. No other photo format can be accepted. More information
  • For children under age 16, both parents must be present with original photo identification to sign the passport application in the presence of a consular officer. The child must also be present. If one parent/guardian cannot be present, the non-applying parent or guardian must complete item 3 on the DS-3053 “Statement of Consent, “providing written consent for the issuance of a passport for the minor child.  Additionally, the non-applying parent or guardian consenting to the issuance of a passport for a minor child must:
  • Sign and date Form DS-3053 in the presence of a Certified Notary Public, and
  • Submit a photocopy of the front and back side of the ID that was presented to the Notary Public with Form DS-3053.  

The consular officer reserves the right to require additional evidence if the consent is notarized by a non-U.S. notary public.

  • If you are the applying parent or guardian and the written consent of the non-applying parent or guardian or sole custody cannot be obtained in a timely manner complete item 4a-5 on the DS-5525 “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances”. The statement must explain in detail the non-applying parent's or guardian’s unavailability and recent efforts made to contact the non-applying parent. You may also be required to provide evidence (e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to document your claim of exigent or special circumstances.
  • For children under age 16, the parents must prove their parentage by showing a copy of the child's government-issued birth certificate and one copy. If the birth certificate lists the mother's maiden name, she should be able to prove her identity accordingly.
  • For children age 16 or older, the child signs for him/herself (in the presence of the consular officer), so the parents need not be present, and there is no need to present a copy of the child's birth certificate.
  • The child must prove his/her identity. If the child is easily identifiable by the consular officer by looking at the previous passport, no additional proof may be necessary. However, a child's appearance may change significantly over time, so the consular officer may ask for additional proof of identity. Please bring as much proof as possible. Examples of items that can be used to establish a child's identity are:

    - Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card (issued by the Government of India).
    - A passport issued by another country.
    - School ID card with photo.
    - Police/immigration registration record with attached photo.
    - Growing age photos (i.e., a series of family photographs from various ages since the child's last passport was issued--for example, if the child is now five years old and the passport was issued shortly after his/her birth, bring family photos showing the child at ages 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Fees

Complete fee information is available here.

Passport Processing Time

Except in emergencies, passports are printed in the United States and take approximately 7-10 days. Please consider this timeline when renewing or applying for passports. You will receive an automated email when your passport is ready.

Passport Delivery or Pick Up

Your passport will be returned by courier unless you decide to pick it up. You may pick up passports between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays. You do not need an appointment to pick up your passport.  

Frequently Asked Questions

I wish to apply for a passport for my child; am I required to bring him/her to the Embassy/Consulate?  Yes.  Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by both parents.  An appointment will be required; please see the instructions for your specific passport service for more information.

Is it true that passport applications for children under the age of 16 require the consent of both parents?  Yes, the consent of both parents/legal guardians is required, even if one parent is not a U.S. citizen.

What If only one parent can appear at the Embassy with the child?  The other parent may submit his/her consent by completing form DS-3053 before a notary and submitting acceptable ID.

I don't know where my child's other parent is and I don't know how to contact him/her to obtain his/her consent.  Does that mean you can't issue my child a passport?  Maybe.  Each case is different and will be assessed by one of our consular officers.  We recommend that you provide as much documentation as possible showing that you have made a "good faith effort" to contact your child's parent through all available channels (family members, mutual friends, last known employer, divorce lawyer/solicitor, etc).  It may be necessary for you to obtain a court order giving you sole custody or permission to apply for a U.S. passport for the child without the other parent's consent.

My child is too young to sign his/her passport.  How do I sign my child's passport?  Children aged 16 and over may sign their own passports. For children under the age of 16, a parent should sign.  In the space provided for the signature, the mother or father must print the child's name and sign his/her own name.  Then, in parentheses, by the parent's name, write the word (mother) or (father) so we know who signed for the child.

How do I get information about my child's passport or prevent a U.S. passport from being issued to my child?  Parents involved in international custody disputes may receive information about the United States passport of a minor from the Department of State, Passport Services.  For passport assistance for parents and information on International Child Abduction see International Parental Child Abduction.

Questions?

Email acsnd@state.gov

You can read more about U.S. passports here.