So you’ve just had a baby and amongst the millions of other things now on your plate, you need to get a passport for them? Well first off, Congratulations!!! Secondly, take a deep breath and know that getting your baby’s first US passport is not nearly as hard as it might sound. Yes, there are multiple steps and yes it can take a few weeks. However, the process itself is relatively painless!
This particular article is for US citizens looking to get a passport for a baby, however we will have additional articles soon for other countries!
The first thing you will want to do is schedule an appointment with an authorized passport acceptance facility. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get an appointment pretty quickly. Larger cities tend to have longer waits for passport appointments however, so be sure to make the appointment ASAP! Be aware that both parents need to be present at the appointment. If one of the child’s legal guardians is unable to attend, then they will need to fill out the DS-3053 form, which basically states that they consent for their child to get a passport. There are also other circumstances that families may fall into, so if you are one of these, be sure to check out the travel.state.gov website and make sure you have all the required forms.
Next, you will want to print and fill out a DS-11 form. The passport facility will have these forms available for you to fill out when you arrive, however filling it out in advance just saves extra time and stress. And since you will probably be juggling a newborn as well, it is better to just leisurely fill this out while they are napping one day! Be sure to hold off on signing the application though until they ask you to at the appointment.
Next, you will need to gather up all the required documents for yourself and child.
Birth Certificate or Birth Abroad or Certificate of Citizenship
Proof of parental relationship (a child’s birth certificate works as it will have the parents listed on it)
Parent’s government issued ID (passport, drivers license, US military ID, etc.)
1 color photograph of the child with a white background (check out our article How to Take an Infant’s Passport Photo for tips!)
Be sure to bring all physical forms of identification. You will also need to submit photocopies of each document, both front and back, single-sided.
Lastly, make sure you bring the correct amount for the fees. You can check here to double check. Not all acceptance facilities will accept all forms of payment. So, be sure to look ahead of time.
Need your baby’s first US passport in a rush due to an international trip or unforeseen circumstances? You will need to either live in or get yourself to a city that has a passport agency. There are currently 27 passport agency locations around the US that can have a passport ready within 24 hours. There is of course an expedited fee and you will need to show proof of travel within 72 hours, but this is a great option if you have an emergency. Be sure to check the website and make an appointment beforehand.
We know these are stressful times with a new addition to the family, so hopefully this broke down the steps for your baby’s first US passport and made it a little easier to manage for you! As a new mom or dad, we know easy is always better! And whatever the reason for traveling, we hope you have a safe and easy journey! Bon Voyage!