How to Apply for a Passport for a Child

Minors Under Age 16 MUST:

1. Provide Application Form DS-11

  • To download an application form, please click here for DS-11.
  • Or, forms can be obtained from any passport agency or acceptance facility. (Call to check hours of availability.)
  • Many travel agents stock application forms for their clients as well.

NOTE: Please do NOT sign the DS-11 application form until the Passport Acceptance Agent instructs you to do so.


2. Submit Proof of U.S. Citizenship (for minors under age 16)

Note: Previous U.S. passports are not acceptable as proof of relationship to the applying parent(s)/guardian(s). Please see item #3 for documents that are acceptable as proof of relationship.

You will need to submit one of the following: 

    • Certified U.S. birth certificate; or
    • Previous fully valid U.S. Passport; or
    • Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240); or
    • Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350); or
    • Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization from BCIS.

NOTE: A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, Impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the Date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth.

Delayed Birth Certificate filed more than one year after your birth may be acceptable if it:

    • Listed the documentation used to create it and
    • Signed by the attending physician or midwife, or, lists an affidavit signed by the parents, or shows early public records.

If you do NOT have a previous U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate, you will need:

    1. Letter of No Record – Issued by the state with your name, date of birth, which years were searched for a birth record and that there is no birth certificate on file for you.
    1. AND as many of the following as possible:
    • Baptismal certificate
    • Hospital birth certificate
    • Census record
    • Early school record
    • Family bible record
    • Doctor’s record of post-natal care


  • These documents must be early public records showing the date and place of birth, preferably created within the first five years of your life.
  • You may also submit an Affidavit of Birth, Form DS-10, from an older blood relative, i.e., a parent, aunt, uncle, sibling, who has personal knowledge of your birth. It must be notarized or have the seal and signature of the acceptance agent.

NOTE: The following are NOT proof of citizenship

    • Voter registration cards
    • Army discharge papers


3. Present Evidence of Child’s Relationship to Parents/Guardians (for minors under age 16)

Note:  Previous U.S. passports are not acceptable as proof of relationship to the applying parent(s)/guardian(s).

You will need to submit one of the following:

  • Certified U.S. birth certificate (with parents’ names); or
  • Certified Foreign Birth Certificate (with parents’ names and translation, if necessary); or
  • Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) (with parents’ names)or
  • Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350) (with parents’ names); or
  • Adoption Decree (with adopting parents’ names)or
  • Court Order Establishing Custody; or
  • Court Order Establishing Guardianship.

NOTE: If the parent(s)’/guardian’s name(s) is/are other than that on these documents, evidence of legal name change is required.


4. Provide Parental Identification (for minors under age 16)

Each parent or guardian must submit one of the following:

  • Valid Drivers License
  • Valid Official U.S. Military ID
  • Valid U.S. Government ID
  • Valid U.S. or Foreign Passport with recognizable photo
  • Naturalization/Citizenship Certificate from BCIS with recognizable photo
  • Alien Resident Card from BCIS

NOTE: Your Social Security Card does NOT prove your identity.

If none of these are availableyou will need:

1.      Some signature documents, not acceptable alone as ID

(ex: a combination of documents, such as your Social Security card, credit card, bank card, library card, etc.)


2.      A person who can vouch for you. He/she must

  • Have known you for at least 2 years,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • Have valid ID, and
  • A person acting as an Identifying Witness must complete Form DS-71 in the presence of the passport agent.


5. Present Parental Application Permission Documentation (for minors under age 16)

1. Both parents must appear together and sign – OR

2. One parent appears, signs, AND submits second parent’s Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16, Form DS-3053 authorizing passport issuance for the child – OR

3. One parents appears, signs, and submits primary evidence of sole authority to apply (such as one of the following):

  • Child’s certified U.S. or foreign birth certificate (with translation, if necessary) listing only applying parent; or
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350) listing only applying parent; or
  • Court order granting sole custody to the applying parent (unless child’s travel is restricted by that order); or
  • Adoption decree (if applying parents is sole adopting parent); or
  • Court order specifically permitting applying parent’s or guardian’s travel with the child; or
  • Judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent; or
  • Death certificate of non-applying parent.

If none of the above documentation is available, the applying parent/guardian should submit Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 16.

NOTE: A third-party in loco parentis applying on behalf of a minor under the age of 16 must submit a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing a third-party to apply for a passport. When the statement or affidavit is from only one parent/guardian, the third-party must present evidence of sole custody of the authorizing parent/guardian.


6. Provide Two Passport Photos

Your photographs must be:

  • 2×2 inches in size
  • Identical
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Color or black and white
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Taken in normal street attire
  • Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
  • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture.
  • Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A medical certificate may be required.

NOTE: Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable.


7. Pay the Applicable Fee

See the passport fees.

Passport Agencies (25 Nationwide) Accept:

  • Credit Cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) and Debit/Check Cards
  • Checks (personal, certified, cashiers, travelers), payable to “Department of State”
  • Money orders (U.S. Postal, international, currency exchanges) and bank drafts, payable to “Department of State”

Passport Acceptance Facilities:

  • Personal checks, money orders and bank drafts at all locations, payable to “Department of State”
  • Exact cash at some locations (verify with the Acceptance Facility)

Expedite Fee: (See How to Get Your Passport in a Hurry.)