How To Complete a 
Child Passport Application

A child passport application form is the same as used for any U.S. citizen when applying for a first time passport: the DS-11 passport application form. 

However, there are additional passport requirements for children in the form of support documents you must submit with the child passport application, if the child is age 15 years or younger. 

You can find the DS-11 application form at any passport acceptance facility. Check here for how to find a facility near you.

Or use the DS-11 online passport application at the Department of State website for your child to apply.

To use the online passport application, download the instructions and form to fill it out by hand, or complete it online before printing. You can not submit your completed application online for a first-time passport.

If filling it out manually, print the two-page form on one side of the paper only and complete it in black ink.

Never sign the form until instructed to do so in person at the passport acceptance facility, where your child will be sworn in.  
 
As with any first time passport, getting a passport for a child requires the child to appear in person at the acceptance facility to initiate the passport application process.

Inscribed at the Entrance of Londons Old Bailey

Passport Requirements for Children

You must present the following documents with your child passport application:

Passport Photo Requirements: One 2" X 2" color passport photo, taken recently. You can find specific information on how to dress for a passport photo on this page.

When taking toddler or infant passport photos, it can be difficult to get young children to sit still for the photo. If very young, they're often frightened by the process.

No one can appear in the photo with the child, even an infant or newborn. They must be awake and alert, with their eyes open for the photo to be successful. 

It's best to have your infant or young child rested, fed, and relaxed for the photo session, which only takes a few minutes.

A favorite toy, blanket, or something familiar will help calm the child while the passport photo is being taken.

Social Security Number: Most children born in the U.S. today, including infants, have their own Social Security number. 

Be sure to include it on the child passport application, where required.

For very young children who might not yet have their Social Security number, place zeros in the box, where the number is requested. Their birthdate on the application will document their young age.

But be aware, this could delay the processing of your child's passport. If your child has an SSN, always include it on the passport application form.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship:  Proof of your child’s citizenship must accompany the passport application. 

A state certified Birth Certificate with a raised or embossed seal is best [and usually the easiest] to obtain.

Don't confuse a Birth Certificate with a hospital certificate, which is not a legal document.

If you don’t have a state certified Birth Certificate for your child, you can order one through vitalchek.com or the CDC as noted in our article on applying for a passport.

You can also use a Certificate of Foreign Birth, a Naturalization Certificate, or your child's previous passport, as proof of U.S. citizenship.

Note: Current rules for an acceptable Birth Certificate require both parent's full names, along with their date and place of birth to be included.

If this information doesn't appear on your child's Birth Certificate, further proof of citizenship may be required.

A Childs Delight - Madurodam Holland

Proof of Relationship: A state certified Birth Certificate also serves as proof of your relationship to your child, when it includes the proper parental information.  
 
Evidence of relationship between the child and parent[s] is mandatory document-tation and must be presented with every child passport application.

If you’re an adoptive parent, guardian, or legal caretaker for a child, you must present legal proof to substantiate your relationship. 

This can be an Adoption Decree, Court Order, or other legal document showing appropriate name[s] for parent[s] and child.
 
If you’re a single parent [known as solo authority], you must submit a legal document, such as an Adoption Decree, Death Certificate of spouse, etc., to substantiate the relationship with your child as a single parent/guardian.

A previous child passport does not suffice for this requirement, since it doesn't prove relationship.

For additional information on specific circumstances, refer to the Department of State website regarding Passports for Minors Under Age 16.

Proof of Identity for parents or guardians: You must show proof of identity for both parents [or guardians] for a child passport application. 

This can be your own passport, a driver’s license, or some form of government-issued ID with your picture and signature.  Your ID must be current, valid, and undamaged.

You must also bring a photocopy of your proof of identity [front and back on one side of standard-size paper], which will become part of the child passport appli-cation.  

Any secondary proof of identity that may be required must also be photocopied the same way, on the same size paper, one side only.

Both parents [or guardians] must give consent for a child passport application to go forward.

Early Morning on the Rhine

Passport Fees: The child passport fee includes an application fee and an execu-tion fee, as with all first time passports.  Please see our article on applying for a passport for how these fees are paid. The fee amounts for a child passport [paid separately] are:

Application fee for childs passport  -  $80.00
Execution fee for childs passport    -  $25.00

Children and minors can also apply for a U.S. passport card or combo of book and card for additional fees.

Both parents should accompany the child to the acceptance facility and sign the child passport application form before authorized personnel.

Refer to our article, Passports For Children, for additional passport requirements for children, including information for solo parents.

Make copies of your completed child passport application form and all support documents before you submit them for processing. All substantiating documents will be returned to you.

A childs passport is good for five [5] years. You cannot renew a child passport.

If your child needs a second passport before age 16, you need to submit a new child passport application form with current, updated supporting documents. 

The only difference is for the child's proof of U.S. citizenship, you can use their original passport for that requirement. All other supporting documents, such as parental ID, parental consent, and other support information must be current and original for each application.








See these additional articles with current, updated  information on passport application procedures:

Getting A Passport

Applying For A Passport

Renewing A Passport

Passports For Children

Need A Rush Passport?

Using A Passport Expediting Service

Atlanta Passport Agency


Return to Understanding Passports and Visas


Travel Tip

Check your child’s Birth Certificate to make sure it includes all current required information:

  • Both parents full name, plus their date and place of birth;
  • Child’s full name, plus their date and place of birth;
  • Raised [embossed, impressed, colored, official] seal;
  • Signature of the Registrar;
  • Date certificate was filed with Registrar [within one year of birth].

If your child's Birth Certificate does not include all the above information, order a new one, so your child passport application won't be held up due to a technicality.


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