How to Apply for a Passport for Baby

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • For U.S. travel, babies don’t need a passport, but international travel requires one.
  • Applying for a U.S. passport for a newborn involves completing Form DS-11, providing citizenship and relationship proof, and submitting parent identification documents and passport photos.
  • Processing time is typically 4-6 weeks, with expedited service available for an additional fee.

You might be eager to prepare for your vacation, particularly if you need a break from the daily routine. But if you also have a new member in the family, you must also consider the baby and get everything ready to be able to take your little one with you.

So, you will have to learn how to apply for a passport for a baby. Getting a passport for a newborn in India and the U.S. are different procedure, and if you want a U.S. passport for your baby, this article will tell you just how to get it.

Can Babies Travel Without a Passport?

Traveling with your baby within the U.S. is easy. You do not have to stress yourself with passports. All you have to do is get ready for the trip and make sure you have everything ready for you and your baby.

But when it comes to traveling abroad, things are a bit more complicated. Getting a passport for the newborn is necessary. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to take the little one on an international journey.

Now, when it comes to driving to Mexico or Canada, you may be able to simply use a passport card to travel with the baby. However, trips that take place overseas will require passports no matter what.

The good thing in all of this is that it isn’t hard to get one. You just need to follow a few steps and you’re good to go. Keep in mind that if you want to obtain the passport sooner than 4-6 weeks, then it will cost more.

How to Apply for a US Passport for Newborn Babies

Applying for a U.S. passport for your newborn baby will not be that different from applying for a passport for children younger than 16. These passports for newborns or children younger than 16 will have a 5-year validity.

The parents who want to obtain a passport for their newborn baby must submit the passport application at a passport application acceptance facility or a passport agency. Here are the steps that you will have to go through as a parent to obtain the baby’s passport:

1. Complete Form DS-11

First things first, you must complete Form DS-11. This is known as the Application for a U.S. passport. What’s great is that you can find it easily on the official USCIS platform.

When the parent applies for the passport, the applicant must be there too. This means that you will have to bring your baby with you when you apply in person. In the DS-11 form, you should include details like the full legal name of the baby, the social security number, and other information requested. Also, make sure to bring any supporting documents that the form requires.

You shouldn’t sign unless you are told so.

If you want a smooth application with your DS-11 form, make sure to consult a guide to Form DS-11 before you start completing it.

2. Provide Evidence of the Child’s U.S. Citizenship

You should bring some evidence of the baby’s U.S. citizenship. This could be a consular report of American birth abroad, a certified birth certificate issued by the county, state, or city, a U.S. passport that was issued previously a Certificate of Citizenship, or a Naturalization Certificate.

Ensure that you bring a certified birth certificate issued by the city, county, or state if you have a nonimmigrant status in the United States. You must apply for the certificate when the baby is born. Then, the authorities from the hospital will help the parents apply for the birth certificate and Social Security Number.

It’s also important to know that you shouldn’t bring any abstract versions of birth certificates. The birth certificate must be a certified one with the seal of a registrar and their signature. There should also be the date when the certificate was filed with the office of the registrar. It’s also essential to apply for the baby’s birth certificate immediately after birth or at least within one year after the little one was born.

 3. Provide Evidence of Relationship With the Child

The next thing you have to do is bring some proof of your relationship with the baby. This could be a certified birth certificate with the names of both parents on it. If the baby is born abroad, you should consider bringing:

  • Child’s Report of Birth Abroad that has the name of both parents
  • Child’s certified Foreign Birth Certificate that has the name of both parents on it

All foreign documents must be submitted with informal or formal English translation. If you adopted the child, you must bring an adoption decree that has the name of both parents on it. Also, you should submit the following documents if you are a newborn baby’s guardian:

  • Court order that established custody
  • Court order that established guardianship

Name change proof must be submitted too if the parent or guardian’s name has changed in the meantime. If only one of the parents can bring the child for the application, they must also attach a Form DS-3053 “Statement of Consent”.

A previous U.S passport will not serve as relationship proof. Also, if there is only one parent in the picture, you should show evidence of the sole custody of the baby or have the other parent sign the DS-3053 form.

4.1 Provide Identification Documents for Parents

Proof of identification must be submitted by the parents of the baby when applying for the little one’s passport. This could include a valid driver’s license, U.S. passport, Naturalization Certificate, and a current Government ID or military ID.

In case you have none of these, you could consider other means:

Secondary Identification

Secondary identification can help if you do not have any of the proof of identification mentioned earlier. You must present all the following documents for verification: Social Security Card, Employee ID, Credit Card, and Library Card.

Identifying Witness

An identifying witness can also be brought to swear to your identity. Of course, they must meet certain criteria, like having known you for at least 2 years and being a U.S. permanent resident or citizen.

4.2 Submit Photocopy of Parents/Guardian Identification

A photocopy of each identification document should also be submitted. This should be taken on white, 8 ½ x 11” standard paper stock. You should not use both sides of the paper, though. Make sure not to decrease the image’s size.

Photocopies of all secondary identification documents should also be brought. If someone acts as an Identifying Witness, they must also bring a photocopy of their ID.

5. Absence of One or Both Parents

Although both parents should be there for the application, some exceptions apply. If only one parent is there, they must sign Form DS-11 in front of the Acceptance Agent and bring the notarized Statement of Consent of the second parent.

Third-party submissions must include a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or the guardian giving the third-party authorization for the application. The third party must provide proof of sole custody of the authorizing guardian or parent if the statement of affidavit only comes from one parent or guardian.

6. Provide 2 Passport Photos and Pay Fees

Now, you must bring 2 passport photos of the baby and pay the fees. The photos must be 2 x 2 inches in size and identical. They must be recent, and they must include the full face of the baby with a front view and should be taken on a white or off-white background. You can also take the photo with the baby being laid down on a surface.

Newborn Passport Processing Time

The processing time for U.S. passports for babies usually takes 4-6 weeks. However, you can get it faster for an extra fee. With expedited service, processing takes 3 weeks, and if it’s expedited at the agency, it only takes 8 business days.

Read More

Final Thoughts

Applying for a passport for a baby is not difficult. You just have to follow a few steps and get some documents ready and you’re good to go. We hope the guidelines above have helped you.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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