Traveling with children

Do children need passports?

Children of all ages need passports. It doesn’t matter if they travel with their parents or not. They still need a passport. Even newborns.

Did you know they have different rules for children under the age of 16 than minors who are 16 and 17. Sound confusing? We will only talk about those under 16 years old.

First, minors under age 16 must apply in person. I guess this means an infant must crawl to their local post office to apply. Maybe their parent or guardian should carry them. You need proof of citizenship, a right-sized photo and some money (about $100). I suppose this should be paid by the parent or guardian. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Well, maybe not. How about 1 through 9?

Here is what you must have:

  • One filled out form DS-11
  • Proof of citizenship for the child
  • Proof of who you are
  • Proof of your relationship to the child
  • Parental consent for the government to give a passport for the child
  • Money (about $100)
  • Two recent, small photos of the child

That’s it! Simple, huh? Not so fast. Here are the details or you can go to the government website:


1. You need form DS-11.

see form here

2. You must submit it in person.

Fill it out but Don’t Sign It.

3. You need the child’s Certified birth certificate.

(or Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship)

4. You need to show Evidence of Relationship Between Child and Parent(s) or Guardian(s).

Does the certified U.S. birth certificate (or Adoption Decree) have both parents’ names?

If you are a guardian:

You need the Court Order establishing custody or establishing guardianship.

5. You need your Identification.

6. You need a photo copies of all your documents.

It needs to be on plain white, 8 1/2 x 11″ standard paper stock.

If you document has information on both sides, copy both sides.

7. You need to Provide Parental Consent
from both parents.

It is easiest if both parents are present.

8. You must pay the fees.

It’s about $100.

9. You must Submit One Passport Photo.

It is easiest to get them to take the pictures but you can save some money if you get it done privately.

10. One pint of your blood but only one half pint for the child.

(You didn’t really read this far, did you? No blood is required.)