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Passports for Minors

In order to help prevent fraud and deter international abductions, there are several differences between U.S. passports for adults and U.S. passports for minors.  U.S. passports for minors (under age 16) are valid for only five years.  Please read through the information below for additional requirements for passports for children.

Two-Parent Signature Rule

In order to prevent fraud and deter international abductions, all minor passports require both parents to appear in person and sign the application in front of the consular officer, unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • Only one parent is named on the birth certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and presents that birth certificate or CRBA;
  • Applying parent has sole legal custody as decided by a court of competent jurisdiction, and presents those original custody papers;
  • Applying parent presents death certificate of deceased parent;
  • Applying parent presents signed and notorized authorization, such as DS-3053;
  • Applying parent has a signed and notorized power of attorney specifically including ability to apply for travel documents, and presents that document;
  • Special or exigent family circumstances.

In addition to both parents, the minor applicant for the U.S. passport must also appear in person.  Child's birth certificate showing evidence of relationship to parents is also required.

Age-Progression Photos

When a U.S. passport is being renewed, the consular officer must ensure that the person appearing at the Embassy is the same person that is in the photograph in the expired U.S. passport. As a minor's appearance can change drastically in the five years between passport applications, the consular officer may ask that you provide age progression photos.  Age progression photos are pictures of your child between the time of the last passport application.

While not every case requires age progression photos, we recommend you bring such photos with you to the initial interview. If the consular officer determines that such photos are necessary, it may delay your child's application should you not have them on hand.