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How to Apply for a Baby or Child's Passport

How to Apply for a Baby or Child's Passport

Table of Contents

In the article "How To Get a Passport for Your New Baby - Step-by-Step," parents are guided through the essential steps of obtaining a passport for their child, including gathering necessary documents, completing Form DS-11, and setting up an appointment. It offers detailed instructions and specific advice for residents in California, ensuring a smooth and efficient passport application process.


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Applying for a passport for your new baby or child is a crucial step in preparing for any international travel. The process can seem daunting, but with the right information and preparation, it can be a smooth and straightforward experience. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the process, documents required, and step-by-step instructions to secure your child's passport, including specific guidance for residents of California.

1. Overview of the Process

Obtaining a passport for a newborn or child involves several key steps: gathering necessary documents, filling out the appropriate forms, setting up an appointment, and attending the passport application meeting. It's important to note that children under 16 have different requirements than adults for passport applications. The process usually takes about 4-6 weeks for standard processing or 2-3 weeks for expedited service, so plan accordingly.

2. What Documents Do You Need Upfront

Before you begin the application process, you will need to gather several essential documents:

  • Proof of your child's U.S. citizenship: This can be a birth certificate (original or certified copy), a consular report of birth abroad, or a naturalization certificate.
  • Proof of parental relationship: Typically, the child's birth certificate with both parents' names, a consular report of birth abroad, or an adoption decree.
  • Photo identification of parents: Driver's license, passport, or other government-issued ID.
  • Passport photo of the child: This must meet the specific requirements for size, background, and composition.
  • Application Form DS-11: This form cannot be submitted online and must be completed in black ink.

3. Step by Step Instructions

Filling Out Form DS-11

  • Do not sign this form until instructed to do so by a passport acceptance agent.
  • Fill out the form with your child's information.

Gathering Documents

  • Collect all necessary documents, including proof of citizenship, parental relationship, and photocopies of parents' IDs.

Passport Photo

  • Obtain a passport photo of your child. Many facilities offer this service, and the photo must meet specific requirements.

Passport Appointment

  • You must apply in person with your child. Both parents or guardians should be present. If one parent cannot attend, they must provide a notarized Statement of Consent (Form DS-3053).

Application Fees

  • Be prepared to pay the application fee and any additional fees for expedited service or extra pages.


  • Submit the application, documents, photos, and fees at the appointment.

4. How to Set Up Your Passport Appointment


  • Appointments can be made through the U.S. Department of State’s website or by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.

In California

  • Californians can visit the U.S. Department of State’s website to locate nearby passport acceptance facilities, such as post offices, libraries, or county clerk offices.
  • For major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego, additional facilities such as regional passport agencies are available for expedited services.
  • Online tools are available to schedule appointments, or you can call the facility directly.

By following these steps and preparing the necessary documents, getting a passport for your new baby or child can be a manageable and efficient process. Remember to start early and double-check all requirements, especially if you have an upcoming trip planned.


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