How to Renew a Passport for a Minor

How to Renew a Passport for a Minor
People under the age of 16 must renew their passports in-person at a passport agency or acceptance facility such as a post office. Unlike adults who can complete the transaction by mail, special considerations are made for minors due to guardianship issues and identification requirements. Requiring children 16 and under to renew their documents in-person is a safety mechanism that makes international abductions by a single parent more difficult to accomplish. If both parents are living, they must both approve the submission of the passport application or renewal.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Form DS-11 Expired passport or proof of citizenship Proof of guardian's relationship Guardian identification Proof of parental consent 2 passport photos
  • Form DS-11
  • Expired passport or proof of citizenship
  • Proof of guardian's relationship
  • Guardian identification
  • Proof of parental consent
  • 2 passport photos
Step 1
Obtain a copy of form DS-11 by printing it from the U.S. Department of State passport website (see Resources) or picking one up at a passport acceptance facility. Complete it legibly in black ink. Print it on standard 8 1/2-by-11 inch paper if you download a copy from the Internet. Do not sign the application until the oath is administered by the official accepting your documents.
Step 2
Submit the minor child's expired passport to establish proof of United States citizenship. If the passport is not available, other official documents establishing birth in the United States or naturalization will be accepted. A common example of a proof of citizenship document is an official birth certificate issued by a city or county.
Step 3
Provide proof of your guardianship of the minor child. If there is a second parent, they must be present as well with proof of relationship else or submit a notarized statement of consent. If one parent is deceased, the surviving parent must provide a copy of the decedent's death certificate. Minors ages 16 or 17 may renew their passport without a parent present as long as the parents have signed consent on the DS-11 and the minor has identification.
Step 4
Submit official proof of your identity to the passport agent. This confirms that you are the guardian listed in the relationship documents you submitted.
Step 5
Pay the application and execution fee. As of 2009, regular passport books with normal processing time cost $85 ($60 for application and $25 for processing). All facilities that handle passport applications accept checks and money orders for the application fee. Acceptance centers, such as post offices, will require you to pay for the $25 execution fee separately.
Step 6
Submit two identical passport photos of the minor child with the application. Some application facilities have equipment on hand to take photos for a fee. Alternately, you can have a picture taken at a photo lab or take your own photos at home per the State Department specifications (see Resources).

Tips & Warnings

 
It takes up to six weeks to receive a passport in the mail, so be sure to plan the renewal well in advance of any international travel. Photocopy any submitted materials for your records and keep track of the date the application was made so that you may track its progress on the Department of State website.
 
It takes up to six weeks to receive a passport in the mail, so be sure to plan the renewal well in advance of any international travel.
 
Photocopy any submitted materials for your records and keep track of the date the application was made so that you may track its progress on the Department of State website.

Article Written By Margaret Bryant

Margaret Bryant is a long-time resident of North Carolina. She has recently written extensively for GolfLink and eHow. She has been writing for publication since 1999. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Arts in English language/literature.

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