All minors, regardless of age (even infants) require a passport when traveling by air. If your children don’t have a passport yet, you need to plan to get them with plenty of time to spare. Don’t wait for the last minute! Here is information for U.S. citizens. If you are not a U.S. citizen, follow up with the country of your citizenship about their procedures for passports and possibly visas.
All details can be found here:
Here’s the basics:
– Minors under the age of 16 must have a passport in their own name to fly.
– Both parents are required to execute the passport application for a minor child under age 16.
– They must apply in person with their parents. Appointments book early!
– Minors aged 16 or 17 have different requirements than younger children.
– There are special requirements if you have to get the passport outside of the US.
– Forms, photos, and proof of identity requirements can be found on the website.
– No one in arrears of child support payments over $2500 can get a passport.
– It can take six weeks (or longer!) to get the passports.
– The cost of a child passport is $105.00 Expedited services are available at an extra charge of $60 plus overnight mail fees.
When you are getting passports for the whole family for the first time it can be time consuming to get all the forms and photos, appointments and certified birth certificates or other identification.
Start early particularly if you will be traveling in high season. If you have questions not answered by the website, call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778.
Since minors under the age of 16 must have both parents’ permission to obtain a passport, this could take some planning to get one parent’s signature if that parent travels a lot or lives somewhere else. In the absence of one or more parents, further legal documentation will be required as proof of sole guardianship, adoption or other circumstances.
Since you have to apply in person, locations such as *some* Post Offices or City Halls have special services by appointment only. Appointments can fill up months in advance especially for after school, early mornings or on Saturdays. If a Post Office’s calendar is filled, ask which post offices offer “drop in” service and get there early! Aslo, if you are in an urban area it may be worth a short drive to a smaller town if they have availability. That’s a great tip! Dept of State Passport offices have strict appointment rules so they can leave time for the most urgent cases. They require proof of imminent travel date so no faking your way in! Refer to www.usps.com/shop/apply-for-a-passport.html . Use this url to find a Post Office who handles passports: https://tools.usps.com/go/POLocatorAction_input . On the left is “Location Types” drop down menu. Select Passports.
Once you receive the passports, don’t forget to sign them and have your children sign them! They must be signed with their given names … no nicknames!
Make copies for your records. You may consider having spare passport photos on hand as well.