ParentClick Santa Barbara

Applying for a passport


If you are traveling this summer anywhere outside the U.S., make sure you start the passport process early. We are traveling this summer with our daughters and I assumed since their passports do not expire until October that we were all set. This is not the case. We found out that you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.

So we went online to renew their passports the same way we renewed our adult passports. After filling out the online application, we were told that you have to do it in person with both parents. And so off we went to the post office with passport photos, filled out applications and all of our identification. The posted hours are 10am-3pm so we pulled the kids out of school. When we arrived, we were fortunate because for once there were no lines at the post office so we thought it would be a breeze. However this was not the case since the clerk decided that despite the posted hours, she was going to take a lunch break. So we sat and we sat with our frustrated children until she finished. We had been told we could take the photos at the post office but for some reason that day, it was not the case so off to Kinko’s we went to get their photos and then back again to the post office to start the process again.

Make sure to do a little research before you drag the whole family in for passports.


Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

You must submit one of the following original documents as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship for your child (photocopies are not acceptable):

  • Certified U.S. Birth Certificate (must meet all of the following requirements):Issued by City, County, or State of birth
  • Lists bearer’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth
  • Lists parent(s) full names
  • Has date filed with registrar’s office (must be within one year of birth)
  • Has registrar’s signature
  • Has embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal of registrar
  • Previous U.S. Passport (may be expired, must be undamaged)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship

Parental Consent

You must present one of the following documents as evidence of parental relationship, unless your child’s evidence of citizenship also lists the full names of the parents (such as a birth certificate):

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Adoption decree
  • Foreign birth certificate (with an official translation, if in a language other than English)
  • Photocopies of these documents are acceptable as evidence of relationship (not citizenship). If you are submitting one of these documents as evidence of citizenship, you do not need to provide an additional copy. A previously-issued
  • U.S. passport is not acceptable evidence of relationship, since it does not list the names of the parents.

Parental Appearance

Minors under age 16 cannot apply for a passport by themselves.

  • If available, both parents should appear in person with the minor.
  • If one parent is not available, then the application must be accompanied by a notarized, signed Form DS-3053 from the parent that is not applying with the minor.
  • For additional documents that may be used to show parental consent, see passports for minors.

Photo Identification

When you submit your application, each parent must present one of the following primary photo identification documents, and submit a photocopy of that document:

  • Valid Driver’s License (plus a second ID if issued in a different state than where you apply)
  • Undamaged U.S. Passport (if issued less than 15 years ago)
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Valid government ID (city, state, or federal)
  • Valid Military ID

Your Photograph Must Be:

  • In color
  • 2 x 2 inches in size
  • Printed on thin, photo-quality paper
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Taken in normal street attire:Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hair line
  • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture
  • Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)


May 19, 2015

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